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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 4

November 1, 2018

Deconstructing a Song, Continued

 

In our previous post, we emphasized the importance of bringing about an improved condition of coordination, which is the basis for all our work, and an integral part of the plan we made to learn the song.

 

In this post, we list a series of steps breaking down the song into manageable chunks. 

 

Singing the Song and the Means-Whereby

 

When you have learned the lyrics, the first step is to sing the melody, in monkey position, while giving directions. If it is a popular song and has idiomatic elements, leave these elements out and instead sing the melody "straight," without trying to interpret it or to give it a lot of feeling. This makes it easier to sing with an open throat and in a "left alone" way. It also makes it easier to sing without bringing in any harmful habits or mannerisms.

 

Do not be in a hurry to get through the song but focus instead on giving your directions and on producing sound with as little effort as possible. Later, you can think about how you want to interpret the melody and to sing the song in a more distinctive way; for now the goal is to focus entirely on your own quality of direction and use.

 

 

1. Standing in front of the table, give your directions in preparation for going into monkey.

 

 

2. Take yourself into monkey and give your directions, directing your head forward and up, your head and hips to go away from each other to lengthen your back, and your knees to go away from your hips. See the illustration to the right.

 

 

3. Place your hands on the table and give your directions, with the added direction of widening across the chest.

 

 

4. Produce several whispered 'ah's. 

 

 

5. See if you can sing a line or two of the melody, keeping your throat open and not trying to interpret the song. If you sing the second line, see if you can do this without taking breath but letting the breath come in.

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