How much do you read about the Alexander Technique? a) Loads b) A bit c) Nothing at all
If you answered (a) – great, keep it up. If you answered (b) or (c), maybe you need to take a leaf out of Marj Barstow’s book.
Marj Barstow was the first person to qualify from the first ever teacher training course run by FM Alexander. By all accounts a wonderful teacher, she became, in later life, a very significant presence in the Alexander world. Recently, one of her students wrote this(*):-
Marj once told me that from the day she read Alexander’s book Constructive Conscious Control in the early 1920′s, not a day passed that she didn’t think about, and experiment with, his ideas. She read, and re-read, his books over and over again, particularly Use of the Self.
Why read and re-read?
- to revise and refresh all those ideas you knew but had relegated to the back of your mind
- to discover all the little things you missed when your teacher mentioned them in class
- to discover ideas your teacher hadn’t mentioned and ask her awkward questions about them
- to reach a standard you probably cannot reach without it
My students all get a little reading homework every week. It’s noticeable that those who read and re-read get better much faster than those who don’t.
You have a lot more resources than Marj did. The market is loaded with Alexander books. The internet is awash with blogs(**), which have the advantages of being free (and short). If that isn’t enough, you can always read what Marj read – FM Alexander’s own books:-
Man’s Supreme Inheritance
Constructive Conscious Control of the Individual
The Use of the Self
The Universal Constant in Living
They are a bit more challenging to read than the average blog. Ok, more challenging than any blog I’ve ever found. But very worthwhile.
(*) Robert Rickover: www.bodylearningblog.com/marj-barstow-master-teacher-of-the-alexander-technique/ I recommend the whole blog, it gives a very interesting perspective on a fascinating lady.
(**) you can find a wonderful collection of every variety of Alexander blogs at http://www.alexandertechniqueblogs.com/
Image courtesy of Michelle Meiklejohn / FreeDigitalPhotos.net