Our thoughts here describe the role of lectures in Alexander Technique training.
The role of lectures
Lectures, or talks, take place for half an hour every day. Lectures form an important contribution to the training of teachers in the Alexander Technique. Although not ‘practical’ in the psychophysical sense lectures impart information which rarely can be given during the pratical work. Lectures fulfill a variety of purposes.
Lectures cover Alexander’s books, anatomy and physiology, and other relevant subjects. One aim is to introduce students to the history and development of the Alexander Technique. Alexander’s books provide our common origin: they set out the his experiences and vision of the Technique, and thus provide useful guidelines for teaching and learning the Technique. Walter Carrington’s article ‘Why it is so important to be familiar with Alexander’s books’ (download pdf) explains the purpose well.
Another aim is to understand and use anatomy to improve one’s own use and as a learning aid. The way we teach anatomy is explained in our anatomy alexosophy.
In addition, each lecturer shares his or her own teaching experience, providing case histories and specific examples, and so familiarise students with real life teaching situations. Lectures thus acquaint students with the application of the principles of the Technique from the perspective of different teachers.
Different teachers talking about the Technique demonstrates the constructive ways of thinking and talking about use and functioning available to us. It provides the vocabulary suitable for our work – a language which reflects how we learn.
As in all Alexander Technique teaching the purpose of lectures is not to provide students with ‘answers’ or to tell students how to teach, but to show the methodology of rational means-whereby applied to the process of teaching and learning. The aim is to suggest guidelines as to the direction of the student’s own development and process. These are guides: neither Alexander nor any other teacher can tell students specifically what to do. But we can say something concrete about what we want to prevent.