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Founded and led by Dr. Theodore Dimon, The Dimon Institute is a world-renowned center for the study of the Alexander Technique in New York City, providing the most comprehensive, in-depth training and Alexander Technique teacher certification (AmSAT certified) available. 

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Recent Posts

The Means-Whereby Principle. Part 2

October 19, 2018

Deconstructing a Song

 

How to Apply the Means-Whereby Principle to a Skilled Activity

 

In the previous post, we said that "to make real progress in approaching a skilled activity ... involves a long-term process that begins with taking time to give directions and restore the primary control, and then layering on elements of the song."

 

At the same time, this process must not be entirely open-ended. Simply working on yourself and then vaguely seeing if you can sing while continuing to focus on yourself will not work, because there is no clear goal and no clear means to the goal. To approach the process in a constructive way, we must have a clear goal, so that we are framing the means-whereby process in the context of this goal and challenge ourselves to approach the goal in a new way. In the following exercises, we're going to look at how to perform a song, while accompanying yourself on guitar, by approaching the goal in a step-wise process based on attention to yourself.

 

Choose your Goal and Consider What Steps You Will Take

 

To begin with, choose a song you want to learn. Then think through some of the steps you would like to take in approaching the song, which may include:

 

a. working on yourself

b. placing yourself in a position of mechanical advantage and giving your directions

c. learning the guitar part trying out some of the simplest elements of the song

d. paying attention to yourself while singing the melody

 

In this way, you will put the different elements together (learning the lyrics, learning the guitar part, producing sound effortlessly, singing the lyrics, and putting all the elements together) while paying attention to yourself as the foundation for the whole process.

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