What the doctor did NOT prescribe!


Have you ever taken an Alexander class? For anyone not in the know, the Alexander technique was created by Australian actor Frederick Matthias Alexander as a way to help us retrain movement and posture. The outcome is anything from blissful relaxation to an emotional breakthrough! I studied Alexander briefly in college, and I was incredibly lucky to revisit it recently at Atlanta's Center for Puppetry Arts, of all places. One of my favorite moments of the class was discovering how Alexander and accents meet... through TEACHING! As I watched this incredibly talented teacher work with various puppeteers’ aching arms and shoulders, I was amazed by something he said… “Keep moving your arm (through space), we’re just exploring together.” Exploring! There could not have been a more comprehensive word! Exploring is the perfect way to approach anything new—whether it’s spinal movement, or oral posture! I’ve been trying to use exploration in my teaching for a while now. I find it invaluable, especially when it comes to exploring the sounds, and feelings of various accents. Rather than instructing a student to do something (prescribing), it’s much more powerful to explore the new sounds and elements of accents… together. Remember that we all have different anatomies, and that our mouths most likely will have subtle differences. I’ve found that taking students on a guided, exploratory tour through accents produces fantastic results!