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ALEXANDER TECHNIQUE for the ARTS

AUSTIN - SAN ANTONIO - HOUSTON - NYC
F.M. Alexander working with a student
F.M. Alexander 

 

What is the Alexander Technique? 

 

The Alexander Technique was developed by F.M. Alexander over 100 years ago. After suffering from a voice disorder that crippled his acting career, Alexander set off on a long period of self-observation and experimentation in an effort to overcome his problem. What he discovered were habitual patterns of tension that were interfering with the proper functioning of his voice. After noticing the same habits in other actors, he began to teach what he had learned to the general public. Since then, thousands of people have experienced the benefits of reduced tension, stress, and anxiety, relief from neck, shoulder, back and joint pain, increased stamina, and improved performance.

 

During his life, his work caught the attention of many prominent figures in the fields of medicine, philosophy, education, and the performing arts. Now his Technique is taught throughout the world and in nearly every major arts conservatory (The Juilliard School, The Curtis Institute, Eastman School of Music, the New School for Drama, among many others).

 

 

What Is an Alexander Technique Lesson Like, and What Are the Benefits?

An Alexander lesson is an exploration of the mental and physical habits that cause you strain, stress, and injury. Lessons are usually 45 minutes in length and are divided into two major parts: Chair Work, and Table Work. Through the very common activity of sitting in and standing up from a chair we aim to discover better ways for you to use your body, your whole self, in stillness and in activity. The Table Work helps promote release of unnecessary tension and increased awareness. If the student is a performing artist or regularly engages in other forms of physical activity we will often spend some time working with that specific action. 

Common benefits include:

- Reduced tension and anxiety

- Pain relief  (Neck, back, shoulder, disc problems, arthritis, etc. ) 

- Improved posture, balance and stability

- Increased physical stamina and breath capacity

  ……and many more

For performing artists, the Technique provides an invaluable tool to diminish performance anxiety, fatigue, chronic pain, and increase expressivity, stage presence, and ease of sound production in vocalists and instrumentalists.

 

Alexander Technique Lesson Plans

*Prices are for Austin, TX - see below for other locations

Low-income options available! Please contact me for more details. 

Intro Lessons - $70/lesson 

- 1-hour lesson 

- Introduction to the principles of the Alexander Technique through a traditional lesson

-We will discuss any particular issues you have and how the Technique might help

Individual Lessons - $65/lesson

-One 45-minute lesson

-Available only after student has taken an Intro Lesson (see above)

Standard Package -  $60/lesson

- Four 45-minute lessons

- Expires in 4 weeks

- Ideal for new and continuing students

8 Lesson Package - $55/lesson

- Eight 45-minute lessons

- Expires in 8 weeks

Student/Reduced Rate Package - $50/lesson

- 4 lessons

- Expires in 4 weeks

- For eligible full-time students and low-income students 

ADDITIONAL OPTIONS:

Partner Lessons - $80/lesson  

- One hour lesson split between two or more people

- Save money by taking a lesson with a friend, colleague, partner, etc. 

Intensive Program - Contact for more info

- 10 lessons

- Expires in 2 weeks

- Recommended for new students and those dealing with chronic issues

- Discount on 2 follow-up lessons

Restore & Recover Program - Contact for more info

- 20 lessons

- Expires in 4 weeks

- Highly recommended for individuals with chronic pain, injuries, and other conditions

- Payment plans available

- Discount on 4 follow-up lessons

Group classes, Masterclasses, and Introductory Classes also available! Please contact me for more information.

Other locations

Houston/New York City/San Antonio - $15 surcharge per lesson

FAQ

How many lessons will I need?

The purpose of the Technique is to build self-awareness, teach you to recognize bad habits and promote positive changes so that you can function with greater ease, efficiency, and without pain. This can require time and patience. However, many students notice tangible improvements after a few lessons. 

How often should I have lessons?

Initially, it is very beneficial to have several lessons very close together. Because of this, I offer several discount rates based on the number of lessons you decide to take.

Isn’t the Alexander Technique about posture?

Yes, but in a rather indirect way. In an Alexander Technique lesson we work to identify physical and mental habits, including posture, that are preventing you from living and working without strain. Many people have also found relief from physiological (ie. anxiety, headaches, asthma, fatigue) and emotional challenges like depression and performance anxiety as well with the Technique.

Is the Alexander Technique just for performing artists?

F.M. Alexander himself was an actor and since the beginning the Alexander Technique has made a big impact in the arts. However, the Alexander Technique can benefit everyone!

 

 

News & Reviews

"The Alexander Technique has had a profound effect on my flute playing. I breathe more freely, my tone is richer and fuller, and I am practicing with a renewed ease and joy! Thanks to Steven Brennfleck for his gentle guidance and immense depth of knowledge."

Seetha Shivaswamy, flute

Austin, TX

"The best part of the Alexander Technique is that it is a preventative tool that students can use at home to work on the source of pain, before it becomes an issue."

Graham Yates, pianist

Austin, TX

“The Alexander technique has completely changed my sound in its entirety. I went from playing with intense pain in between my shoulder blades and a stiff neck to pain-free playing and a newly revamped and projected, open sound.”

 

Karen Stephenson, bassoon

University of Texas at Austin

"Steven introduced me to Alexander Technique in order to help with tension while singing. One class was all it took to open my eyes to its benefits. The concept simply clicked. As an actor, singer and dancer, I have been able to use the technique to further my craft through efficiency and breath. The clarity and patience Steven infuses into his lessons makes it easy for one to fall in love with AT. He effortlessly revolutionized my approach to body movement and stillness through the Alexander Technique. Because of the Technique, I have been able to adapt to having a herniated disk in a healthy way without sacrificing dance and athletics."

Melinette Pallares, Singer/Actor/Dancer

New York, NY

Alexander Technique in the News:  

 “The Alexander Technique can help you (literally) unwind”

- Harvard Medical School Health Blog

"Is the Alexander Technique for Back Pain?"

- The New York Times

"Taking Care of Yourself Through 8 Shows a Week"

- Backstage.com 

The Alexander Technique: Musicians' Method for Improvement

A brief documentary by Lori Schiff, faculty at The Juilliard School

For Actors: The Alexander Technique

Betsy Polatin, faculty at Boston University works with BU actors

Summary of Research on Alexander Technique

British Medical Journal

About Steven Brennfleck, M.AmSAT, D.M.A.

A professional singer and choral conductor, Steven began studying the Alexander Technique in 2003. After suffering from chronic stress headaches, just a few lessons in the Technique proved to be life-changing in reducing their frequency and intensity. Later on, he began to suffer from serious vocal fatigue and shoulder pain. Lessons in the Technique once again enabled him to overcome these debilitating conditions. Steven moved to Austin in 2012 and received his teacher's certification at the Alexander Technique Moving Arts Center in 2016. He offers private and small group lessons, and masterclasses in Austin with frequent trips to San Antonio, Houston, and New York City. Steven enjoys working with students from all walks of life, especially fellow performing artists! He serves as artistic director of the Ars Longa Ensemble and holds degrees from Westminster Choir College (B.M., M.M.) and the University of Texas at Austin (D.M.A.). 

For more information about Steven visit:

 

www.stevenbrennfleck.com

www.arslongaensemble.org

CONTACT