Alexander Technique Teacher Training Program

Introduction

“Alexander has done a service to the subject by insistently treating each act as involving the whole integrated individual...To take a step is an affair not of this or that limb solely but of the total neuromuscular activity of the moment...”

Charles Sherrington, Nobel Laureate in Physiology/Medicine 

“As one goes on, new areas are opened, new possibilities are seen and then realized; one finds himself continually growing, and realizes that there is an endless process of growth initiated.”

American Philosopher John Dewey on his 35-year study of the Alexander Technique

“Mr. Alexander's method lays hold of the individual as a whole, as a self-vitalizing agent.”

Professor G.E. Coghill, Author of Anatomy and the Problem of Human Behavior

Developing easy and efficient coordination is a process that can require changing the habits of a lifetime. Over a hundred years ago, F. Matthias Alexander (1869-1955) created an exceptional technique for making these in-depth changes. Learning Alexander's Technique can have profound benefits for the quality of life of the student, from alleviating chronic pain and excess tension to developing a greater understanding of self.

Alexander Technique teacher training continues and intensifies the unique learning experience that takes place in private lessons. The training is a fascinating process that is often one of remarkable growth and improvement for the teacher-trainee.

Trainees are provided with the ample, regular class time and individual attention necessary for developing the skills and knowledge essential to teaching the Technique. The course meets for several hours each day, five days a week for three and one-half years. This daily certification program fulfills the teacher-training standards established by F. Matthias Alexander, the creator of the Alexander Technique.

Recommended reading on Alexander Technique teacher training: Taking Time. Available from AmSAT Books.

 

Alexander Technique Center of Washington teacher training graduate, Deena Hyatt, at her second lesson in 2009 (left photo) and after completing her training in 2014 (right photo).
Alexander Technique teacher trainee before and after photos

 

Teacher Training Course Instruction

The Alexander Technique teacher's own use is intrinsic to his/her teaching skills. Therefore, the core of the training is based on the individual learning process provided in private lessons.

Individual turns
Every day of the training, each trainee is given one or more individual turns from the instructor. “Turns” are “mini” Alexander Technique lessons, short learning intensives which provide for improvement in the trainee's own use. Included in individual turns are Alexander's Procedures and table work.

Teaching Skills Instruction
The learning that takes place during a daily turn is the basis for developing teaching skills. Each day, what is learned during the mini-lesson is expanded on in teaching skills training. Trainees work with each other in small groups of two to five people. In addition to the general group instruction, each student receives considerable individual attention and instruction.

Talks, Readings, Discussions and Group Activities
Included in talks and/or group activities are developmental movement, Alexander's Procedures, the Dart Procedures, pertinent current and historical information in science and education, voice study, and other related subjects. Readings include F.M. Alexander's writings, writings by other Alexander Technique teachers, and related literature.

To help further understanding of the Alexander Technique, the course also focuses on the historical development of the Technique, from a method of voice and breathing improvement to a technique of psycho-physical re-education.

Special sessions on other topics pertinent to being a teacher of the Technique, such as building a teaching practice, are included in the training.

Principles
Throughout the training, trainees develop a practical understanding of what F. M. Alexander termed the “Use of the Self,” how coordination functions as an integrated whole of mind and body. Central to this understanding are learning and applying the Principles of the Alexander Technique: the “Means-Whereby,” including “Inhibition” and “Direction” and “Primary Control.”

“...our greatest blessing is finding out what is wrong so that we need not be wrong. There is no such thing as being right anyway; it's a direction in which you are going.
–Marjory Barlow (from Taking Time)

“The right thing does itself”
– F. M. Alexander

© 2011 Marian Goldberg

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Training Schedule

The training takes place over seven semesters. Semesters run from January to May and from August to December. Each semester is 16 weeks of instruction, with a one week break every four weeks during the semester.

Days and Hours
The training meets for several hours each day. Contact the Center for specific schedule information, info@alexandercenter.com

Location

The course is located in McLean, Virginia, within 15 minutes drive of Washington, D.C. and suburban Maryland.

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Certification

On successful completion of the training, a trainee is certified by the Alexander Technique Center of Washington. Trainees are also qualified to receive a teaching certificate from the American Society for the Alexander Technique (AmSAT).

The Course
The Alexander Technique Center of Washington's Teacher-Training Program has been approved since 1994 by the American Society for the Alexander Technique. The Training Course meets or exceeds international standards of training set by the Society of Teachers of the Alexander Technique, Great Britain (STAT), the oldest (est. 1958) and largest professional organization of Alexander Technique Teachers, and its affiliated organizations in 18 countries.

The Teacher-Training Course is approved for Veterans Educational Benefits by the Office of Veterans Education, Virginia Department of Education (Montgomery GI Bill).

“A man ceases to be a beginner in any given science and becomes a master in that science when he has learned that he is going to be a beginner all his life.”
–Robin G. Collingwood (English Philosopher)

In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities, in the expert's mind there are few.”
–Zen Teacher Shunryu Suzuki

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Requirements

Adults 18 years old or over who have had at least 30 Alexander Technique lessons from a qualified teacher may apply for training.

Course Director

Marian Goldberg maintains a private Alexander Technique teaching practice in the Washington, D.C. area and is the Director of the Alexander Technique Center of Washington's Teacher-Training Program in Northern Virginia. Marian began studying the Alexander Technique in 1978. After working with a variety of interpretations of the Alexander Technique from 1978 to 1980, she went on to study with Joan and Alexander Murray at the Urbana Center for the Alexander Technique in 1980. Marian graduated from the Urbana Center’s certified teacher-training program in 1983, fulfilling the three-year daily training standards established by F. Matthias Alexander. In addition, Marian completed two years of advanced training at the Urbana Center. She has been teaching the Technique since 1983 and is certified by both the Society of Teachers of the Alexander Technique (STAT), UK, and the American Society for the Alexander Technique (AmSAT). Marian also studied with teachers directly trained by F. M. Alexander: Walter Carrington, Peggy Williams, and Marjorie Barstow. She has taught classes and workshops in the Technique for colleges and universities and for a number of organizations, including the United States Marine Band, the Vocal Studies Program at George Mason University, and the University of Illinois. Her articles have appeared in several publications, including The Alternative Health Sourcebook and Natural Awakenings magazine. Marian is the editor of Beginning from the Beginning: A Conversation with Joan and Alexander Murray. She has developed several web sites: “Alexander Technique: The Insiders’ Guide,” “John Dewey and the Alexander Technique” and “The Alexander Technique for Musicians.” Marian has also been certified as a Feldenkrais® Practitioner and has trained in Cranio-Sacral Therapy.

Applying for Training

Contact the Center to receive an application. An interview and and up to three lessons with the Director may be required.

For an application form or for more information, please contact
info@alexandercenter.com

The Alexander Technique Center is accepting applications for the 2017 fall semester. Contact the Center for schedule and fee information, info@alexandercenter.com.

Links to Professional Societies and Training Programs

Alexander Technique Teachers' Certification Societies:
International Societies of the Alexander Technique
Society of Teachers of the Alexander Technique (STAT)
American Society for the Alexander Technique (AmSAT)

More Teacher-Training Programs:
Alexander Technique Center Urbana
Alexander Technique Urbana
St. Louis Center for the Alexander Technique

Recommended Reading on Teacher Training:
Taking Time. Available from AmSAT Books.


© 2011 Marian Goldberg