The Alexander Technique

Angelique Swallow MSTAT  


Every School should give children the opportunity to learn new skills without harmful unnecessary tension, allowing them to enjoy the freedom of movement and thinking that nature intended them to have. The above pictures demonstrate that many children create a lot of muscular tension in their necks, backs and shoulders when learning new skills. Youth is on their side, but after prolonged harmful habitual use, they will start to experience pain, unease and headaches, with an inability to concentrate for any length of time.

Their academic achievements will come with a heavy price tag, which could easily be avoided and prevented. Teaching children the essence of the Alexander Technique will give them the understanding of how to deal with everyday stress and improve their response to challenging situation, both in school and at home. It will help children to reach their potential, making them into happy, healthy and balanced adults. It will enhance their ability to breathe naturally and to a greater capacity, which will help them to improve their performance skills and give them a new sense of control in both movement and thinking. The AT will show children how harmful use can affect functioning in movement and thinking. Teaching them basic body mapping will also give them a better understanding of themselves and improve their co-ordination.

It does not matter whether your education requires you sitting for many hours or learning using tools, the importance of good use is the same. At the Royal College of Music the Alexander Technique is part of their curriculum and I was privilege to assist Peter Buckoke as an Alexander Teacher in their AlexTech Dept. The Technique teaches musicians to recognise how to avoid unnecessary harmful muscular tension whilst holding and playing their instruments, improving their co-ordination and performance skills. This also helps them to avoid accumulating harmful habits which contribute to pain, RSI and breathing problems whilst practicing their instruments. Our education system is based on what the children achieve academically without any regard of their strengths and individual abilities.

Their achievements are measured by a moment in time. Learning should and would be fun for most children, if we ensure that all schools have a happy tension-free environment. How amazing would it be if every school provided children with the tools and skills to perform all activities free of unnecessary tension and repetitive negative thought. I hope that at some stage this Technique will be recognised as part of the Education System for all children.

Angelique Swallow MSTAT - Alexander Teachnique Teacher
© photos - bhp architects