Five Questions with ACAT Teacher Training Program Alumna Barbara Curialle

by Brooke Lieb Barbara Curialle graduated from the ACAT Teacher Training Program in June 2009.

Q. What made you decide to train as an Alexander Technique teacher?

A. Many years ago, I saw a former piano student of my teacher play the same piano piece before and after 2 years of Alexander lessons. He was completely transformed, and his playing—stiff and constrained the first time—had become open and joyous. It was many more years before I was able to take lessons, but my first teacher—Nina D’Abbracci—encouraged me to do the training.

Q. Why did you choose ACAT's training program?

A. I chose ACAT because it was the first program in the U.S. and because of the faculty’s amazing credentials and backgrounds.

Q. What, if anything, did you learn from putting hands on faculty?

Once I got over my initial nervousness, I appreciated the guidance—especially the verbal portion—from the faculty. Everyone’s friendly encouragement and appreciation of my efforts was a tremendous boost to my confidence. I also appreciated the opportunities to work with many faculty members: Everyone’s use and comments were different, but they all helped me integrate my own thinking.

Q. Did you observe direction in your teacher when you put hands on her or him?

A. Yes! I think that at first I was expecting some dramatic, large-scale change, but the changes I noticed were more subtle than that.

Q. If you did observe direction in your teacher, did the experience illuminate the concepts of AT, the actual mechanism of h/n/b integration/primary control, or any of F. M.'s ideas from his writings?

A. Yes, the experience did illustrate the AT concepts and especially HBN integration/primary control. In terms of F. M.’s ideas and writings, the connection was more subtle but still strong.

Q. How did the supervised teaching in the third year contribute to your learning, and/or prepare you for teaching on your own?

A. I’m glad I had the experience of teaching with supervision. Having a faculty member there when I ran into a problem was very helpful. Again, having so many different viewpoints that all led to the same goal enriched and validated my learning experience immeasurably and helped me to formulate my own goals for working with students and making the work my own.

[author] [author_image timthumb='on'][/author_image] [author_info]N. BROOKE LIEB, Director of Teacher Certification since 2008, received her certification from ACAT in 1989, joined the faculty in 1992. Brooke has presented to 100s of people at numerous conferences, has taught at C. W. Post College, St. Rose College, Kutztown University, Pace University, The Actors Institute, The National Theatre Conservatory at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts, Dennison University, and Wagner College; and has made presentations for the Hospital for Special Surgery, the Scoliosis Foundation, and the Arthritis Foundation; Mercy College and Touro College, Departments of Physical Therapy; and Northern Westchester Hospital. Brooke maintains a teaching practice in NYC, specializing in working with people dealing with pain, back injuries and scoliosis; and performing artists.[/author_info] [/author]