Alexander Technique Training Course, Ireland

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Country: 
Ireland
Region: 
County Galway
Staff: 

Head of Training: Richard Brennan (Haahr, Collins, Haahr 1989)
Named assistant: Michaela Wohlgemuth-Downes (Charlsen 2000)

Teacher Training Address: 
Kirkullen Lodge, Tooreeny, Moycullen, Co Galway, Ireland
Contact Details: 

Telephone: 00353 91 555800 (within Republic of Ireland) 091 555800 Enquiries welcome anytime.
Email: info@alexander.ie

Prerequisites: 

A basic understanding of the principles of the Alexander Technique and a real enthusiasm for the subject. This can be gained from individual Alexander lessons, group-work and reading books on the Technique. At least one visit to the school is recommended and an interview and lesson with the Head of Training. No charge for visiting is made on ‘open weeks’ however there is small charge at other times which is reimbursed if you join the course. It is also valuable to study the course website in detail as it is important to find the training course that suits you. You can find out about the open weeks by contacting the centre directly or by joining our mailing list at www.alexander.ie

Terms: 
3 terms varying between 10 and 12 weeks Autumn: mid September to mid December, Spring: early January
Weekly Hours: 
Tuesday 14.30 to 18.30, Wednesday 09.30 to 16.00, Thursday 09.30 to 13.30, Friday 09.30 to 12.00
Course Fees: 
€1990 per term
Year Founded: 
2007
Graduates: 
13
Current Trainees: 
13
Curriculum: 

The curriculum contains all aspects of the theory and practice of The Alexander Principles including:

    inhibition (physical, mental and emotional)
    direction
    goal-orientation
    awareness
    force of habit
    power of free choice
    recognition of mind-body-emotional unity

This is achieved by employing the following methods:

    study of FM Alexander's books and related literature
    individual lessons
    observation skills
    anatomy, physiology and ‘body mapping’
    voice and breathing work
    movement class
    discussion groups and talks
    video or mirror work
    short student presentations looking at wide range of activities which can be anything from walking to playing a musical (the students often choose the activity).

There is plenty of emphasis on improving teaching techniques during the hands-on observation work and verbal instruction during a wide range of activities.

Second and third year trainees work individually with first years as well as with each other. In the final year the third years give an individual lesson to first years every day. During their last year, trainees progress to giving lessons to members of the public under supervision in class time. At the end of each year there is a week-long residential course where second and third year students have a chance to work with members of the public with real health problems (backache, asthma, arthritis, etc) while under supervision. There is also an opportunity to work with students and members of the public at Galway and Limerick Universities.

There is a small amount of home study of Alexander’s four books and one essay per term. There is no examination as progress is determined by continual assessment including two STAT moderations.

The ethos of the course is that true learning is also enjoyable, and the directors believe that your Alexander training should be among the best experiences of your life.

Structure: This course is based on student-centred learning. The atmosphere is relaxed, caring, friendly and creative while students are encouraged to ask questions and explore different ways of teaching while under supervision to further their learning. The course includes daily individual sessions, learning in small mixed groups, and discussions and lectures with the whole group. There will be a minimum of two individual tutorials a year, but more can be requested by the student if needed. The course content is split into about 80% practical and 20% theoretical. There is also an emphasis on how to teach, how to present yourself in public and how to develop a thriving practice once you are qualified. Help in setting yourself up as a teacher once you have qualified is also offered.

There are at least three Alexander teachers giving individual lessons every day and in addition to this two visiting teachers come for a week at a time every term. These Alexander teachers are from Europe and USA and are extremely experienced - viewed by many as among the best in the world. Regular visiting teachers include Giora Pinkas, Glenna Batson, Rosa Luisa Rossi, Glen Park and Trish Hemmingway. Other teachers booked to come in 2011 include Anne Battye, Vivien Mackay, and Melissa Matson.

Additional notes: 

New trainees can enrol in September, January or April, but please note that there is a waiting list for places so please apply early whenever possible. Foreign students welcome – for students who live outside the EU please contact the centre for details about visas.

UK/World?: 
World

I would not say I am a fan of the technique – I am a disciple. For many years I suffered with chronic neck pain following a horse riding accident. When my HR manager recommended the Alexander Technique I was intrigued. Her father, a stroke victim, had experienced an incredible recovery from practising the Technique – to the point where he no longer needed a walking stick. After the first lesson I felt a dramatic difference; my neck felt long and free like a giraffe. Soon after that my teacher said I had learnt enough to incorporate the technique into my everyday life and manage my situation myself.

Annette Shaw
See the benefits of Alexander Technique