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Alexander Technique Resources Library

A collection of downloadable books, articles and other materials of interest to AT teachers and trainee teachers

We update this page frequently. Remember to refresh the page to see the latest additions!

Very recent (in the last month or so) additions to this page are usually in a red font.

There is another page of (mostly different) resources on the public-facing resource page of this website here.

MATTS has an extensive Alexander Technique lending library, see note at the bottom of this page.

Mouritz is run by notable AT teacher and teacher-trainer Jean Fischer and is the most important resource site for the AT. It includes:

A specialist publisher of books on the AT and a bookshop with the most extensive list of books on the AT available anywhere, together with -

The Mouritz Companion to the AT that "makes it easy to locate sources on a specific topic. It is not an introduction to the A.T. and most of the books, articles, etc. listed are not introductory material. The entries cover more than 1,150 articles and 160 books on the Alexander Technique, as well as some 55 books and articles not specifically on the Alexander Technique. A particularly helpful feature is a searchable list of people and topics that provides "a brief overview of a subject and to direct the reader to the most important sources available”." and

A Bibliography of the AT that "attempts to provide a complete listing of published material on the Alexander Technique such as books, journals, booklets, videos, and more. It contains more than 1,000 items" and

A Library that "contains a selection of quotations on key concepts from F. M. Alexander's books, free PDFs of articles and historical documents on the Alexander Technique, and more."

Those of an intellectual bent, or those who would just like to keep track of recent publications, are encouraged to subscribe to the Mouritz Newsletter.

A new Journal called 'Poise', launched in July 2023 by Mouritz. Free to access. The second edition was published in June 2024 and is, as usual, full of interesting articles.

An important article for trainees in 'Poise' (Nov 2023) is "Postures and Positionings: The Alexander Technique versus posture and positions". (note: link repaired) The principles of the AT stand directly in opposition to any attempt at a "correct" position or posture. "Aiming for a ‘good posture’ is about conforming to a predefined ideal, what it should look like, what it should feel like. The Alexander Technique is about prevention, about indirect change through individual development and growth. The difference – the stark contrast – could not be greater."

There is a collection of videos on the Technique freely available on the website of the Alexander Trust.

A quite good introduction to the AT by Pedro de Alcantara, AT teacher and cellist, with several very lucid explanations, that attempts to define the usual AT terms (such as inhibition and direction) clearly.

Use of the hands in teaching:

Ruth Rootberg's wonderful article about the history and purpose of the use of the hands in teaching, published in the Journal of the American Society of Teachers.

Jean Fischer's rebuttal of Penelope Easton's new book (revised version) and a summary of Robin Simmon's rebuttal of Easten, the full version of which is only available to purchase.

"What is hands on for?" A talk by Malcolm Williamson on the reasons for hands-on teaching, video 31 mins, 19/11/20, under 'Other Talks' in Video Library 2.

Peter Bloch has written a short piece on why online teaching is unlikely to be effective for private students, most especially for relative beginners, and why it may actually do more harm than good.

An article by Diana Devitt-Dawson "A Questions of Hands" in the most recent Statnews (May 2024) collects together and sets out clearly most of the most important reasons for the centrality of hands-on teaching of the Technique, and includes many quotes by FMA and several first-generation teachers.

AT history:

​Alex Murray's book on the history of the Alexander Technique "Alexander's Way" is a remarkable work.

An interesting account of training with Walter Carrington just after FM's death in 1955.

An interesting account of training with Walter Carrington in the 1960s.

​Joe Armstrong's account of lessons with Frank Pierce Jones, a nice clear account of training with Walter Carrington 1969-72, his years of running his own teacher-training course, the application of the AT to the performance of music and much more of interest are included in his just-published pdf book (free to download) "Reflections of the Alexander Technique".

​A "Family Tree" of AT training courses by Mouritz. Updated May 2022

A nicely done video on the history of the AT (and to some extent the principles) by Rosslyn McLeod, who wrote 'Up from Down Under'.

FMA:

Sir George Trevelyan's diary of training with FM in 1933/4, pages 13 - 28. A nice, if much briefer, complement to the Binkley diaries ("The Expanding Self") and Lulie Westfeldt's book ("FMA, the Man and his Work").

Marjory Barlow's lecture describing the stages that FM went through to work out his Technique. It is essentially a review of 'Evolution of a Technique' in 'The Use of the Self'.

Use of the Self 'Evolution of a Technique', stages of discovery summarized by Ted Dimon.

A video of FM taken by Marge Barstow in 1934 at the graduation of the first teachers to emerge from the new training course. You can see FM acting in his white suit! Several of those graduates were still teaching into the 21st century.

A rather good free audio book of Constructive Conscious Control.

The Bedford Lecture, delivered by FMA in 1934.

An excellent new video on an interview with Rosslyn McLeod outlining the history of FM and the principles of the AT. Her book on FM's history is in the MATTS library and you can order her more comprehensive DVD here.

Robin Simmons' "The Gold Dust" in FMA's writings. "...I took it upon myself to summarize all 4 books and render them in a more modern language together with comments from my 50 years of teaching the Technique, plus quotations from modern authors to bolster and enhance the message Alexander was giving us 100 years ago. These summaries I call The Gold Dust because as well as much extraneous material there are items of supreme value in Alexander’s writings that can inspire and educate – the Gold Dust. I also include a number of photographs to enhance the text." This file is available to our students for a much reduced rate.

Theory of Evolution: Alexander, in common with many of his contemporaries (and many people today) misunderstood Darwin's theory of evolution. In a well-written article, Jean Fischer explains the theory, Alexander's use of it, and explores several the questions arising from these. Part 1, Part 2. There is much more information on this subject under MSI in the Video Library Page 2.

Walter Carrington

Walter Carrington's Obituary from 'The Times'.

Walter gave several lectures each week, usually at midday. When Peter and Malcolm were training in the 1980s there were usually about 40 teachers and students in attendance. This was the era of the Sony Walkman, that made good quality, small recording devices widely available. There were at least 5 of these, often 10, spread about the floor in front of Walter's chair at the lectures.

Some of these made it into the two collections 'Thinking Aloud' and 'The Act of Living' although hundreds, if not thousands more were recorded. Some of these were typed up and circulated. A few of these are below:

Primary control as a concept of wholeness

"Why do we stiffen our necks?" Transcript of talk given in 1972

Inhibition  Transcript of a talk given in 2001, edited by Malcolm Williamson

Printed, published lectures:

"On Categorising the AT" - A pamphlet written by Walter Carrington making the point very clearly that the AT is not "therapy", as such, but rather a form of health education. NOTE: A clear understanding of the central point in this lecture is essential for all AT teachers!

Recordings:

An interview with Dilys, then Walter Carrington. Much interesting content. From time stamp 12.30, an answer to the question of why readings from FM's books became the norm on teacher training courses.

Why do we use the hands in teaching? Also, why do we practice 'Hands on Back of Chair' procedure, and origins of term 'Position of Mechanical Advantage' (11.00 onwards). Why do we avoid the word "relax", and much more. An audio recording of a lecture by Walter Carrington. Date unknown but, from his voice, probably after 2000.

Carrington Resource Page: A good number of articles and videos are available on this page.

"Human Movement", a very good article explaining the head-neck relationship, and how to present it to students, by Dilys Carrington, published 1977.

John Nicholls talks about Walter Carrington. A one-hour audio interview with Robert Rickover.

Other First Generation Teachers:

Video - Marjory Barlow (1915 - 2006) talking about F.M., the principles of the A.T., the principles of training as a teacher and of teaching. There are many more videos of Marjory online, this is just somewhere to start. She trained with FM's first group of trainees, starting at the age of just 17 in 1932, and continued teaching until the end of her long life. Marjory was always warm and kind as a teacher - and utterly dedicated to her work. Marjory's lecture, reviewing 'Evolution of a Technique' in The Use of the Self, is here.

Video - Erika Whittaker (1911 - 2004) on the subject of how FM's teaching evolved over the years and what it was like to train with him.

A video of a panel of teachers who had lessons with Margaret Goldie (1905 - 1997) discussing their experience of her teaching and answering questions from the audience.

Dart Procedures:

A recent interview with Joan Murray on the Dart Procedures.

A book about Raymond Dart by Derricourt.

A video of a workshop with Jean Clark on the Dart Procedures (you may need to sign in to view).

A few (of the many!) articles on the AT by Malcolm Williamson:
Article - Thinking about Thinking

Article - Working to a Principle

Some notes on the evolution of FM's concept of 'Primary Control'.

'The Readiness is All'. A new paper published in the American (AmSTAT) Journal. The significance of human evolution in the ability to prepare for activity by thinking through what will be required to make it effective.

Some notes on "Wall Work". (2/23). Some notes on semi-flex using a wall.(5/24)

Some notes on FM's instructions to give directions "all together, one after the other" (The Use of the Self) (2/23)

Notes on the "Hands on Table" procedure. (4/23)

NEW (3/24) 'An Illustration', CCCI. Hands on the back of a chair. Notes from a talk. FM considered that this procedure contained all of the essential ingredients for teaching the AT. Also, this is an article outlining the anatomical rationale behind the instructions to use straight fingers.

NEW (2/24) 'Wanting or Wishing for a free neck'  "if you ask your pupil to free their neck, you are inviting them to do something in
order to try to free it..."

Malcolm's course of lectures on the text of MSI is on this page.

There are another two articles by Malcolm in the "Music and Musicians" section below.

There is a more comprehensive list of Malcolm's publications near the bottom of this page.

You can also access a few of Malcolm's other articles on the Resources Page of his personal website here.

STAT Resources*

​There is a large Resource Library available on the STAT website.

STAT-Affliliated Societies The great majority of Alexander Technique professional bodies around the world are affiliated with STAT and on this website you can find a list of these, and approved training courses.

A downloadable STAT Student Membership form or as a filliable pdf.

The STAT Student Guide to Moderation (updated Nov 2023). Note that for "opted-in" training courses such as MATTS, it is no longer the Head of Training, but rather the Assessment panel that ultimately decides if a trainee is ready to become a Teaching Member of STAT.

The STAT Certification Assessment Documents (log-in required). All graduates of MATTS are required to pass Assessment in order to join STAT as a Teaching Member. There is more information about Assessment on the 'teacher-training' page.

Passing Assessment also entitles you (if you wish) to join the CNHC, if your training course meets the The CNHC Alexander Technique Core Curriculum. MATTS is one of the three UK training courses that meets these criteria. A number of organisations require CNHC registration for their approved practitioners, such as the British Association of Performing Arts Medicine and Help Musicians. Also, the NHS website lists the CNHC first of 'organisations for teachers of the Alexander Technique' and specifically states that 'only the CNHC has been accredited by the Professional Standards Authority'. Additionally, CNHC registration is recognised by some companies offering private health cash plans which may fund Alexander Technique lessons.

The STAT CPD Guidelines (requires log-in to website).

The STAT Code of Professional Conduct and Professional Competence. A reasonable working knowledge of this Code is a requirement for final Assessment. Even if you decide not to join, it may also be helpful to read the CHNC Code of Conduct and Performance, much of which overlaps with the STAT Code and gives more details of the reasons that these would be found in a code of professional conduct. In addition, Susan's course aims to guide trainees and teachers to an understanding of the thinking behind these rules and guidelines. Some of these points are also made in Peter's suggestions for Building a Successful AT practice

The STAT Child and Vulnerable Adult Protection Policy.

Policy for the use of the STAT 'Collective Mark' (such as the one at the very bottom right of this page).

Policy for the Destruction of Records by teachers (how to comply with the new laws about record keeping and privacy).

Anti-spam Guidelines (how to send emails to people in a way that complies with privacy laws and online server anti-spam rules).

General Data Protection Regulation (this is quite a hot topic at the moment, it's probably best to have some understanding of it)

STAT Articles of Association, STAT Rules and Bye-Laws.

Draft curriculum for STAT approved training courses. Although this document is still a "working draft", and not formally adopted by STAT, it does give a clear overview of what to expect on a STAT-approved training course for teachers.

DBS Application Form (This is required for STAT teachers' insurance. It is usually best to get the enhanced DBS with barred list checks from the beginning if you think that there is any possibility at all that you will find yourself working with children or vulnerable adults). It is also worth setting this for automatic renewal and to check that your credit/debit card details stay up to date: if your payment lapses, then you will have to go through the whole process again.

STAT Whistleblowing Policy and Bullying Policy.

Insurance - Advice on STAT and other Insurance for teachers and especially for third year trainees - Summary of Teachers' STAT Insurance Cover - Example Risk Assessment.

*These documents are probably all up to date (2023/4), but if you are using any of the above for something important, it may be best to consult the STAT website Members' area to see if there are more up to date versions. If there are, please let me know, so I can update them here.​

Clinical Trials on the AT:

Trainees and teachers will almost certainly benefit from a working knowledge of the parameters and findings of the main clinical studies, especially the back pain, neck pain and Parkinson's trials.

There is a well-presented overview of the clinical research on the AT on Julia Woodman's website here. There is a very simple but accessible summary of the results of the main studies on Peter's website here. There is a video of Julia Woodman's Zoom lecture to MATTS "An overview of the clinical research that has been done on the Alexander Technique and the significance of this for teachers" on this page.

STAT summary of research: published research on the AT by category (back pain, neck pain, osteoarthritis, etc).

Alexander Technique Research Database by 'Alexander Studies Online'.

How does science work? Do you know what the scientific method actually is? Do you know why are there no 'proofs' in science, only 'theories' that can be found to be false at any time? All is revealed in this transcribed lecture by Kathleen Ballard,  AT teacher and scientist.

Some Recent Scientific Publications:

Paper: Training for the self-management of workers to prevent musculoskeletal disorders. A descriptive and comparative study of precedents where the Alexander Technique has been applied as a tool to prevent occupational risks in different organisational settings throughout the world.

Paper: How does the Alexander Technique lead to psychological and non-physical outcomes? "A variety of non-physical outcomes of the AT were found, including improved general wellbeing and increased confidence to address present and future challenges, as well as identifying that difficult emotions can arise in lessons. Two main causal pathways were identified – 1) improvements in physical wellbeing leading directly to psychological wellbeing; and 2) an experience of mind-body integration leading people to apply AT skills to non-physical situations."

YouTube video A 2-minute science animation video (2022), commissioned by the FM Alexander Trust explaining an important science paper, ''Potential Mechanisms of the Alexander Technique: Toward a Comprehensive Neurophysiological Model’ by Timothy W. Cacciatore, Patrick M. Johnson, and Rajal G. Cohen published in Kinesiology Review 9 (2020).' You can find the paper here and a lay summary here.

A new small study on the AT for low back pain, published in the British Medical Journal, looking at combining group and individual lessons, with outstanding results and a video of an interview with the lead AT teacher, Carolyn Nicholls.

Music and Musicians:

The Alexander Technique is taught in almost all of the major schools of music, drama and dance in the UK and around the world to improve skilled performance, because the benefits are self-evident. Research has looked at the role of the AT in music training and performance. A 2014 sytematic review found good evidence from two randomised and two non-randomised controlled trials that the A.T. reduced performance stress (stage fright) in musicians. Other research, although not directed specifically at musicians, indicates benefits for musicans suffering from musculo-skeletal pain related to how they use themselves when playing.

Nelly Ben-Or's very fine long articles on Preparation and Performance in Music & A Pianist's Thoughts on the AT.

and an excellent article "Performance and the AT" introducing the AT to performers as a way to reduce or eliminate unnecessary tension in performance.

A Handbook for Musicians Learning the Alexander Technique  ​A personal view for musicians, music students and their teachers, by Malcolm Williamson.

Some notes on "The Supported Breath" as used by singers, public speakers, wind instrumentalists, etc, by Peter Bloch.

The unpublished final edition of the AT journal "Direction" from 2016 on the subject of Music and the Alexander Technique.

Notable cellest and AT teacher Evangeline Benedetti's article "Practising The Practice" in which she addresses the question of how to approach musical (or any) practice, and presents "The Squit" - useful for anyone whose life or work includes a lot of sitting.

Alex Murray (see other links above and in the video library) trained as a teacher in the early 1960s when he was already a notable flautist. Here (p. 27ff) is a charming interview with him for the flute journal 'PAN' (with much about the AT) and here he is playing a famously challenging flute solo with the LSO in 1961. Alex is still very much "with us" and "with it" at 95 (2023).

Vivien Mackie, notable AT teacher and cellist, wrote this article The Alexander Technique and the Professional Musician. She also wrote a book Just Play Naturally, and there is a playlist of interviews with her available on YouTube. Vivien Mackie (1931 - 2023) obituaries in the latest edition of Statnews (January 2024).

The Alexander Technique Music Conference - a youtube chanel specialising in music and AT video resources.

https://www.performingself.org.uk A website for the Alexander Technique and the Performing Arts.

A fine article on teaching the AT to string players in schools.

Artistic Vision: Using the Alexander Technique to Deal with Stress and Enhance Expressiveness in the Performing Arts, Chapter 13 of notable AT teacher and musician Joe Armstrong's free to download book.

Other Articles:

The "Alexander Journal", which is still being published today and distributed free to STAT members, began in 1962. The first few editions were most especially interesting because they all included articles by some of FM's most notable private students, inluding Aldous Huxley, John Dewey and Stafford Cripps, and by intellectual AT teachers who knew FM well, such as Walter Carrington, Pat Macdonald and Dr Barlow. A bound copy of the first 6 editions are in the MATTS Library, as are most editions from the mid-1980s onwards, and Malcolm has many of the others. These are the first two editions: Autumn 1962 & Summer 1963.

And here's the Autumn 1992 edition, with obituaries for Pat Macdonald and Wilfred Barlow, with Misha Magidov (who trained Dorothea) on the training of teachers and Sir George Trevelyan's diary of training with FM in 1933/4.

A newspaper article by Goddard Binkley on the A.T.

Joe Armstrong's book on working on yourself with Direction.

Two letters to a newspaper by Margaret Goldie explaining the AT very well.

Channel 4 video from 1984, in the days when there were only 4 channels, so many people would have seen it. You get to see many teachers no longer with us, including Dr Barlow, Chris Stevens and Danny Pevsner (originator of saddle work).

The AT and Hypermobility - an interesting article. There is a resource page on hypermobility on the STAT website.

Ron Murdock's video demonstrating the 'Whispered Ah' and an interesting and helpful article on the The Whispered 'Ah' by Jane Ruby Heirich.

Advice for teachers on Building a Successful AT practice, 22 points to consider, by Peter Bloch.

A very good article by John Hunter "Self-Management and the Alexander Technique: Who was F. Matthias Alexander? What is the Alexander Technique? How does it relate to Stress Management?"

An article by noted scientist and AT teacher Marilyn Monk on 'Psychosynthesis and the Alexander Technique'. Lots here for those with an interest in the more psychological implications of learning the AT.

Some other websites of interest:

https://www.performingself.org.uk A website for the Alexander Technique and the Performing Arts.

https://thedevelopingself.net Specialised Postgraduate Training for Alexander Teachers Working in Education.

https://www.alexandertechniquescience.com This very impressive website is devoted to improving scientific understanding of the Alexander Technique — its principles, practices, reported and demonstrated benefits, and terminology.

https://www.alexanderstudiesonline.com A website full of interesting information all geared towards "advancing understanding of the Alexander Technique and its teaching through disciplined inquiry".

The A.T. and Swimming and videos demonstrating the Shaw approach to swimming.

The Posture Underground, AT teachers who are scientists present their work and organise workshops. Their first newsletter is here.

https://www.thepoiseproject.org  A website representing quite a substantial organisation in the USA dedicated to "Maintaining poise, dignity, and personal growth throughout all stages and challenges of life through the principles of Alexander technique (AT)". With fairly wide-ranging activities, but particular emphasis on organising conferences and supporting research into the benefits of the AT for people with Parkinson's disease.

The Canadian Society of the Alexander Technique has recently modernised its website and social media accounts. Perhaps you will find something interesting there?

Instagram:   https://www.instagram.com/alexandertechniquecanada/
Facebook:   https://www.facebook.com/AlexanderTechniqueCanada  
Twitter (X):   https://twitter.com/ATCan_Official

LinkedIn:     https://www.linkedin.com/company/alexander-technique-canada/

John Nicholls is a noted 'Alexander intellectual' and teacher, and visits MATTS once or twice each year for a week (next visit, July 2024). There are several interesting videos and articles by him on his website here.

Pete Robinson, a teacher at MATTS, has an exceptional YouTube channel which has a large and growing collection of videos, and a Facebook page which has frequent interesting new posts.

Resources for new teachers:

Kim Cant has provided the following notes to accompany her classes for third-year students "hints, tips and games for early lessons": First lesson questionaire, Semi-supine guide with YouTube talk-through, Games for lessons. Diagram of some of the muscles that act upon the atlanto-occipital joint. Also a link to where you can buy a foam wedge.

Gillian Pierce's illustrative photos for trainees as part of her functional anatomy talks. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and a new group of photos here: 1, 2, 3, 4

 

Please note: there is another page of (mostly different) resources on the public-facing resources page of this website.

The MATTS Library

Something we lost in our move from Chapel Lane is easy access for everyone to the MATTS Library. The Library includes several different editions of FM's books and a good proportion of other books that have been written on the AT, including at least 30 different introductions and many books on the AT and riding, singing, etc, etc. Most of those that we do not have are probably in Malcolm's library. We also have a complete set of Statnews going back more than 20 years and almost all editions of the Alexander Journal and Direction Journal, anatomy textbooks and any number of other AT publications. The Library is available to all "by appointment", and I am always happy to bring specific items into classes on request.

We also have both new and used books for sale, including several of the core texts on our reading list, some available for a small charitable contribution where they have been given to the school, and many others available at a reduced price.

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