On Training Teachers: Choreography and Improvisation

On Training Teachers: Choreography and Improvisation

When I trained to be an Alexander Teacher at the American Center for the Alexander Technique from 1987 to 1989, I was fortunate to benefit from the wisdom of a large faculty of teachers with all levels of experience. Our Senior Trainers had anywhere from 6 to 30 years of experience teaching and training teachers. They each had a distinctive approach to the art of teaching. Alongside them, we were also taught by associate faculty, recent graduates and classmates who were at all levels of training.

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For Alexander Teachers: Foundations of effective teaching

For Alexander Teachers: Foundations of effective teaching

Training teachers and offering post graduate lessons and classes has been one of my passions during my 30 year career as an Alexander teacher. It has informed my studies, how I interpret Alexander’s writings, and is the area I focus my continued learning and development.

One consistent standard I see across all approaches to training is to emphasize that the teacher’s application of Alexander principles to the act of teaching is the foundation of teaching. Before working hands on with another, a level of self-organization is vital.

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Advice for a New Alexander Technique Teacher

Karen Krueger, ACAT ’10

1.  Trust your instincts.
Having completed a rigorous training course at ACAT, you are well-equipped to teach the Alexander Technique.  If your instinct suggests a particular approach with a student, or a particular insight that you think might be helpful, go with it, and see if it works.  If it doesn't, try something else. (See #2 and #3.)
2.  Throw out your agenda.

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Advice for a New Alexander Technique Teacher

Brooke Lieb, ACAT ’89

Remember to refer back to your student’s head/neck/back relationship frequently during the lesson. Help her understand that as she explores or attends to an activity, or observes more details about her specific habits, she can observe how this influences her head/neck/back. Conversely, as she returns to attend to her head/neck/back, she can observe how this influences the activity or pattern she was working with.

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Continuing Community at ACAT

WorkshopImageA_03by Karen Krueger In my last blog post, I wrote about why I chose to enroll in the teacher training program at the American Center for the Alexander Technique ("ACAT"), and described the unique strengths of the program. Graduating from that program was a bittersweet moment for me, as it seemed I would lose my connection to the community that I was a part of as a trainee.

Luckily, as I soon discovered, ACAT gives its graduates many ways to remain part of the community. To begin with, there is the opportunity to serve as a volunteer faculty member. This meant that I could continue to participate in the training course at a level appropriate to my experience. Working with trainees was an ideal way to hone my hands-on skills, as ACAT trainees are expert at giving constructive verbal and nonverbal feedback. Participating in a training class also allowed me to observe and experience what the trainers were teaching, and to contribute with questions and observations from my own growing teaching practice.

In addition, I learned that ACAT is not just a training program. It is a not-for-profit membership organization, offering free and paid continuing education programs for teaching members and free and paid programming in the Alexander Technique for associate members and the general public. A majority of ACAT's Board of Directors are ACAT graduates.

ACAT teaching members offer monthly free introductions to the Alexander Technique. Volunteering to present or assist in these "Hands-On Demonstrations" is a great way for recent graduates to get valuable experience working with groups on the Alexander Technique. ACAT also sponsors low-cost drop-in group classes in the Alexander Technique, staffed by teaching members who have been active volunteers at the Hands-On Demonstrations.

In addition to these formal connections, ACAT graduates have their own more spontaneous ways of nurturing the ACAT community. Many of the people I trained with remain friends, have exchanges with each other to work on their skills, and refer students to each other. As I become a more experienced teacher, I find that my most valued form of continuing education is exchanging work with the ACAT people I met during my three years in the training course.

If you love the Alexander Technique, you can be a part of the ACAT community, even if you did not graduate from ACAT, by joining as a teaching member (if you are an AmSAT-certified teacher) or an associate member.

To learn more about the benefits of membership, go here.

To learn more about ACAT's teacher training program, go here.

[author] [author_image timthumb='on']http://www.acatnyc.org/main/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/karen-headshot-67.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]KAREN G. KRUEGER became a teacher of the Alexander Technique after 25 years of practicing law at two major New York law firms, receiving her teaching certificate from the American Center for the Alexander Technique in December 2010. Her students include lawyers, business executives, IT professionals and others interested in living with greater ease and skill. Find her at her website: http://kgk-llc.com. [/author_info] [/author]

Lessons in the Art of Group Teaching: Two Workshops for Alexander Technique Teachers with Meade Andrews

meadeby Brooke Lieb Meade Andrews will be offering a two-weekend program on the Art of Group Teaching. Teachers and Third Year Trainees can register for one or both weekends. Click here for more information.

BL: Tell us a bit about your background and how you first encountered the Alexander Technique:

MA: From the age of 8, I was a devoted student of ballet, hoping to train professionally and become a ballerina. In my first year of college, I began to study modern dance. I sustained a knee injury, which never healed properly, and eventually resulted in an injury to my other knee. I tried modalities such as Rolfing and massage, but did not find healing for my knees. In the early 70's, I attended a theatre conference and watched Ilana Rubenfeld teach an AT class. She is a great teacher, and I saw people moving with ease and whole-body connectedness, and I decided to the study the work. In 1974, I moved to Washington, DC, where there were no AT teachers. However, a group of women were importing an AT teacher from NYC: Rachel Zahn, another pioneer teacher from ACAT. And that's where I began.

BL: Tell us about your training to become an Alexander Teacher?

MA: After I had studied AT for 8 years in DC, with teachers Charlotte Coe, Carol Boggs, and Susan Cohen, I began to study with Marjorie Barstow, who taught in DC twice a year for two weeks. I went to the summer intensives in Lincoln Nebraska where Marj taught for many years. There I met Bruce and Martha Fertman, and when they created a training school, I took their course. When I finished the course, I left my tenured position in the theatre and dance program at American University to become a full-time teacher of the AT. I have been fortunate to have a long and varied career as an AT teacher, traveling throughout the US and abroad: Japan, Spain, Australia, Germany, Switzerland, and England.

BL: How did you develop The Art of Group Teaching?

MA: I first developed my work in the Art of Group Teaching at the Studio Theatre in Washington, DC, in 1989. I was first hired to teach a weekend workshop in the AT for actors. When we sat in a circle, I told them that I was there to introduce them to the AT. In a flash, every single one of them "sat up straight". In that moment, I knew that I would have to develop various group explorations as a means of presenting the work in a meaningful way within a group setting. I knew that I could not work with one person in front of the group, unless we all shared group experiences designed to focus attention and awareness on creating an understanding of the "receptive field", a condition of kinesthetic and cognitive alertness that enlivens and enhances an understanding of the AT principles. Only then, when I could create shared learning experiences and create a learning ensemble, would the students be able to focus their attention knowledgeably while I worked with one student in their presence. We all needed to be on the same page for true learning within a group setting to be accomplished.

BL: What do you enjoy most about offering Post Graduate workshops?

MA: My favorite aspect of teaching Post-Graduate offerings is the opportunity meet teachers from various backgrounds of life study, and AT training. Having studied in group settings and performed in group theatre and dance work for most of my life, I love working with groups of AT teachers and trainees. Meeting and sharing experiences and explorations together, and offering my approach to group teaching, has enriched my professional and personal life immeasurably.

[author] [author_image timthumb='on']http://www.acatnyc.org/main/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/Brooke1web.jpg[/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. www.brookelieb.com[/author_info] [/author]

Transform your Career: One Woman’s Path to Becoming an Alexander Technique Teacher

by Rebecca Tuffey http://youtu.be/WQWzyU1B5cM

As a student of the Alexander Technique, I thought my teacher was a magician. She said some thought-provoking words, put her hands on me, and - voila!- I grew taller, lighter, and more free. One day, she said, “You would make a good Alexander Technique teacher. Why don’t you consider training?” I thought the idea was preposterous. She was the magic-maker; me? I was an actress. I pushed the idea away, fully contented with my weekly lessons. Like most skilled Alexander teachers, she wasn’t forceful or pushy, but kept presenting the idea as a perfectly viable possibility. She had already been teaching for twenty years. “I’ve never been bored. Each lesson is something different”. Hmmm, that intrigued me.

Then, the day came, when I realized that life as an actress was not what I had imagined it to be. I needed to figure out what I was going to do for the next twenty-some years. Six years of Alexander Technique lessons had taught me not to rush impulsively into transition. So I gave myself time and permission to consider what might come next. It was a year before I had “career clarity.” I wanted to work with bodies, be able to make real connections with individual people, and contribute something practical and helpful. A list of potential careers was made. At the bottom—but the one that sang to me—was “Alexander Technique Teacher.”

Discovering the American Center for the Alexander Technique

My teacher had trained at ACAT (the American Center for the Alexander Technique). She gave me a list of training programs, and I visited some courses. The day I visited the ACAT TCP (Teacher Certification Program), I found two skilled teachers leading a three hour class about “monkey”. The room was dynamic and quiet at the same time. There was some group discussion, and then the group separated for “turns”. I noticed that the teachers were both very engaged with the students and the process, and yet were working quite uniquely. There were no “cookie cutter” lessons being offered. This must have been what my teacher meant when she said “each lesson is something different”. I was inspired.

Life as an Alexander Technique Teacher

I was certified by ACAT to teach the Alexander Technique three years later, along with three others who began training at the same time as me. I have been teaching for almost eleven years now, and I consider my time on the ACAT TCP to be one of the most formative of my life. I found a rich community, a dedicated faculty of highly skilled teachers, an intimate environment to explore myself within, a loving and meticulous connection to the legacy of F.M. Alexander, and (most days) a lot of fun.

Teaching speaks to the creative spirit in me. Occasionally people ask if I miss acting. I don’t. As an actress, I enjoyed exploring different characters and their stories. As an Alexander Technique teacher, I get to explore human patterns (of body, mind, and spirit) from the unique point-of-view of each student who walks in my door. And…we don’t need to audition. We don’t need an audience. We show up for each other and explore doing something different with our lives.

Teachers: let’s inspire the next generation of Alexander Technique teachers. Tell your story in the comments section.

Want to meet ACAT’s Training Course Director, Faculty, Students, and Alumni working in the profession? Attend the Open House – Monday, May 4, 2015, 7-9pm Q&A, conversation, and light refreshments. R.S.V.P. to office@acatnyc.org. Please write “May 4 Open House” in the subject line.

Ready to visit the training course? Email tcp@acatnyc.org to make an appointment.

[author] [author_image timthumb='on']http://www.acatnyc.org/main/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/tuffey.jpeg[/author_image] [author_info]REBECCA TUFFEY graduated from the American Center for the Alexander Technique in June 2004. She is an Art of Breathing Instructor (2010) and holds a B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College. Rebecca has a multi-dimensional private practice, teaching the Alexander Technique to students ages 9 to 102. She currently serves as an Associate Faculty member on the ACAT TCP and as an Adjunct at Pace University in the B.F.A. for Acting in Film, Television, Voice-overs & Commercials. She can be found online at RebeccaTuffey.net.[/author_info] [/author]

Finding What You Need: Collaborating to Create Your Support Structure as an Alexander Technique Teacher

teamworkby Karen Krueger Teaching the Alexander Technique can be lonely. After the structure and camaraderie of training, it can be daunting when we suddenly find ourselves having to create our own schedules, our own ways of self-care, continued learning and practice development.

For me, the answer to this dilemma has involved connecting with other teachers and other professionals. The difficulties of creating a practice as a solo entrepreneur can lead us to view others solely as competitors, rather than potential collaborators. But there are many different models of collaboration being put into practice in our community. This blog post describes some of mine. At the next free member event at ACAT on October 20, we will explore this topic in greater depth. Please come, contribute your voice, and connect with fellow ACAT members.

The Many Benefits of Exchanges

My two weekly exchanges are my most important support. I also enjoy occasional exchanges with others, but there is something very special about the relationships that have developed through consistent, regular interaction with the same people, who are friends as well as colleagues. We share our questions and interests of the moment; experiment with different approaches (everything from where we put our hands to what we think and say); discuss challenges that we are dealing with in teaching; and generally have fun while honing our skills and taking care of ourselves. We also get to see each other, socialize, and support one another in practice development. We share practical information like where to find teaching space and what interesting workshops are coming up. These weekly meetings are a source of joy and well-being for all of us.

We also refer students to one another. I have several students who also work with one or more of my exchange partners. Occasionally we have had lessons with two teachers and one student—which is wonderful for all concerned, though perhaps not practical as a regular teaching model!

Other Collaborations

Many other forms of collaboration, both formal and informal, are possible. We can volunteer at ACAT's monthly free introductions to the Alexander Technique for the general public (the "Hands-On Demonstrations"). We can partner with other teachers to promote our work, or to develop our individual marketing approaches. We can team up with other professionals to reach people who might not otherwise hear of our work. For example, last year I taught a series of small group classes in a physical therapist's studio: she got her patients to enroll, and I showed up and taught. I learned a great deal and enjoyed the class, and several of the class participants went on to take private lessons with me.

Not every such effort bears fruit. I have done many things to promote the Alexander Technique and my own practice that have not resulted in an immediate influx of paying students. I keep making connections, though, because I believe that the more people have heard of our work and have some understanding of what it is and what it can do, the better for all of us.

Free Member Event: Building Your Practice Through Collaboration

If this topic interests you, I hope that you will join Michael Hanko, Anastasia Pridlides, Morgan Rysdon and me on Monday, October 20, 7-9pm, for "Building Your Practice Through Collaboration." We will explore ways to connect with others to create the support structures we need to thrive and grow as teachers. First, we'll hear from the panelists about how their various collaborations with Alexander Technique teachers and others have contributed to their teaching skills and helped them develop their practices. Then, we'll break into smaller groups so you can connect with others looking to support each other in various ways. I hope to see you there.

[author] [author_image timthumb='on']http://www.acatnyc.org/main/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/Kreuger.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]KAREN G. KRUEGER became a teacher of the Alexander Technique after 25 years of practicing law at two major New York law firms, receiving her teaching certificate from the American Center for the Alexander Technique in December 2010. Her students include lawyers, business executives, IT professionals and others interested in living with greater ease and skill. Find her at her website: http://kgk-llc.com. [/author_info] [/author]

Lessons on Marketing the Alexander Technique, Or What I Learned From Bloomberg TV

post-itBy Karen G. Krueger About a year ago, I unexpectedly was handed an opportunity to introduce the Alexander Technique to an audience that has no idea what it is, but needs it desperately: lawyers.

Spencer Mazyck invited me to be a guest on his Bloomberg Law series "Stealth Lawyer," a web-based video show featuring interviews with ex-lawyers about their new careers (sadly, no longer in production after a reorganization of Bloomberg Law). With some trepidation, I accepted. You can view the resulting interview on my website.

The response to the interview was immediate and positive, including a steady stream of new students. I would like to share with my fellow teachers some things I learned in the process:

Marketing is an Indirect Procedure

The seeds for this interview were planted long before they sprouted. Many years ago, a young lawyer named David Lat spent a short time working at the law firm where I was a partner. David went on to found an immensely successful and popular blog about lawyers and the practice of law, called "Above the Law."

Six or seven years ago, when I was beginning the process of leaving the practice of law to become an Alexander Technique teacher, another former colleague suggested I contact David, as he might be interested in writing about me on his blog. We exchanged a few e-mails, but nothing came of it.

Suddenly, a little over a year ago I got an e-mail from Spencer, saying that David had suggested me as a guest for his show. Two weeks after that e-mail arrived, the interview was making its way around the internet.

Several of my new students told me a similar story of long germination and sudden action: they had heard of the Alexander Technique in the past, but never took the step of having a lesson until seeing the interview prompted them to contact me.

The Power of the Internet

In my experience, the percentage of people responding to any introduction to our work by actually scheduling a lesson is low, so the multiplier effect of the internet's huge reach is significant. In this case, within 48 hours after the interview was posted on Bloomberg's website and circulated via "Above the Law," I had scheduled six first lessons.

And it turns out we don't need to provide "wow" moments of hands-on experience to get people interested. We should not discount the value of simply talking about the work. The important thing is to get them to come for that first lesson, to have the full hands-on experience.

Speak to Your Audience

In explaining the technique to the intended audience of lawyers, I touched on primary control, awareness, inhibition, direction, use-related pain, habitual reaction to stimuli, and good vs. bad use of the self - but I didn't use those words! I also emphasized aspects of the work that appeal to lawyers -- in particular, that it involves learning skills and using conscious thinking to solve problems.

I think this contributed to the positive response to the interview: I avoided jargon, instead speaking my audience's native language.

Be Authentic

Each person who contacted me mentioned something different in the interview that had spoken to his or her situation, needs and goals. Obviously, I hadn't actually tailored my message to their individual interests, as I would in a face-to-face conversation. Rather, I spoke from the heart about my own experience.

People recognize and respond to authenticity. We don't need to explain all the principles of the technique; we don't need to correct every possible misunderstanding about what it is; we just need to explain the value it has in our own lives and those of our students.

Each of us is a unique individual with a story about how we came to the Alexander Technique and why we decided to immerse ourselves in it. Tell that story to whomever you can, and people will find their connection to it.

[author] [author_image timthumb='on']http://www.acatnyc.org/main/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/Kreuger.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]KAREN G. KREUGER became a teacher of the Alexander Technique after 25 years of practicing law at two major New York law firms, receiving her teaching certificate from the American Center for the Alexander Technique in December 2010. Her students include lawyers, business executives, IT professionals and others interested in living with greater ease and skill. Find her at her website: http://kgk-llc.com. [/author_info] [/author]

Engaging With Play: How Games Can Enhance Your Teaching Practice

children-playing-661064-mby Anastasia Pridlides I attended the "games teachers play" free member event on April 28th ready for fun. I had been looking forward to this event from the moment it went on the calendar, not only because I really enjoy playing, but also because I love working with groups. I'm always looking for new things to put in my group teaching toolbox. We attendees had a fantastic time as Brooke Lieb, Luke Mess and Mark Josephsburg for shared their teaching games with us. Here are some of the things that I took away from the workshop.

What games can accomplish in a group setting

Ice Breaking

Asking a group of strangers to explore their sometimes personal habits together can be kind of intense. One of the best group class experiences I had as a student of the Technique was in a class where all of the participants really gelled. The level of comfort that we developed with one another created a supportive and relaxed learning environment and that enhanced my learning exponentially. Ice Breaker games are a great way to energize your group, to encourage them to tune in to one another and to build a group rapport.

Loosening up

We have all had those moments where we have gotten very serious about our selves and our process as we are learning. I know that in me an overly serious or inwardly focused mindset usually leads to end gaining and when that happens lightening up is exactly what I need. Sometimes a laugh or a smile is just the thing to encourage an "up" in the system.

Skill application

Games can be a really fun way to explore applying the Alexander Technique in an activity. It can help get your students out of their sitting and standing routine and help to bridge the gap between their lessons and their application of the Technique to their everyday life.

Alternative way of exploring abstract concepts

Concepts like inhibition, or faulty kinesthesia can be challenging ideas when they are new. Games that explore or incorporate these concepts can reinforce your students learning process by giving them opportunities to engage them experientially in a variety of different ways.

Incorporating games into your own teaching practice

The first question to ask oneself when planning games for your classes is "what do you find fun and engaging?" If you as the teacher pick something that you find stimulating, your students will pick up on the tone that you are setting for the activity. For instance, I love playing with balls and anything that involves lots of movement. I have a variety of go-to games that are either variations on catch or that encourage my students to move through space in new ways.

Next, decide what it is that you wish the purpose of your game to be in the context of your class. The purpose of an ice breaker game is to build a group dynamic and get your students more comfortable with one another. For that purpose, a game where everyone is standing in a circle and paying attention to the group as a whole, rather than one that breaks people into teams or pairs, might be a better choice. I like games that are forms of catch, whether you are using an actual ball or sending words or energy around the circle. Any name game where the participants get to say the names of others in the group can also help your group class get to know one another.

If however, you are looking for a game that explores a concept, the concept itself is your starting point. Do you want to explore inhibition? Then create a playful activity where taking a moment to a moment to pause or to not respond to a stimulus in an integral part of the game. What is it like to choose not to catch the ball, or not to run when you are tagged? Is faulty kinesthesia the concept you are interested in? How can you demonstrate that what we think we are doing isn't always what we are actually doing in a way that encourages your students to laugh at the discrepancy and be excited to find other places that don't match up? Can you ask them to close their eyes and move a certain way and then open them to see where they actually end up?

I've always thought of games as primarily being a group teaching tool, but these same concepts can be adapted for private lessons as well. I hope this gives you something to think about the next time that you are planning your classes. Do you have a favorite game that you like to teach in your classes, or a favorite game that you like play as a student? Then join the conversation and post it in the comments! I would love to hear about your ideas and experiences.

We have one more free member event coming up this season. Join us at ACAT on May 19th for “The Teacher’s Process, the Student’s Process: The Delicate Interplay of a Lesson” with Brooke Lieb. This workshop is perfect for Teaching Members who would like to get a taste of what it's like to be a trainee again and for Associate Members who are interested in learning more about how one learns to teach this work.

[author] [author_image timthumb='on']http://www.acatnyc.org/main/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/Anastasia.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]ANASTASIA PRIDLIDES teaches Alexander Technique, Bellydance and Yoga in New York City.  Studying the Alexander Technique has been a deeply transformative and life changing process for her. Every day she wakes up excited to know that her job is share it with others. You can find her at movementhealingarts.com[/author_info] [/author]

Engaging Curiosity and Dialogue: How to Introduce the Alexander Technique

by Morgan Rysdon On Monday, January 13th 2014, a panel convened at ACAT to discuss an issue of great concern to so many teachers of the Alexander Technique who struggle with talking about this rich and complex work. "Engaging Curiosity and Dialogue: How to Introduce the Alexander Technique" was moderated by Karen Krueger and included myself, Bill Connington, Rebecca Tuffey, and Jessica Wolf on the panel. The audience ranged from more senior teachers to trainees, all with a desire to explore this never-ending topic of how do we—as teachers of the Alexander Technique—introduce this unique work to others

Sage Advice From Seasoned Teachers

The diversity of the teachers sitting on the panel clearly illustrated the range in which we can approach this topic. Jessica Wolf, for example, strongly believes that as teachers we have a responsibility to raise the bar on how we present ourselves and the Technique to the world. Highlighting that teaching the Alexander Technique is a profession—just like any other kind of profession—and therefore, we should always be treating it as such when we talk about it with others.

While Rebecca Tuffey made it a point to emphasize the importance of knowing who you are talking to. Encouraging teachers to start asking those who are in front of them questions about themselves to help better direct their conversation. Stressing that it is easier to talk to someone about what the Technique is if we know who they are and where they are coming from.

My dear friend and colleague, Bill Connington, made by far the most interesting comment (for me) of the evening—he does not "sell" the Technique, but rather he informs people about it. This simple approach of educating people about what he does lends itself to the idea that talking to people about "What is the Alexander Technique?" does not always have to be as hard as we think it is. If we start thinking we have to 'sell the work' we run the risk of getting too complicated. Keep it simple! This is Bill's common theme—and one that seems to be working well for him and his practice—his new book is coming out later this year!

Practice Saying "Yes"

When it came to my own participation on the panel, my 2 points were:

1. Practice, practice, practice:

I think the more often we practice talking about this work, the more comfortable we become sharing it with others—no matter what scenario we find ourselves in.

2. Get into the habit of a "Yes" practice:

I say 'yes' to whatever someone brings to me. For example, "Is the Alexander Technique like Tai Chi?" I might be asked. "Why yes," I'd respond, "in the sense that it is a process that is always growing and further develops over time. And once you think you have mastered one aspect, new things always present themselves for you to continue learning." This practice of 'Yes' allows my dialogue with others to continue—and helps people draw similarities to those things they are already familiar with to the Alexander Technique.

What Is Your Way?

None of the teachers had a set way of explaining this work—and the varying responses were a helpful reminder that there is no one 'right' answer, just different answers. As a teacher or a teacher in training, what are some of the ways that you have found work well for introducing the Alexander Technique to new people? Do you have any sure fire ways to spark interest? Or perhaps you've had an experience that helped teach you what NOT to do when talking about this work to newcomers? We would love to hear from you!

[author] [author_image timthumb='on']http://www.acatnyc.org/main/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/morgan-rysdon.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]Morgan Rysdon enjoys introducing the Alexander Technique to new audiences. She holds a BA in Acting and received her teaching certification from ACAT in NYC. She has an active private practice in Hoboken, NJ, and Manhattan, where she coordinates and teaches introductory classes, group classes, and private lessons. She also assists with a weekly Parkinson's class at the Jewish Community Center (JCC) and is active in improving work environments for company's who value their employee's health. To support her professional community, she serves as Chair of ACAT's Board and sits on AmSAT's Membership Committee.She can be found at atcenterstudio.com[/author_info] [/author]

"So Tell Me, What is the Alexander Technique?": A Presentation Skills workshop for Alexander Teachers

Starting on Wednesday, February 12th, and running for the next 4 Wednesdays, Brooke Lieb will be leading a workshop open to all Alexander Technique teachers, members and non-members of ACAT. Q: What prompted you to design the class “So Tell Me, What is the Alexander Technique?: A Presentation Skills workshop for Alexander Teachers”?

A: I used to lead presentation and leadership skills workshops for TAI Partners in the early 90s, where we helped consultants, corporate trainers, teachers and performing artists find their authentic style of presenting to large and small groups. My background as an actor and Alexander Teacher allowed me to streamline the process for these participants, and give them real time experience presenting to a group so they truly embodied the tools and ideas on skillful presenting. The only way to get better at it is to do it, not read a book or listen to a lecture about how to present well.

Working with clients over the years, I realized I also understand workshop and presentation design. Again, my background in theater, training Alexander Teachers, and corporate training exposed me to a wide range of design elements, from presentation/storytelling, to interactive dialogue, to experiential group and partner activities. These skills are teachable, and learnable, and the best way to refine them is to have a place to practice them.

This workshop will give participants a chance to learn design and practice presentation. Everyone will walk away with ready to use components for introductory talks, content for your online introductory video, workshop design, and pitches to corporations. I expect more of us will have the chance to participate in conferences and TedX type events, and it's an important aspect of attracting clients and educating the  marketplace about the Alexander Technique.

Alexander Teachers can offer high level media training to our clients, so this course is also a chance to see how to incorporate the Alexander Technique when coaching your client in preparation for a talk, seminar or pitch she or he may be presenting. This might be a part of a client's job, even if she or he doesn't realize it. People rank the fear of public speaking higher than death, and we have a vital resource to help people not only survive but stand out in their communications.

"The lesson you gave me was super helpful. It was the calmest I've ever been during a presentation, and several people remarked on my delivery!" Jessica Santascoy, ACAT '14, on presenting at an Astronomy Conference.

For more information on course content and how to register, click here.

[author] [author_image timthumb='on']http://www.acatnyc.org/main/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/Brooke1web.jpg[/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. www.brookelieb.com[/author_info] [/author]