The Alexander Technique and Playing the Flute

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The Alexander Technique is a comprehensive method which explores the connection between mind and body in order to bring conscious into movement and behavior and thereby improve balance and coordination, and reduce unnecessary strain and tension. The Technique is a way to self-mastery, and though designed for anyone who seeks improved well-being, it is often utilized by actors, athletes, dancers, and musicians to improve performance. My research investigates some of the many ways that the Alexander Technique might be utilized by flute players to enhance the way that we play and practice. The thesis is divided into three chapters. First, I provide a brief overview of the Alexander Technique. Then, I describe my experience studying the Technique with a certified instructor and introducing the principles I learned into my daily practice of the flute. Finally, I provide some suggestions for ways that my research might inform an approach to teaching flutists who have not studied the Alexander Technique. My research ultimately asserts that the key to mastering begins with the mastery of ourselves.