Why Every Singer Should Tune Up with Alexander Technique

…and why I think you should schedule your session with Karina.

If you’ve ever had a voice lesson, you’ve probably heard about the Alexander Technique. The Alexander technique teaches the ability to improve physical postural habits, particularly those that have become ingrained or are conditioned responses. The technique improves performance, self observation and impulse control and relieves chronic stiffness, tension and stress.

The technique is named after Frederick Matthias Alexander, who in the 1890s developed its principles as a personal tool to alleviate breathing problems and hoarseness during public speaking. He credited the technique with allowing him to pursue his passion for Shakespearean acting. Most every vocal pedagogy class will study the technique in depth, but still, there is nothing like learning from an “AT” pro.

Several weeks ago I received a private Alexander Technique session with Karina Lombrozo. She said something surprising at the very beginning of the session: “don’t try to get anything specific out of this session, think of it as a relaxing treat.”

I was puzzled. I had come to learn about my body, about my frame, what I was doing wrong, how to fix it…all the standard singer obsessions. But I came to realize throughout the session that the mind informs the body all by itself, without my “willing” it to happen. And Karina was right. I left feeling more relaxed and connected to my body than I could ever have hoped.

The session included brief lessons on the human skeletal system, aided by her handsome miniature. The most enlightening visual for me was seeing that the arm hangs off the end of the clavicle, and the horizontal line which begins at the sternum and stretches out past the shoulder joint is a long and graceful one. This is a visual reminder to me that the spaciousness in my chest and between my ribs is achieved through a similar gracefulness and natural beauty, not by a grunting brute force.

Karina broke down the Alexander Technique into mini-lessons throughout the session–into what felt like guided meditations on the human form. This is where Karina’s true talent lies. She is remarkably intuitive. She is warm and…I don’t know a better way to say this…she feels very “safe.”

Singers, you already know that you should be studying some Alexander Technique. And if you aren’t already studying with someone, I highly recommend setting up some time with Karina. Her website is http://www.karinalombrozo.com

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