“Natural Elocution” by C. S. Hartley - Text transcribed with footnotes by Malcolm Williamson
Natural Elocution was the first source mentioned by F. Matthias Alexander at the time that he set out to become a professional reciter and teacher of the vocal arts. His article ‘Elocution as an Accomplishment’ appeared in The Mercury, a Hobart (Tasmania) newspaper, Monday 9 July 1894. Full text transcribed with additional footnotes by Malcolm Williamson. I am most grateful to Dr. Jeroen Staring of Nijmegen, The Netherlands for his generosity in allowing me to photograph the copy of this rare booklet in his possession (31 May 2013).
For Full text Natural Elocution by C. S. Hartley
“Changing Habits: The power of saying No”
Malcolm Williamson. Review of the author's 27 years AT teaching at the Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester UK. The project has the form of: 1) Advice to music students and teaching staff, 2) Alexander’s life and work 1889–1910, 3) Handbook for students taking lessons - review of principles, etc. and 4) Interviews with working musicians (not included). In particular, the project led to an interest in the long association between Alexander and America’s pre-eminent philosopher John Dewey. For more detail of this, see paper given at the ISPS, Toronto 2011 “John Dewey and F. M. Alexander: Habit and Performance Skills”.
For Full text Changing Habits: The power of saying No
“Changing Habits: Script for talk at RAM 19 Feb 2012”
Malcolm Williamson. Script for talk given to the International Conference for Alexander Teachers Working in Music held at the Royal Academy of Music, London in February 2012
For Full text Changing Habits: Script for talk at RAM
“John Dewey and F. M. Alexander: Habit and Performance Skills”
Malcolm Williamson. Research paper given at the International Symposium on Performance Science, Toronto in August 2011.
For Full text Habit and Performance Skills
"Making Life Easier: An introductory talk on the Alexander Technique"
Malcolm Williamson. Talk given at staff conference, "Health and the Musician", Royal Northern College of Music, 11 September, 1997.
For Full text Making Life Easier
"Understanding and Preventing Misuse in Musical Performance by Employing the Alexander Technique"
Kathleen J Ballard, Ronald Colyer and Malcolm Williamson. International Conference, Health and the Musician, York 1997 (Musicians’ Union; BAPAM).
For Full text Understanding and Preventing Misuse in Musical Performance
"Means to means: the role of the Alexander Technique in musical Training"
Malcolm Williamson. Talk given at the Royal College of Music, London, 31st March 1998 to third conference for Alexander teachers working in music colleges.
For Full text Means to Means
an introduction to the Alexander Technique for practitioners of performing arts medicine, Malcolm Williamson. Journal of the British Association of Performing Arts Medicine, Summer 2003.
For Full text Making Connections
“Constructive Conscious Control”
Malcolm Williamson. This article first appeared in STAT NEWS, January 1995. The title of Alexander’s second and definitive book on the Technique is called Constructive Conscious Control of the Individual. McGilchrist (2003)* writes: "The defining features of the human condition can all be traced to our ability to stand back from the world, from ourselves and from the immediacy of experience. This enables us to plan, to think flexibly and intuitively, and, in brief, to take control of the world around us rather than respond to it passively.” As Use and Functioning improve, a subtler plane of awareness, which John Dewey called “thinking in activity”, can develop.
* Iain McGilchrist, The Master and his Emissary. Yale University Press.
For Full text Constructive Conscious Control
“Knowing where to begin”
Malcolm Williamson. Talk given at the Royal Northern College of Music, Staff Conference (Musicians’ Health), 14th September 2007. From a practical point of view, the satisfactory, smooth working of the body’s mechanism for postural balance is essential to every wakeful activity. Alexander’s approach to improving Use and Functioning shows us how to discover the best way to use ourselves "starting from scratch" as Aldous Huxley put it (see Jones 1976, page 154).
For Full Text Knowing Where to Begin
“The Role of the Alexander Technique in Musical Training and Performing”
M. Williamson, N. Roberts, and A. Moorhouse. Research paper given at the International Symposium on Performance Science, Oporto in November 2007. The authors present some preliminary results from fMRI studies of brain activity during "giving directions" and improvements in singers' vocal quality and pianists' evenness of touch when playing scales following Alexander lessons. Proceedings of the International Symposium on Performance Science 2007, edited by Aaron Williamon and Daniela Coimbra, published by the European Association of Conservatoires (AEC), Utrecht, The Netherlands. ISBN 978-90-9022484-8: pp. 369-374.
For Full Text The Role of the Alexander Technique in Musical Training and Performing
“Inner Voice Plays Role in Self Control”
Malcolm Williamson. This article first appeared in STAT NEWS January 2011. The giving of 'orders' or 'directions' is a key feature of Alexander's technique for developing conscious guidance and control in the use of the self. The difference (if there's is one) is that 'orders' are preventative - what mustn't be allowed to happen - whereas 'directions' are what we wish to happen in ensuring the proper working of the 'primary control.' The nature of how we give ourselves directions is rarely mentioned outside of lessons and this article, prompted by new research, attempts to present the various aspects of 'directing' in the hope that it will encourage further discussion.
For Full Text Inner Voice Plays Role in Self Control