Marjory Barlow said, "The Alexander Technique is FUN; it's meant to make you happy." We hope that those who join us here find it as playful a discipline as we do.
We wanted to create a teacher education program for people who wanted to specialize in working with performers, and a place for performers who wanted a more comprehensive study of the Technique, without necessarily becoming teachers. Our program was an 1800 hour, three year course. Over the years, as faculty members went on to do other things and the needs of our students evolved, we continued to innovate different means of teaching and training teachers. Our current program is designed to respond to our students’ needs and changing situations in the world, while still offering a comprehensive and robust training in becoming an Alexander Technique teacher.
When we called The Performance School a “Center for the Study of the Alexander Technique,” we meant it both as a place where one could come to study the Technique and also a place where we continue to study the Technique, what it is, how it works, and how our understanding of it might be affected by recent scientific discoveries.
Since the school was founded, we have continually experimented with ways of clearly and simply teaching the principles and practice of the Alexander Technique. We believe that the essence of Alexander's technique lies in its simplicity. We hope that The Performance School will continue to serve as a gathering place for a growing community of learners dedicated to cultivating that simplicity, both in their own actions and in the world around them.
We also believe that, as Marjory Barlow has often said, "The Alexander Technique is FUN; it's meant to make you happy." We hope that those who join us here find it as playful a discipline as we do.
embodied examination of Alexander’s concepts
and principles, based on what he actually said about them
an embodied examination of the nature and means of teaching using curated readings from Alexander, including the perspective of 21st century sciencemore
best way to learn to teach is to teach, and to observe other teachers. In this course, we provide observation,
feedback and guidance to do that.
Courses & Workshops for teachers and teachers in training who know that curiosity is the key to confidence
resources for futher exploration
Information about discoveries in many fields that will help you to deepen your understanding of how humans learn and function.
David and Catherine have been thinking and writing about this work for many years.
Here is a sample.
I have studied this work for nearly 50 years and taught it
for almost that long, and of everything I have done, I can honestly say that
this work has had the most profound influence on my life.
It has affected me in two main ways: one was the dramatic effect it had on my own
well-being, both in the ability to coordinate myself easily, and being able as
a performer to let the clarity of my intentions come through clearly to my
audience. More important was the change
in the clarity of my thinking: learning who I am, how I react to stimuli and
how to make clear, conscious choices about how I want to be in the world.
And it’s a lot of fun!
I no longer operate only from habit, physical or
mental. As David Mills says: “Habit is
being ready for the one thing you expect next.
Coordination is being ready for anything.” I want to be ready for anything.
was a graduate student in Biophysics when I first met Marjorie Barstow in 1974.
When I dropped Catherine off in Lincoln, Nebraska for Marj's summer workshop in
something called The Alexander Technique, I wasn't planning to attend that
workshop myself the following summer, much less all of 20 summers after
that. I recall that I found in Marj's approach to what she liked to call
"the discoveries of FM Alexander" a new kind of biophysics – a study
of the workings of the whole human person, as a whole – and by that person.
What in the world, I thought, could be a more fascinating field of study than
ME? And what knowledge would be more useful? So I never did get that degree in Biophysics, though I did eventually get my PhD in Human Learning, and
of course Alexander's work played a central part.
Over the years of working with people engaged in all sorts of performance I have enjoyed sharing their moments of fascination with their own "unity in action." John Dewey claimed that this work "bears the same relation to education that education bears to all other human activities." A strong statement. I continue to see my work with the Alexander Technique as a means of exploring what that statement might mean, and what it might be like to become educated in that way. In the meantime, I find that the secret compensation for practicing the Technique is that we get to spend moments enjoying the presence of truly fascinating people – ourselves.
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