Alexander Technique with Elaine Kopman

Alexander Technique

An Introductory Workshop
Saturday, April 6. 2013 3:30pm- 5:00pm
$20.00 (students ½ price)
18 Ainslie Street South, Unit B, Cambridge, Ontario 519.240.9642

“The Alexander Technique is generally regarded as one for altering the postural behavior of individuals and indeed it can so be regarded. However it concerns itself with considerably more than this. It is a technique for altering the reaction of the individual to the stimuli of his environment and thus it can applied to the whole range of human activities, whether these be regarded as just thought processes or processes involving predominately muscular activity”. 
 Patrick Macdonald (The Alexander Technique As I See It) 

F.M. Alexander (1869 – 1955) discovered that there is a dynamic relationship between the neck, head, torso and limbs which acts as a Primary Control (Alexander’s term) or master reflex for the entire psycho-physical mechanism. When this relationship is used well it produces changes that affect all levels of our being. 

Those who come for lessons in the Alexander Technique often seek out this work due to a wide variety of ailments including neck and back problems, tendonitis, R.S.I., vocal and breathing difficulties, postural problems (kyphosis or scoliosis), learning difficulties or simply to improve their psycho-physical co-ordination. The Alexander Teacher endeavors to find out the cause of the dis-ease and works together with the pupil to eliminate unwanted, unnecessary tension-producing habits that are interfering with a well-balanced coordinated use of the person. 

In a course of lessons the pupil will be helped to overcome his/her ailments. In addition the pupil is taught to acquire tools for the prevention of relapses and for better over-all body use in all activities. Lessons in the Technique are taught on an individual basis as each person has his/her own set of habits to deal with.

Elaine Kopman is a CANSTAT certified teacher of the Alexander Technique. She studied the Technique in Israel and graduated from the Jerusalem School of the Alexander Technique in 1979. In 1992 she founded the Toronto School of the Alexander Technique. The school conducts a three year intensive program for those interested in becoming certified teachers of the Technique. 

In addition to her work in the school and her private practice, she has served as guest instructor for music students at the University of Western Ontario and Acadia University in Nova Scotia. She has also given classes and workshops at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto, the University of Toronto Music School and Opera School, the Manitoba Conservatory of Music and Equity Showcase Theatre. 

For further information about the Alexander Technique and private lessons please e-mail her at: or telephone 416-631-8127.

Howard Bockner, B.A., L.L.B. Howard Bockner graduated from the Toronto School of the Alexander Technique in 1999 and currently assists in teaching there. He has given lecture- demonstrations of the Technique in Toronto, Guelph, Peterborough and Oshawa, He has also written articles on the Technique which have appeared in Vitality Magazine (Toronto) and Prime Time Magazine (Peterborough). 

Howard is a member of the Canadian Society of Teachers of the Alexander Technique (Canstat). For further information about the Alexander Technique and private lessons please e-mail him at: or telephone 416-631-8127.

Frederick Mathias Alexander (1869 – 1955) was born in Tasmania, Australia. From an early age he expressed interest in the theatre, especially in the works of Shakespeare. He embarked on a promising career as an actor and reciter. Just when he was achieving some success, he began to experience problems with his voice. He rested and sought medical treatment, but his voice continued to deteriorate. 

Unable to find a solution to his problems through conventional medical means, Alexander tried to discover for himself what he was doing while reciting that was causing his hoarseness. He started by observing himself with the aid of mirrors and noticed that when reciting he had a tendency to throw the head back, depress the larynx and to shorten and narrow his stature. Upon closer examination he found these tendencies were also present in ordinary speaking, but to a lesser degree. In the course of his experiments he discovered facts about the way in which man uses himself as a psycho-physical whole. He found that there exists a dynamic relationship between the neck, head, torso and limbs that is responsible for the psycho-physical co-ordination of man. This he called the Primary Control. When this relationship is working well the person is well co-ordinated, but when it is out of balance there is a distinct possibility of dis-ease resulting in back problems, breathing or vocal difficulties, headaches as well as a host of other problems. 

Alexander began teaching in Melbourne, Australia in 1894. His first students were people with vocal difficulties, however he soon realized that working with the neck, head and back relationship tended not only to alleviate vocal and respiratory problems but also to dramatically improve the over-all health of his pupils. Physicians began to take an interest in Alexander’s discoveries. They encouraged him to continue his work in London, England. As a result he moved there in 1904 and practiced his technique until a few days before his death in 1955. 

Some of Alexander’s notable pupils were Aldous Huxley, George Bernard Shaw and the American philosopher John Dewey. 

For a more detailed account of Alexander’s discovery, refer to Chapter 1 in “The Use of the Self” (Gollancz Publishing 1987).

Join us for an informative afternoon.