Indirect Procedures: A Musician's Guide to the Alexander Technique (Anglais) Relié – 5 septembre 2013
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Professeur certifié de la technique F. Matthias Alexander depuis 1986, il a travaillé pendant trois ans à l'Alexander Institute de Londres (dont le directeur était le docteur Wilfred Barlow, rhumatologue et professeur de technique Alexander). Il a ensuite dirigé des stages dans plusieurs académies et conservatoires en France. Dans sa pratique de technique Alexander, il rencontre des enfants, hommes et femmes de tous âges, des musiciens, des comédiens, des enseignants, des diplomates, des secrétaires et des cadres ...
Il est membre fondateur et premier président (1993-1996) de l'Association française des professeurs de la technique F. M. Alexander (A.P.T.A.).
Son premier livre: Guide to the Alexander Technique a été publié en 1997 par la Oxford University Press. Il écrit également dans des revues littéraires en France et aux Etats-Unis.
Le site de Pedro de Alcantara : www.pedrodealcantara.com.
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Alcantara provides clear explanations of Alexander's core ideas in an engaging, thoughtful, and often humorous style. The book contains a number of pictures, activities, links to web videos, and a rather extensive and wide-ranging bibliography that speaks to both the breadth and depth of the Technique. I find myself returning to different sections of the book again and again to continue to explore the ideas presented. It is a truly contemporary, multi-media presentation of Alexander's ideas and I believe that helps to make it a wonderful resource for both the curious musician and non-musician.
I agree with other reviewers here, that Alcantara's writing style is warm, personal, and non-judgmental in a way that very much channels the spirit of an Alexander lesson. The book also provides a number of excellent contrasts between Alexander's big-picture "principles" with specific real life scenarios and activities. I found this strategy very helpful in bringing some of the more abstract ideas presented into a context that is concrete and easy to relate to.
I would also point out that this is not a manual of ready-made "answers" to some of Alexander's more complex propositions. Alcantara is keen to point out when the reader should take time to think, experiment, and draw their own conclusions.
A few other points:
The book does not really address human anatomy in detail (often referred to as body mapping in Alexander literature and teaching) which some readers/students may find useful in their study. It is mentioned in the text though as a potential path to explore.
At 200+ pages, this book covers quite a lot of subject matter. It could easily be used as a college-level text, which is not a shortcoming, but is worth noting.
Overall, I have found this to be the most interesting and well-written book on the Alexander Technique that I have encountered. Very highly recommended.
If you have any kind of pain from everyday living, not just from playing music (because if you have pain from playing music, you most likely have other kinds of pain as well) I highly recommend 1) reading this book and 2) finding an Alexander Technique teacher near you. The technique has helped me with years of performance anxiety, tension and tendonitis, and back and neck pain that I had no idea I was causing myself.
I checked out the first edition of Indirect Procedures from the library and started reading it a few weeks ago, and then found out there was a kindle edition (which is the second edition). The ideas presented in this second edition are the same as the ones in the first edition, but are stated with a more hands on approach. However, I had become so engrossed in the very detailed and dense first edition that I resolved to finish it AND the second edition. If you can read both, I do recommend it.
I have the original edition of "Indirect Procedures", which was published in 1997. A first glance at the contents page of this new edition might lead you to think this is simply old wine in a new bottle (a beautiful cover, by the way).Definitely not the case! This is basically a whole new book. The author has extensively rewritten a lot of the original material to include new concepts and exercises. The tone of the book is much more assured and tinged with the author's delightful sense of humor.
If you look at pictures of F.M.Alexander, the founder of the Alexander Technique, you'll see the twinkle in his eye. This book brilliantly manages to capture that elusive twinkle. Highly recommended.