My Journey Towards AT
In between my masters degree studies and my doctoral studies in Vocal pedagogy, I was experiencing some issues with my singing for which neither myself nor the voice teacher I was working with at the time could diagnose. My teacher suggested that I try some lessons in The Alexander Technique, so I decided to give it a try. I began with group lessons first and then moved into private lessons after about six weeks of group study. It didn’t take me long to realize that not only could AT help me with my singing issues, but it could also help me with my overall general health.
Prior to my AT studies, I experienced some tight phonation, upper-body breathing, and overall general physical tension in my singing. Some of these issues began when I returned to singing after having thyroid surgery at age twenty-one. With hands-on guidance from AT teachers, I was able to release certain compression patterns in my torso and release structures in my throat and neck that were causing the tight phonation. My inhalation habits began to change as I was able to redirect the use of my breathing reflex through better head balance and a more lengthened and widened torso. This helped me to find a way to guide myself out of upper-body breathing.
Prior to my AT studies, I was also experiencing some tingling in my hands and feet which I noticed when I drove a car and also when I played the organ. I was amazed to see the tingling disappear immediately as soon as I began receiving hands-on work from a certified AT teacher. AT practitioners guided me to notice that my habit of compressing the muscles of my lower back and “pulling them in towards the center” was affecting the blood circulation to my hands and feet. As soon as I released this misuse, the tingling in my hands and feet stopped.
Many people have a similar story about their introduction to the study of AT, but I mention mine here because, to me, these discoveries were profound and life-changing. So much so that when I began my doctoral studies in Vocal Pedagogy, I also began studying to become a certified AT teacher so that I could use hands-on and verbal guidance with voice students to help them deal with vocal problems that, to many voice teachers, are “unseen” and difficult to diagnose and modify.
I have found AT to be a priceless tool in working with singers of all genres. It goes hand-in-hand with somatic approaches to the teaching of singing and further strengthens diagnostic skills in understanding vocal behaviors. It has also been a tremendous help to me as a singer and performer, not only with vocal technique but dealing with performance anxiety.
AT Teacher Training:
The Alexander Alliance in Philadelphia, PA. with Bruce Fertman and Martha Hansen Fertman, 1998 – 2002.
Certified as a Teaching Member of Alexander Technique International: 2002
Get In Touch
If you would like to schedule Voice Lessons, Vocal Coaching, or Lessons in The Alexander Technique with Dr. Hudson, please contact her by calling or texting 256-251-7821, or filling out the form below.