FM Alexander - who was he?

Frederick Matthias Alexander was born in Tasmania in 1869. He reached his boyhood dream of being an actor in his twenties and was very successful until he started getting problems with his voice.

Veronica in action

These problems of hoarseness and losing his voice were worrying him so much that he feared he might have to give up his successful career in recitation.

When medicine failed to solve his problems, he started to try and find out for himself why he got hoarse. After some experimentation and observation of himself as he recited, he discovered the link between how we think and how we use our bodies in movement.

After more work he found out how to stop himself getting throat trouble. He then decided that his ideas were so important that he should teach them to other people. In fact he gave up being an actor and dedicated the rest of his life to teaching his technique.

He wrote four books about his work, trained many teachers, and taught thousands of students including many famous and influential people.

He moved to England in 1904 and taught here and in America until he died in 1955.

‘If the mechanical principal employed is a correct one, every movement will be made with the minimum of effort.’