Do you know that feeling when you have a really important idea that you can not capture in anything shorter than a complete essay. Then you read, quite by accident, something by someone else that sums it up beautifully?
My idea has been to do with overloading.
The essay version is this:
A student comes to an Alexander lesson (let’s say they’ve had a few lessons, they understand the basics). They have a particular problem they want to work on, a large and complex problem they have struggled with for ages. The teacher breaks off a small chunk of the problem, and together they use this small chunk to untangle some big ideas that are the root cause of this problem. She does some hands-on work and the student comes up with a strategy for tackling this small chunk. The strategy is difficult, but it works. Hooray! Light at the end of the tunnel!!
What does the student do next? What do they do with this very new, challenging process? They IMMEDIATELY try it out on the large, complex, ingrained problem.
It does not go well.
You and I, reading from a safe distance, may not find this surprising. But the student is always surprised and dismayed. At this point, they decide either:-
a) They are no good
b) The Alexander Technique is no good
c) The teacher is no good
and abandon a strategy that could prove very useful to them.
Now for the beautiful summing up(*), modified to fit the occasion:-
The best way to sink any Alexander idea is to overload it right at the beginning. The Alexander Technique is pretty resilient, but at this stage you aren’t. So build up the idea gradually.
Isn’t that just wonderfully put?
(*) The original version is from Mark Forster, time management expert, in the instructions for his Final Version management system from 2012:-
“The best way to sink any time management system is to overload it right at the beginning. FV is pretty resilient, but at this stage you aren’t. So build up the list gradually.”
Photo from 11mela via pixabay.com