Why would I want to be an Alexander teacher?
There are few other professions that allow you to help others and improve yourself at the same time.
You can make people’s lives better as you teach them to overcome pain and have greater control over their activities.
When you graduate, you’ll be able to start your own private practice, offering a valuable service through a business model that allows you to be your own boss, set your own schedule, and balance your work with other aspects of your life in a sustainable manner.
Many Alexander teachers also integrate the Alexander Technique into other work: e.g., performers; music, dance, acting, or yoga teachers; coaches and personal trainers; and mental health or bodywork practitioners.
To teach it, you must master it yourself.
Most of your training will mirror having intensive Alexander lessons for yourself. You will learn skills to teach the Alexander technique, such as how to use your hands in a gentle, directive manner to convey better ease, posture, and coordination to your students. You will learn where to put your hands, what movement to do, and what to say. However, the focus of what you are learning will always be on how YOU are using yourself as a teacher.
This is what makes being an Alexander technique instructor so amazing. You must live the principles that you are teaching your students. But the challenge is worth it. The impact on everything you do is huge.
You’ll make great personal gains in your own postural health and skilled activities.
Your training will allow you to apply the principles and changes in yourself to your life. You will improve how you sit, stand, and move. You will develop ease in your actions. And be able to address tensions and pain that might have interfered with other types of professional training.
You will also learn to apply the Alexander technique to any activity, finding improvements you didn’t even know were possible. Your yoga or tai chi practice will have lightness and ease. Your gym workouts will stop being strained. Your speaking, singing, and breathing will be effortless. Your artistic endeavors – music, dance, acting, visual arts – will develop in unexpected and highly productive ways.
You will learn how to learn – and find that mastery is no longer your goal. In fact, you will stop being fixated on reaching some endpoint, in all things in life, and find value in the process of developing and learning above all else.
What does the Alexander Teacher Training involve?
The Alexander Training Center – Austin offers a 3-year training course. Applications are being accepted for enrollment August 2020.
Trainees will complete 1600 hours of apprenticeship-style training and will be eligible for certification by the American Society for the Alexander Technique (AmSAT).
Training classes will meet four days a week, 3 to 4 hours per day, for up to 40 weeks each year.
Each trainee will get a lot of hands-on work and personal attention, with one instructor per five trainees.
Training assistance will be provided by many Alexander teachers practicing in the Austin area.
All training is directly overseen by the Training Director, Molly Johnson. The Alexander Training Center – Austin is Texas’ only AmSAT-approved Alexander Technique Teacher Training Course.
Why should I train at the Alexander Training Center?
Training Director, Molly Johnson, brings a high level of Alexander Technique expertise to her teaching, offering a thorough, yet focused perspective that draws on her in-depth study of the different lineages of Alexander teachers first trained by F.M. Alexander.
Molly also draws on a wealth of experience applying the Alexander Technique to athletics and exercise, instrumental music, voice, dance, and more… with an emphasis on training teachers to bring students to their peak level of performance.
Additionally, Dr. Molly Johnson’s Ph.D. in Neuroscience and Behavior gives her a solid background in kinesiology and the science of human movement and motor skill learning, which allows her to teach the most current information relating science to the Alexander Technique.
Trainees will learn to apply principles of motor learning to their teaching and to intelligently discuss general scientific concepts in the areas of motor control and postural control. Trainees will also become familiar with the current research on the Alexander Technique. Graduates will be knowledgeable and comfortable with outreach to medical professionals and scientists.
Here’s an overview of the curriculum…
Hands-on Skills & Teaching Procedures
This main aspect of the Alexander training program will focus on progressively developing hands-on skills in relation to a student. It will also develop specific teaching procedures used for table work and chair work given during private lessons.
One or two procedures or activities will be worked on each week, focusing on both the individual performance of that activity and also teaching it to students.
We will focus on the main Alexander procedures: monkey, lunge, hands-on-the-back-of-chair, rising to toes, and whispered “Ah.” We will also touch on other activities we might work on with students within a lesson, such as walking, turning, breathing, or vocalizing.
Trainees will be guided by the director and assistants through novel movements or activities. Trainees will not be learning to teach these activities; they are purely experiential.
We will use a wide range of movements that involve using the body in a range of body positions, and speeds, always focusing on the application of the Alexander technique to novel circumstances.
Applying the Alexander Technique to Activities
We will occasionally work on applying the Alexander Technique to skilled activities, such as playing music, swimming, doing yoga, surfing, or acting. We will also work on how to work with private students on applying the Alexander Technique to their own activities
F.M. Alexander’s Books
We will read six of Alexander’s seminal books aloud together in class and discuss the ideas they present.
Books, Articles, Lectures, and Videos
We will use discussions of books, articles, lectures, and videos to explore a range of topics relevant to the Alexander technique.
Anatomy & Science
The science curriculum will involve reading and lectures on basic anatomy, anatomy of musculoskeletal and neurological conditions, functional anatomy, research on the Alexander technique, motor control, and motor learning.
Each semester, trainees will do an in-depth research project on a topic of their choice related to the Alexander Technique. Projects can involve academic research using books or scientific articles. Projects can also be exploratory in nature and culminate in artistic or participatory presentations.
Want to know more about training to be an Alexander Technique Instructor?
If you are exploring options for professional training…
If you’ve been an Alexander student for a while and want to study more intensively….
If you are pretty sure you want to train, but don’t know where…
We want to hear from you.
Schedule a free in-person or phone consultation with training director Molly Johnson to let her know you may be interested in training and to ask questions about the course. You are also welcome to email or call directly to ask questions or get a link to the trainee application for August 2020 enrollment.