Judy Rodman - All Things Vocal Blog

Training & insights for stage and studio singers, speakers, vocal coaches and producers from professional vocal coach and author of "Power, Path & Performance" vocal training method. Download All Things Vocal podcast on your fav app!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

The Alexander Technique and Singing: by AT Practitioner Ethan Kind

Today I would like to introduce you to Ethan Kind. Ethan is an Alexander Technique practitioner who I met at an Indie Connect meeting here in Nashville. He wrote an article on singing and the Alexander Technique that blew me away, so I asked him if he would write a guest post about what he does for my blog readers. I consider him a go-to team member of what I do when I see chronic, mysterious tension in a client that I'm having trouble helping them release. His contact information will be at the bottom of this post. - xoxo Judy

Ethan Kind:

My approach to all musical performing as an Alexander Technique teacher is...
...how can I show the performer how do to do the least amount of work and sing with high dynamic and intensity, without the pain and tension of hunkering down in fear trying to do his or her best work?

I do this by giving the singer back control over her body. What this means is, I give the singer back the ability to release the accumulated tension in his body as he performs. I make the performer aware of where she is habitually holding in her body, and gently teach her how to release this tension, which in many singers manifests as strangling the voice and causing physical pain.

The effect of letting go of the tension that doesn't work, is to let the voice come out bigger and with more beautiful tone. We have a saying in this technique,

"If you can let go of the tension in a muscle, you have control over it and can do what works".

If you replace one set of habits with another set of habits, even if the new habits are much better technically, you can still get back into physical trouble. Unnecessary tension causes compression in the joints, forcing you to hurt and be off balance, and makes what looks right fail.

Singing with high dynamic means you perform with expressive intensity. It is my job to see that you do this without sacrificing your body, without hurting yourself. When you work with an Alexander Technique teacher you become taller and balanced as you stand or sit to perform, so that you are free to really go for it, which means it sounds like you want it to sound.

About Ethan Kind:

Ethan is a certified Alexander Technique teacher now located in Albuquerque, Az, who has been published in this country and abroad in journals including Music Teacher, American Teacher, American Music Teacher, American String Teacher, New Mexico Light, Massage Therapy Journal, and Yoga and Life. He also authored e-books on Alexander Technique located at this page on his website, and a blog available here https://ethankind.com/blog. He has been a musician and athlete all of his life, and works with people in those fields as well as many others.  For more and to contact him, go his website https://ethankind.com/ . 

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  • At May 7, 2009 at 7:51 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I was about to give up my singing career when a few lessons from an Alexander Technique teacher got me to turning everything around. Much later, I realized I had been copying my first singing teachers poor posture while singing without knowing it.

    Check out their wonderful website at http://alexandertechnique.com

  • At May 23, 2009 at 9:08 PM , Blogger My Half Of said...

    Many habits are quite innocently adopted. Alexander Technique is great at helping to unlearn whatever we learned by accident that used to be "good enough for Rock'nRoll". How could we possibly know all the effects of what we do? What a handy thing it is to know how to undo! We're going to need a different definition of talent if we can improve indefinitely using A.T.

    My blog on F.M. Alexander's work is at http://myhalfof.wordpress.com

  • At May 24, 2009 at 11:42 AM , Blogger Judy Rodman said...

    What a great blog, Franis! I recommend it, and am enjoying the read!

  • At September 7, 2019 at 4:59 PM , Blogger Unknown said...

    If you'd like to read more by Ethan Kind, you can find Ethan Kind's website at https://ethankind.com and his blog at https://ethankind.com/blog

  • At September 9, 2019 at 2:05 PM , Blogger Judy Rodman said...

    Great to get that updated information about Ethan..I'll edit this post to include it there as well; thank you!


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