Some book recommendations
So I've been revisiting some Alexander Technique books during lockdown; here's a couple I'd recommend to anyone wanting to do a spot of reading in the absence of hands-on work.
You may be aware that Alexander teaching splits into 2 broad schools, named after 2 of Alexander's early students, Walter Carrington and Patrick MacDonald. I trained at Walter Carrington's school, The Constructive Teaching Centre. I recently read the only book published by Patrick MacDonald - "The Alexander Technique As I See It" - and I love it. I particularly love the first 37 pages of "notebook jottings" - little scraps of knowledge that Macdonald recorded in his notebooks over years of teaching. For example, the second jotting reads:
"On trying to be right: If your right is wrong, then it follows that any attempt on your part to be right will produce the wrong result. Rather, it is better to be prepared to be wrong. This leaves the way open for real right to take place. FM Alexander: " For God's sake try to be wrong. There is just an outside chance you might be right" ". Wonderful.
I haven't finished the third book yet but I think it is wonderfully written, and not just for
musicians. "The Alexander Technique for Musicians" is by Judith Kleinman and her husband Peter Buckoke, who both teach the Technique at the Royal College of Music. They have written a beautiful book with great photos (mainly, I think, of their two sons) and very accessible language. There is much practical advice here such as sections titled "Don't be too tough on yourself" and "Work on one or two habits at a time". I would highly recommend it.
At the current time I still do not know when we will be able to return to hands-on work - STAT is in regular contact with its members but is currently telling us that we cannot yet return to hands-on. As soon as things change I will be in contact with clients.