ALEXANDER TECHNIQUE for the ARTS
AUSTIN - SAN ANTONIO - HOUSTON - NYC
NOTE: Due to COVID-19, I am now offering virtual lessons (Zoom, Facetime) as well as in-person lessons. See Pricing & FAQ for details!
F.M. Alexander working with a student
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 Technique lesson is an exploration of the habits of tension that cause you strain, stress, and injury. The Technique is a "hands-on" experience which means the teacher will utilize a gentle touch to help you become more aware of your body and guide you through various activities. Lessons are usually 45 minutes in length and are divided into three parts: Chair Work, Table Work and application. 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 in stillness and in activity. Table Work helps encourage release of unnecessary tension and increased body awareness as you lie on a table or the floor. If you are a performing artist or regularly engages in other forms of physical activity, we will often spend some time working with that specific action.
Commonly reported 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 has also been reported to help improve performance anxiety, fatigue, and increase expressivity, stage presence, and ease of sound production in vocalists and instrumentalists.
Alexander Technique Lesson Rates
Due to COVID-19, I am currently offering virtual lessons (Zoom, FaceTime, etc.) as well as in-person lessons with basic COVID precautions (masks, sanitization of surfaces, temperature checks).
First Lesson/Consultation $75
One-hour lesson (in person or virtual) during which we will discuss what benefit you hope to gain from the Alexander Technique, cover the basics of a traditional lesson and how you can begin to work on yourself, as well as application to any specific activities (singing, speaking, playing an instrument, sitting at a desk, etc.)
Sliding Scale Fee
After your FIRST LESSON, you can begin to take advantage of my temporary sliding fee scale.
How it works: We will decide together how much you pay based on your resources and level of interest.
See the suggested rates below for guidance. Further options are available. Please contact me for more details.
Average cost for Alexander Technique Lessons in a major metropolitan area.
Moderately discounted rate recommended for those taking at least one lesson a week on a steady basis.
Discounted rate recommended for those on a limited income and those interested in taking more than one lesson a week.
Recommended for full-time students and those on a limited income.
Group classes, Masterclasses, and Introductory Classes also available! Please contact me for more information.
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. Generally, I recommend students commit to 8-12 lessons initially, however many students notice tangible improvements after only a few lessons.
How often should I have lessons?
Most students take one lesson a week. However, there are enormous benefits to taking several lessons a week in the beginning of your study. This is something we will discuss in your first lesson based on your interests and goals.
Is the Alexander Technique about posture?
The Alexander Technique is very commonly associated with improving posture. However, a student quickly learns that the Technique is about much more! 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 improvement from physiological (ie. anxiety, headaches, asthma, muscle fatigue) and emotional challenges like performance anxiety 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!
I have chronic pain, can the Alexander Technique help?
Yes. Many of my students come to the Technique because of persistent, chronic pain and have reported improvement. For example, research has shown (eg. see British Medical Journal link below) that the Alexander Technique is effective in reducing back pain. In our first lesson, we will discuss any issues you might be experiencing and how the Technique might help. If you have an injury or limited mobility, there are many ways we can adjust the lesson to your level of comfort.
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
"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
“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:
- Harvard Medical School Health Blog
- The New York Times
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, after completing a 1600-hour, 3 year training, 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.). Steven is certified through the American Society for the Alexander Technique (AmSAT).
For more information about Steven visit: