Frederick Matthias Alexander was born in Tasmania in 1869. He enjoyed a successful career as an actor until he began to suffer from hoarseness and loss of voice whilst on stage. After many hours of observing himself in front of a mirror he worked out that his loss of voice was caused by his habitual tension in his neck and the pulling back and down of his head whilst speaking.
Only once he had identified this 'habit' could he seek to re-educate himself. He subsequently worked for a number of years on a way to change his habitual reaction and to prevent this harmful misuse. Alexander had discovered what he later came to call 'The Primary Control' which is the natural relationship between the head, neck and back. Once this is restored, balance and poise return.
Several doctors became interested in his work and referred patients to F M Alexander. In 1904 he came to London and established a teaching practice. He published four books and trained about 80 teachers in the Technique and carried on teaching in London until he died in 1955. Alexander's reputation grew quickly and amongst his pupils were Aldous Huxley, George Bernard Shaw and Lillie Langtry.
F M Alexander's published books:
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