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Voice and the Alexander Technique (3rd edition)

Active explorations for speaking and singing
AT Focus: 
Alexander Technique
Vol./ Issue/Edition: 
3rd edition
228 x 304 mm
ISBN-13: 978-3950490787
Mouritz Bibliography
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Later edition flag: 
An earlier edition of this exists
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Short Description: 

Accompanying downloads (PDF and MP3 files) available at Library>Voice & the Alexander Technique.

Mouritz description: 

The Alexander Technique applied to the voice and vocal use.

Publisher Description: 

Jane Heirich has been helping singers and actors (as well as teachers and business people) learn how to use their voices with comfort and freedom. She has spent the past three decades integrating two approaches that can have a profound impact on our voices—the centuries-old Italian bel canto singing tradition and the Alexander Technique, developed by an Australian actor who solved his own vocal issues. For many years a faculty member at the Residential College of the University of Michigan, she has taught a basic voice technique class that included the Alexander work.

In this book, designed for both teachers and students of the speaking and singing voice, Heirich addresses some common problem areas of the voice-teaching  world: breath management, voice projection, resonance building, singing high notes, “breaks” in the vocal range, excess muscle tension in the wrong places, and the relevance of overall poise to vocal output. The step-by-step approach through which she takes the reader allows new skills to develop for both beginning and experienced students/performers. If you’ve  wondered whether you can improve your voice and enjoy using it more effectively, this is the book for you.

Voice and the Alexander Technique is a unique guide, linking sound and movement. It is an active-participation book, not a passive read. You are invited to embark on a vocal adventure by exploring movement and sound through practical activities. You will learn skills for consciously changing habits of thinking and movement. And through those new skills, you will learn to move and vocalize your way to vocal ease, while having a good time in the process.
Experiment with the practical exercises, work them through with your buddies, colleagues, and teachers. Learn to develop the vocal skill you’ve been searching for. Each time you read through this book, you will find another key to unlocking a free, expressive voice.

Because speaking or singing so reveals a person’s identity and thoughts, it is difficult for a voice user  not to work either too little or too much. Jane Heirich solves this dilemma by combining the Alexander Technique with vocal technique. The result can be an exciting freeing of vocal sound and expression.
 She shows how old counter-productive habits can be replaced with new ease and efficiency. She offers Games and Explorations to re-educate the breathing system, to combine Alexander movement with sound-making, and to explore the meaning of true support. Explanations are very clear, and the many illustrations of vocal physiology and movement activities make the suggestions understandable and usable. This is a book written by a teacher with long and deep experience helping others to increase the comfort and quality of their voices.
Pearl Wormhoudt
Prof. Emerita, William Penn University

Honorary Life Member, NATS American , Academy of Teachers of Singing

Heirich, who has been certified as an Alexander teacher since 1987 and has taught voice for more than 40 years, combines her expertise in both areas to create an excellent instruction manual for integrating the two curricula. For singers and pedagogues with no prior exposure to the Alexander Technique, Voice and the Alexander Technique is an outstanding first text.
Debra Greschner
Instructor of Voice, Lamar University, Beaumont TX
Book reviewer for Journal of Singing (NATS)


Preface to the Third Edition
Foreword by Joan Morris
Chapter 1 We are all creatures of habit
Chapter 2 Frederick Matthias Alexander and his discoveries
Chapter 3 A voice primer
Chapter 4 Postural and vocal problems
The Interlude
Chapter 5 Games and explorations I: Re-education of the
Chapter 6 Games and explorations II: Thinking “up” for a change
Chapter 7 Games and explorations III: Thinking up to fold down
Chapter 8 Games and explorations IV: Supporting the voice
Chapter 9 Our journey
Appendix I International Phonetic Alphabet
Appendix II Hands on the back of the chair: A “position of mechanical advantage” for re-educating the breathing mechanism
Appendix III Catalog of music examples
Appendix IV Notation, pitch name, and frequency correlation chart