Preferred Name

Susan Gouthro

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)


School of Music


Kevin McMillan

Jo-Anne van der Vat-Chromy

Carrie Stevens



The work of F.M. Alexander (1869-1955) has become renowned in the realm of bodywork. Instrumental in furthering Alexander’s teachings is the work of Donald Weed, American Alexander Technique (AT) teacher and developer of the Interactive Teaching Method (ITM), his unique method for delivering the Alexander Technique and training teachers.

This study investigates how certified ITM instructors apply the ITM principles into their music teaching pedagogy, with a specific focus on applied voice lessons. Six practitioner interviews, as well as multiple class interviews with Weed were conducted from July 5– 9, 2019, in Darmstadt, Germany during a five-day ITM Workshop. Analysis of the data from two sets of interviews delineate important teaching concepts and strategies that serve to support the creation of ‘critical moments’ of ease and freedom in the music-making process, for the greater awareness of both student and teacher. The goal of this study is, through the data synthesis, to identify behavioral guidelines that will facilitate the research’s further understanding of how to more effectively deliver AT concepts through the ITM in applied voice lessons.

A brief overview of the development of the Alexander Technique and summary of the life and work of F.M. Alexander, with a specific focus on his four books is presented. Included is a short synopsis of the work of three recent AT practitioners (Wragg, Weiss, and Heirich) who have a specific interest in the use of the AT and the singing voice. Also included is a Review of Literature detailing Weed’s development of the ITM and its major principles. The collected interview data is sorted and analyzed by seventeen emergent codeword/categories. Tallies of codeword/categories and indicators of significance are analyzed and discussed. A summary of behavioral guidelines pertinent to the ITM, and for teacher implementation of ITM-oriented vocal study, as well as implications for further research, are presented.



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