Apply the Alexander technique in performance


This unit describes the performance outcomes, skills and knowledge required to improve postural support, movement and breathing in live performance.

At this level, supervision and guidance are provided during classes and practice sessions but individuals are expected to work independently on experimenting with ways to eliminate inefficient habits of movement and inappropriate patterns of tension that diminish competent performance.

Only teachers who comply with the teaching standards of the Australian Society of Teachers of the Alexander Technique are qualified to teach and assess this unit.

No licensing, legislative or certification requirements apply to this unit at the time of publication.

Elements and Performance Criteria


Elements describe the essential outcomes.

Performance Criteria

Performance criteria describe the performance needed to demonstrate achievement of the element.

1. Refine understanding of tension patterns

1.1 Discuss with relevant personnel the principles and application of the Alexander technique in a performance context

1.2 Develop observational skills to describe movement patterns in self and others and to identify inappropriate patterns of tension during simple movements

1.3 Use knowledge gained from discussion and critical analysis to make an inventory of own inappropriate patterns of tension during simple movements and while performing

2. Elicit constructive change in postural support

2.1 Under guidance, develop techniques for preventing harmful patterns of tension while standing, making simple movements and performing

2.2 Initiate and maintain prevention of previously recognised habitual responses during simple and skilled activities

2.3 Apply an understanding of dynamic relationship of head and spine to elicit positive change in postural support during simple and skilled activities

2.4 Apply an understanding of how to organise human mind-body response to simple and skilled activities with respect to coordination of head, neck and back

2.5 Extend the effect of thinking on performance and experiment with conscious thinking techniques as a way of influencing physiology and coordination

2.6 Document own process of change and discuss with relevant personnel ways of overcoming issues

3. Minimise physiological distress during performance

3.1 Analyse the symptoms of physiological distress and ways of minimising the risk of experiencing it

3.2 Make an inventory of own indicators of physiological distress

3.3 Use techniques based on an understanding of dynamic relationship of head to spine to intervene during simple and skilled activities to prevent physiological distress

3.4 Monitor own ability to consciously organise movement and posture efficiently during practice and performance, and work on aspects that need improvement

Evidence of Performance

Evidence of the ability to:

recognise inappropriate patterns of muscle tension in self

sustain freedom in the movement of the head neck and back

intervene constructively to change harmful patterns of tension during high stimulus situations

apply self-observation techniques to improve postural support, movement and breathing in at least one live performance.

Note: If a specific volume or frequency is not stated, then evidence must be provided for each of the above points at least once.

Evidence of Knowledge

To complete the unit requirements the individual must:

explain issues associated with preventing habitual responses to stimuli

describe, in simple terms, the functioning and interaction of the following anatomical parts in the context of performing:



vertebral column

hip joints

knees and ankles

elbow and shoulders

larynx and vocal folds


tongue and jaw

explain the concept of organising movement through dynamic head and spine relationship

explain what is meant by ‘good use’ and ‘poor use’ of the self in the Alexander technique

explain the basic theories and principles of the Alexander technique.

Assessment Conditions

Assessment must be conducted in a safe environment where evidence gathered demonstrates consistent performance of typical activities experienced in creative arts industry environments.

Assessors of this unit must satisfy the requirements for assessors in applicable vocational educational and training legislation, frameworks and/or standards.

In addition, only teachers who comply with the teaching standards of the Australian Society of Teachers of the Alexander Technique may teach and assess this unit.

Foundation Skills

This section describes language, literacy, numeracy and employment skills incorporated in the performance criteria that are required for competent performance.


Performance Criteria




Uses self-evaluation as a strategy to improve posture and coordination of movement during performance


1.3, 2.3, 2.4, 2.5, 3.3

Analyses concepts underlying the Alexander technique


1.3, 2.6, 3.2

Maintains a journal of experiences related to changing habitual responses

Oral Communication

1.1, 1.2, 2.1, 2.5, 2.6

Obtains information by listening and questioning

Discusses ideas and solutions

Uses clear language to contribute information and explain own process of change

Navigate the world of work

1.3, 2.2, 2.3, 2.4, 2.6, 3.1, 3.2

Develops an awareness of own movement patterns and works towards achieving personal goals in relation to using the body efficiently

Interact with others

1.1, 2.1, 2.6

Works collaboratively

Get the work done

1.3, 2.5, 2.6, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4

Plans and implements strategies to improve performance technique

Is proactive in finding the most effective approach to making constructive changes to own movement patterns

Uses standard word processing and spreadsheet applications to document own process of change


Regulation, licensing and risk - work health and safety