Frederick Matthias Alexander was born in 1869 in Tasmania, Australia. Around 1890, as his career as a successful and popular actor took off in Melbourne, he began to suffer from loss of his voice during his performances. In vain he sought help from doctors and voice teachers. He finally discovered that the source of his problem, and therefore the solution, lay in what he was doing to himself with his body and his voice while on stage. Throughout the following years, Alexander systematically observed himself using mirrors while he recited and spoke. He discovered that his suspicion was correct. During that period of his investigations, Alexander discovered that what caused his recurring voice loss was the way he used his own self, and that the habits that he had actually worked on for years were causing the malfunctioning of his vocal and respiratory system. This demonstrated that how we use our selves in any activity has a direct impact on overall functioning and, as a result, on the quality of the result or the behavior.
Alexander was a pioneer in demonstrating this connection between body and mind. He was an inventor in the broadest sense of the word. The Technique was born thanks to his keen and inquisitive mind, his persistence throughout a ten-year process of self-observation and his tireless love for teaching and learning. Around 1904, encouraged by medical and theatrical professionals, Alexander moved to London to spread awareness of his discoveries and his work. His work gradually became known to and endorsed by influential artists, authors, philosophers and doctors such as Charles Sherrington, John Dewey, George Bernard Shaw, Aldous Huxley, Nikolaas Tinbergen and Raymond Dart.
F.M. began his first teacher training program in London in 1931, and he continued with the training school and his private practice until his death at the age of 86. Since then, the number of teachers being trained has grown exponentially in England and around the world, contributing to this marvelous Technique that F.M. has left as his legacy. Presently, teacher training schools exist around the world. The Society of Teachers of the Alexander Technique (STAT), based in London, is the association that unites and organizes the teachings of F.M. so that the Technique maintains its same standard of excellence and so that teachers are trained in the same way as Alexander would have done.