AT Congress® Berlin 2022

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Anxiousness and end gaining habits in learning?

In a Training Course, even more than during a private lesson, the habits in learning that we have been establishing since our childhood are as powerful as they are imperceptible.

In my experience, Western education-French education perhaps especially so- frequently stimulates an end gaining and passive attitude towards learning participation at school, asking the children since a very early to concentrate harder on good marks and reports than on their personal development and their particular abilities.

This relation to Education can create some occasions of conflicts for the students in the Alexander Technique class, as they get more confident in the procedures practice. We have to face that the danger of practicing the Alexander Technique procedures without being present and careful enough exists.
It is quite a task to “remain alive questioning” our use and our practice instead of developing unawares, the tendency to let go with our own behaviour as if “being every morning in the class was guaranteeing the appropriate attitude in learning” .

The Alexander Technique, the demand for a constant alive attitude towards our Use
The appropriate « Use of the Self » brought up by the practice of the Alexander Technique supposes a real availability for alive thinking, alive consciousness of oneself. It is a process of constant alive presence. The invasion of the Technology (computer, smartphones..) in our everyday lives constantly simulates our familiar inertia and so requires from us a uninterrupted commitment to rejoin the proper inner muscular and thinking activity of the Human Being.

Has this demand of a proper commitment grown greater over the last decades?
If I compare our world to my grandmother’s, she was for sure closer to F.M. Alexander’s time. I remember how she showed me in her 80’s, as I was worried by the weight of her building’s front door, how she managed to open it. She turned her back against the door and leaning on it to start the move, she laughed saying to me: « you see, easy! ». “For the greater part of her life, she walked very long distances (to get from place to place) and used machines by hand, so her memories of how to use the body properly were still alive as she got old”.

Our practice, a challenge with our education?
In the Alexander Technique practice, instead of repeating the procedures in order to be more and more in control, we in the contrary go for a bigger and bigger partnership with our body and thinking activity in harmony with our appropriate use. With Alexander Technique as part of my life, after years of fighting with myself ( an efficient classical musical training since my early childhood did not help me to accept indirect procedures), I have finally reached a point where I could say I am « witnessing » the human balance in the respect of the Use of the Self . And it took me a long time to fully accept it, as the kind of change I had to go for in myself. I often found myself trying to be the boss, and “making” the Alexander principles function. “Finally instead of aiming for new principles and rules I could manipulate with my “desire to do » , I discovered the infinite possibilities revealed by the STOPPING (inhibition) of the desire to Control, allowing the ability to open up to a deep listening of the Human functioning”.

Bring a short text (poetry or prose in the language you choose) that you would like to share for the activity.

About Agnes de Brunhoff

Singer and pianist, qualified Alexander Technique teacher, vocal, instrumental and drama coach,
Agnès de Brunhoff\\\’s dual career as both artist and trainer has earned her an international reputation.
In response to the back problems, injuries, nerves and tension which plague so many musicians and
actors, and in the light of her own experience working in film, theatre and concert, she has
developed a revolutionary approach to musical coaching, adapting the Alexander Technique tools
to the demands of instrumental and stage work, her method coming close to that of trainers in the
sports sector.
First at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and the European Union Youth Orchestra,
then in her class at the Paris Conservatoire, her method of psychophysical preparation and
application to instrumental practice has proved itself time and again, and she was invited to extend
it to the Paris Opera Academy in 2018.
She launched the Alexander Technique Training Centre (CFTAlexander) in October 2008, and
has since been training teachers in order to extend the professional reach of her method. The Centre
receives visitors from all horizons – music students, people with back problems at work, etc).
The third edition of her 2012/2015 book which is available in translation as “On stage! Back to
yourself with Alexander Technique” was followed in 2017 by another, also available in English as
“Backstage mysteries of body and mind”, and a third book, “L\\\’engagement détaché” (“Detached
engagement”) appeared in 2021, all published by Delatour France


See also: Agnes de Brunhoff – Presenter Detail Page

Wednesday, 24 August 2022
10:30 h - 11:45 h (10.30am-11.45am)
Main Building
Floor: 6.OG (6th floor)
Room: H 6124

AT Principles and Procedures||Performance/Music/Acting/Voice||Everyday Activities||Practical Teaching Skills||AT Games



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