Hear what people are saying.
Going to see Alan Bowers to learn the Alexander technique is my favorite hour of the week. I leave there an inch taller and walking on air. I have old, creaky bi-lateral hip replacements and arthritis, and I have looked long and hard for some kind of exercise or therapy that would allow me to get stronger while easing pain rather than causing more pain. Pilates, acupuncture, yoga, physical therapy, massage–none of them do what Alan Bowers does. And it just gets better with each lesson. Now if only he could teach me to sing…
Cathleen Schine – The Three Weissmans of Westport
While serving as an Artist-in-Residence at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Mr. Bower’s work was a “game changer” for a significant number of our students. His teaching style possessed a gracefulness and ease that immediately allowed focused and intense learning. I was particularly impressed by his organic understanding of the myriad of issues faced by musicians of all types. Mr. Bowers diagnosed, addressed and subsequently began to eliminate less efficient habits for more effective coordination. Since his visit to UNLV, I’ve had several faculty and students continue to express their positive comments. We’ll certainly invite him to return in the future!
Tod Fitzpatrick, D.M.A., Cert. in Vocology
University of Nevada, Las Vegas
I’ve worked with many Alexander teachers throughout the years, and Alan is my go-to guy in New York City. After my first session with him I felt light, alive and confident that someone had the answers I was looking for. He is unlike any teacher I’ve worked with for many reasons some of which are: his incredible intuition, his virtuosity in various art-forms including voice work, and his commitment to growth and knowledge. Alan is always learning just as much as he is teaching. He is forever traveling to Israel and California and anywhere that he can learn something new from the other great teachers around the globe. He is humble and incredibly intelligent, and I highly recommend him if you are looking for help with overcoming pain, finding ease in your movement and/or finding your true unencumbered voice.
Walker Clark – Master Peak Performance Coach to Entrepreneurs.Entertainers.Athletes
I’m a classically-trained mezzo-soprano who’s worked internationally in opera, concert, and recital. Over the years, I acquired certain habits that are fairly common in my field. It starts out when we’re young singers, trying to produce what we think is an “important sound,” so that we will be taken seriously. We then may continue by adopting vocal characteristics that aren’t natural to us, and then acquire the physical quirks that make them happen. Later, when we start working in the field, we begin to feel intense pressure: to get more work, to build a career and a name for ourselves, to outdo the competition, to book that next gig, etc. So we try to devise vocal tricks that will help us, but these vocal “tricks” often turn into vocal “tics.”
Alan Bowers is fond of telling an old fable about a shepherd who one day, while watching his flocks in the mountains, plucks a tiny flower out of the grass. Immediately, the mountain before him opens up, revealing a cave full of diamonds, gold, and other riches. The delighted shepherd plunges into the opening, accompanied by an angel who guides him and repeats over and over, “Don’t forget the best! Don’t forget the best!” The shepherd takes this to mean that he should fill his cloak with the most sparkling things he can find, but each treasure is more beautiful than the last, until he no longer can tell what is the best among them. Nevertheless, he stuffs his cloak with beautiful things until it grows too heavy to carry, and then he ties the cloak shut and drags it behind him toward the door in the mountain. “Don’t forget the best! Don’t forget the best!” the angel exhorts him again, but the shepherd, wearied by his efforts, knows he can’t add even one more bracelet or ring to the pile he’s dragging, and so, dragging his cloak, he steps out into the sunlight. Immediately, the door in the mountain closes behind him and disappears, and the shepherd realizes with horror that it’s closed upon his cloak full of treasures, which is now behind the rock face, never to be seen it again. He has forgotten the best: the tiny flower, which was the magical key to this enchanted realm.
This story, for me, is a metaphor for the work that Alan Bowers does. As a singer, over the years, I had completely misplaced the best thing, the essential thing, the key, which is the grounding of my singing, my musicianship, and my artistry in the most basic of human utterances and physical processes. Alexander work with Alan has allowed me to drop the false treasures — the artificially-manufactured sound and everything I thought it would buy for me — and to find that “key-flower” again, the healing and essential sound, the voice of the body, which has enabled me to sing in the way that I’ve always wanted to.
Alexander work with Alan has allowed me to drop the false treasures — the artificially-manufactured sound and everything I thought it would buy for me — and to find that “key-flower” again, the healing and essential sound, the voice of the body, which has enabled me to sing in the way that I’ve always wanted to.
Julia Grella O’Connell
While our time with you was short, it was catalytic. We are still revisiting non-doing, inhibiting and forward and up in what we do. Finding an Alexander teacher of your caliber in this neck of the woods is difficult but we are working on it. For me, a new sense of mindfulness about inhalation and onset in singing has already begun to open the door to new possibilities. I see Jamie practicing differently of late. The difference is subtle and I really don’t know what it is but there seems to be more of her “neshama” (soul) in what she is doing. I will not soon forget your lovely home and the sense of “shlema” (same root as shalom but in this meaning wholeness) that you have created and surrounded yourself with. It is indeed something Jamie and I aspire to attaining.
In the months since finishing my Alexander Technique sessions with Alan, I am delighted to say that the effects of these sessions have been profound and long lasting. I’d had pain along my neck for several years which was not severe but worsening. Yoga stretches, massage, tai chi and chiropractic adjustments had not helped. Within the week after my first session, as long as I kept my “forward and up” awareness, that nagging pain was gone. After a few weeks, that change in thinking had become habit, and I have been pain-free ever since.
Every session brought additional insights which created a significant change in my walking, posture and breathing. These changes have remained with me. I am more graceful, more relaxed.
Yes, Alan is a master practitioner of the Alexander Technique but he is also much more than that. He is one of the most amazing energy workers I’ve ever encountered. I was astounded at his ability to pick up on changes in my body that I could barely notice myself. I don’t know if energy work is considered an integral component of the Alexander Technique but in my case, it was certainly a powerful combination.
And finally, a purely practical matter: I had become accustomed to hearing from alternative therapy practitioners, “You must keep coming back for this therapy to be effective” – usually during a first session. Now I completely agree that alternative therapies often require multiple sessions over extended periods of time, but I have questioned the belief that there is never an endpoint. Alan knew when I didn’t.
I am a professional singer and actor. I grew up singing. I love doing it. It is an act that expresses a great part of my being, and I will always seek to express myself through it in some capacity. But I never would have been able to do so as fully, and on the occasional good day, as wonderfully as I feel I do now, were it not for the Alexander and Voice training I received from Alan Bowers. In short, time in Alan’s studio felt like getting the “keys to the kingdom” from a wonderfully gifted and trustworthy teacher. Continually offering joy, humor, and an unfaltering eye and ear, Alan’s work with me was masterful. Through Alexander work with Alan I discovered my true voice. I have had the opportunity to play roles I once thought were completely beyond me and thrive in them, because I knew I could trust Alan and his teaching. The Alexander work has also spilled over to my work as an actor in non-singing roles and everyday life. Pathways to greater ease, grace, economy of movement, physical freedom and a holistic connection to my own body were presented to me through Alan. My only regret is that I now live too far away from him to be in his studio every week.
You will do yourself the favor of a lifetime by going to see Alan Bowers. Whatever ails you will find satisfaction in that acquaintance. Whether you are in physical pain, would like to sing better, know yourself better, or wish to be seen and met by a truly caring human being, you will get what you need. Alan is both an artist and a thinker, and that comes across clearly in his teaching. His communication is at once informative and poetic. He has taken his years of study and training, lived it and embodied it, and through his own process of enquiry, has made connections that are profound, beautiful, and unique. I am always happy to put myself in his skilled hands and in his marvelous presence.
Alan Bowers is a very gifted Alexander Technique practitioner. He combined the Alexander Technique with his voice teaching and my voice became unlocked of tension almost immediately. As a singer, this was huge!!! The combination of these two disciplines is a wonderful idea, and I so enjoyed our sessions together. They were a great investment.
Julia Douglass, Minneapolis/New York
I had the pleasure of working with Mr. Bowers at California State University, Fullerton a while back. He held a masterclass for the CSUF School of Music and was so great with the students, he was asked back a second time! Very friendly, very personable, and incredibly knowledgeable! He really knows what he is doing. As a classically trained singer and actress, I’ve always had issues with tension, posture, breathing and alignment. Mr. Bowers helped me discover what my instrument was actually capable of and through the technique, I was able to release, unlock and sing with more freedom. Great work for singers, actors, speakers, instrumentalists and more! I would recommend him in a heartbeat!
My wife had been raving about Alan Bowers for years – she’s a singer – and I went to him to get some help with my chronic lower back pain. I’d tried everything, from massage (a short-term fix) to hypnosis (didn’t work). Alan had me stand for a moment, took one look at me and said, “What the !*$% are you doing?!” Apparently, not much that was right. Working in his subtle, mysterious way, simply guiding me to stand, sit and lie down in his beloved “semi-supine” position, he accomplished an immense amount without seeming to do much. I became more aware of how I moved. My pain lessened immediately, and within a few weeks Alan had succeeded where many lesser practitioners had failed: I felt fine. I’m still not sure how we did it, but I know one thing: We did it. Thanks, Alan!
Martin Klhn – Bad Dog: A Love Story
Alan taught me that mastery of my voice lies in how I shape my breath and my body. I am a professional vocalist/songwriter, and Alan never tried to “teach” me how to sing, but rather use my body as a conduit for voice and breath. He inspired me to cultivate a world of mindfulness around alignment: how my torso, neck, head, and jaw can elongate and create space for my instrument to soar. Because of working with Alan, I’ve developed a very nuanced vocal style by learning how to place my vowels (strange, yet amazing.) If I ever felt disconnected from my voice, Alan is the first person I would call.