Friday, September 6, 2013

Finding My Voice with the Alexander Technique & Podcast

One of the many things that the Alexander Technique is extremely helpful for is meeting and overcoming challenges, so that at times it seems we are achieving "the impossible".  I wrote a blogpost recently about some of the personal milestones I've achieved in my life with the Technique, and I'd like to write about another milestone I achieved just a couple days ago, which means a great deal to me.

I was extremely shy as a child, always preferring to stay on the outside of a group, observing for quite a long time before daring to join in.  I didn't feel understood by other children, and I didn't feel that they really listened when I spoke to them, so after awhile I didn't bother to speak much anymore.  I knew that I could express myself fully through playing the violin, so I spoke through that instrument instead of through my voice.  Which was great for my music-making, but not so good for developing my speaking skills!  

Realizing that deficit, I took a speech class in college, hoping to overcome what had turned into an unpleasant fear of speaking in public - but I quickly dropped the class when I drew a complete blank on a poem I was supposed to recite from memory.  When I won an award for my violin playing a couple years later from TIME magazine, I needed to give an acceptance speech in NYC; I don't think I spoke more than three sentences, deferring instead to the expression of my recorded music playing in the background.

So....a very surprising and completely unintended benefit from learning the Alexander Technique has been that I can now feel quite comfortable speaking in front of an audience.  I now enjoy teaching group classes (oh, how nervous I was the first time!), and I even speak with ease to audiences about my baroque violin during concerts.  

The latest milestone in this regard has been a podcast interview that I recorded a couple days ago for Body Learning, a comprehensive online resources for the Alexander Technique.  These recordings are listened to by teachers and students of the Technique alike.  Yes, I still experienced some performance anxiety before the recording began, but I thoroughly enjoyed taping the conversation.  

Sometimes I wonder....who is this new person emerging with a confidence and abilities I never knew I had before?  Yes...little by little....I am at last finding a way to express mySelf through my vocal mechanism in addition to the violin.  What a wondrous gift this Technique is!!

Here's a link to the podcast interview, if you're interested.  It's about making good use of our innate free will, but it will probably only make sense to you if you are already a teacher or student of the Technique.  Enjoy!

*Image courtesy of Vlado /


  1. I very much relate to this, Jennifer! I have gone through a very similar "transformation" myself through the Alexander Technique.

    1. Wonderful. Somehow, I'm not too surprised, considering we're "twins", haha! :)


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