Links to sources


MornumTime Press


Direction Journal


Spanish translations of AT works

Much has been written about the Alexander Technique in the past hundred years. I have over sixty books about it on my shelves. Most years see the publication of a cople of new ones and there is also a steady stream of articles about in newspapers and magazines. The available publications vary enormously in depth and quality but most provide useful information for the newcomer to the Technique. I think it is extremely useful to supplement lessons with as much reading about the Technique as pupils can manage.

The attractively produced pocket book Alexander Technique by Joe Searby provides a simple introduction to the practicalities and thinking behind the Technique. Joe is an actor and experienced Alexander teacher and his book which was published by Duncan Baird in 2007 but is now out of print. If you can find a copy, I thoroughly recommend it.

Nöel Kingsley’s book Perfect Poise; Perfect Life is an engagingly written guide to using the insights gained from Alexander lessons in the practical world of business and everyday life.   Teachers will also find it useful in explaining the purpose and significance of what we do during lessons.  He trained at the Constructive Teaching Centre and runs a busy private practice in central London.  His book was published by Hodder Mobius in 2005 and is available from Nöel via his website address www.alexander-technique.com/ He has recently published a new and beautifully illustrated new book called free yourself from back pain.

Richard Brennan's excellent Alexander Technique Workbook, published over twenty years ago, was among the first AT books I owned but it has long disappeared. My experience is that borrowers tend to keep the AT books I press upon them. I am greatly pleased to have acquired the splendidly produced new 2011 edition. Richard runs an AT practice and teacher training school in Co Galway, Ireland. His website at www.alexander.ie/has a very useful page of links to scientific studies on the AT.

The American-published How you stand, how you move, how you live by Missy Vineyard is much more comprehensive and ambitious. She runs an Alexander teacher training school in New England and the book sets out her thinking on the practice and theory of the Technique. It is aimed at teachers and advanced students and is easily obtainable through Amazon or other on-line booksellers. More information is available from her personal website http://www.missyvineyard.com and from her training school website which also has a variety of useful links at http://www.alexandertechniqueschoolnewengland.com

Many of the older Alexander books are available second-hand. A good source for these is www.abebooks.co.uk from which I have obtained a high proportion of my own books.

Alexander himself wrote four books. The first, Man's Supreme Inheritance was published in 1910 and the last, The Universal Constant in Living appeared in 1941. In between came Constructive Conscious Control of the Individual in 1932 and The Use of the Self in 1932. All have been republished many times and are still in print.

These books are not easy to read and in some respects have dated rather badly. But Alexander, whatever his writing deficiencies, was a superb and meticulous observer of the way we use, and misuse, our bodies. His book are essential reading for Alexander teachers and serious students of the Technique. The most accessible is The Use of the Self in which Alexander sets out in detail how he discovered and developed his Technique.

Many of the accounts of Alexander's life tend towards the hagiographic. A fairly astringent summary, together with a good selection of his writings, is provided in Edward Maisel's The Alexander Technique. A full-length biography by Michael Bloch called F.M The life of Frederick Matthias Alexander, published by Little Brown in 2004, is the most rounded account published to date.

Jeroen Staring's Frederick Matthias Alexander 1869- 1955 began as a dissertation at the University of Leuven and grew into a 650 page monster in an eye-strainingly tiny type-face. This is a highly critica, indeed jaundiced, account of Alexander's career. The author has nevertheless assembled an extraordinary amount of material on Alexander much of which is illuminating and not available elsewhere. Staring's book was published by Integraal, Nijmegen, Netherlands and is difficult to obtain. I got it directly from the author some years ago via his email address gnirats@hetnet.nl

I have no problems with anyone who feels a need to chip at the pedestal on which some people have placed Alexander. It obviously needs to be done if we are to have a balanced view of the man and his work. Staring's book, however, views its subject in such a relentlessly negative light that I think it misses the important point that Alexander actually did hit upon some extremely important aspects of human neurological functioning.

The Alexander profession owes a considerable debt to Jean M O Fisher. He is an Alexander teacher who manages the Walter Carrington Education Trust, teaches at the Constructive Teaching Centre, runs a private teaching practice and works as a teacher-trainer at the Alexander Technique Studio in London. He has published scholarly editions of three of Alexander's books and his Collected Articles and Lectures under the Mouritz imprint. These are meticulously annoted and are a rich source of information for the more specialist Alexander student.

He is also the editor and publisher of a twice-yearly Alexander journal entitled Conscious Control. His website www.mouritz.co.uk is by far the richest source of published material on the Technique and a visit to it reveals just how much is available.

In the United States, the Alexander teacher, Jerry Sontag, runs the publishing company MornumTime Press. He is also Director of the Bay Area Alexander Technique teacher training course in Berkeley. MornumTime Press specialises in new books about the Alexander Technique. Among its publications are three collections of edited versions of Walter Carrington's talks at the Constructive Teaching Centre, as well as Frank Pierce Jones' important book Freedom to Change. Background on Frank Pierce Jones and his role in the AT is available here.

Spanish translations: Conchita Forn who is an AT scholar and lives in Barcelona has translated a variety of AT books and texts into Spanish for which she deserves the thanks of the worldwide AT community. I am particularly pleased they include my own CTC talks which are available in English on this website (here). Conchita's website is at www.xtec.cat/~cforn/alex/

The Society of Alexander Teachers (STAT) publishes a variety of materials on the Technique and maintains an archive of Alexander-related material.

Direction Journal was a invaluable source of information on the AT from 1986 until its demise in 2004. It has now been revived by the editor Paul Cook as an on-line publication. In addition to new material, subscribers can obtain downloads and reprints of the original Direction issues.

Links to all the above sources are given in the sidebar.