AT Congress® Berlin 2022

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Jeremy Chance
Tokyo, Japan

The Learning-Teaching Compass


A Compass to Navigate Your Learning & Teaching

Benefit: Clarity on how to invent creative individual & group lesson plans

For 10 years I was a chair-and-table teacher. When I asked students what they wanted to do there were two answers: chairwork or tablework. Of course, within those activities was the depth of Alexander’s Discovery and it was comforting to have a consistent form to lean into for that exploration.

Then I met Marjorie Barstow and my teaching plan was blown to smithereens. When I ask students what they want to do – they can name anything: “My mother gives me a headache. I get scared in elevators. I don’t practice my music enough.”


How do come up with a teaching plan for that?!

Aside from the resulting identity confusion – am I a teacher, therapist or counsellor? – there is the ethical need to steer close to Alexander’s Discovery. And over time I understood it was my job to assist my trainees to understand how Alexander’s Discovery could support the unique challenges each individual faces in their physical, mental and spiritual needs.

The Learning-Teaching Compass is the tool I developed over 36 years to answer this need – and I will show how it works in a practical lesson during our time together. Come with a weird request!


One of the strong influences in my evolution of teaching skills was Marjorie Barstow, the first teacher to qualify from FM’s training school. When I first met her in Australia in 1986, she carried around a copy of Use of the Self. It wasn’t even an original edition; it was the NEWEST version published by David Alexander, with an illustration of FM on the cover.

And despite being the newest version, FM’s book was in tatters.

Her copy of Use of the Self was falling apart. Marj had read, and re-read that first chapter “Evolution of A Technique” so many times that she needed a rubber band to hold it together.

How many times have you read that chapter?

Hidden within the exploration of FM’s story is a new tool, a tool unseen by most of the Alexander community. Today, it is only known and used by the hundreds of trainees and teachers of BodyChance in Japan.

Today I call this new tool – The Learning-Teaching Compass – and I have been developing it for going on 36 years. It is based on the Enneagram – if you know it – however, this model is based upon Alexander’s story and is unique to me.

After experiencing Marj’s teaching – and her intellectual commitment to understanding FM’s story – I started to study this particular writing again. The depth in this chapter of FM’s book is unfathomable and my development of the Compass is based upon this work.

You can keep in touch with my ideas by reading my (not quite) Daily – find out what other teachers think and join them at this link: https://atsuccess.com/what-teachers-are-saying-about-jeremys-daily-email.html

About Jeremy Chance

Jeremy Chance, STAT cert.

Jeremy Chance has been studying Alexander’s discoveries since 1969. His book Principles of the Alexander Technique has been published and translated into 7 languages. Jeremy originally trained in London during the 1970s and continued his studies with Marjorie Barstow in the 1980s. From 1985 to 2002 he was the Publisher & Editor of DIRECTION, a Journal on the Alexander Technique. He was a founding member of AUSTAT in Australia and is currently a member of no Alexander organisations or societies. In 1999 Jeremy married and moved to Japan where he founded an Alexander Training School. Today he continues as Managing Director of BodyChance – still the world’s largest College of Alexander Technique Teacher Education, and now one of the oldest too.


Jeremy began his three-year Alexander training in England in 1976 with Paul and Betty at the School of Alexander Studies in Highgate. After qualifying, he taught at the E15 and Rose Bruford Performing Arts schools in London before returning to Australia in 1982.

In Sydney, he taught regularly at the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA), The Actors Centre and The Actors College, while also regularly visiting the Victorian College of the Arts (VCA), The Conservatorium of Music and many other leading art institutions around Australia.

During this time he founded two Alexander Technique teacher training schools in Sydney and Melbourne – Directed by other teachers. The Department of Immigration told Jeremy it had a 6-inch file full of applications for Alexander teachers to immigrate to Australia.

Next, at a residential conference where Erika Whittaker debuted her return to teaching – Jeremy established the Australian Society of Teachers of the Alexander Technique (AUSTAT). What a mistake that was. From 1988 to 1993 he travelled throughout Europe and America, leading seminars and giving presentations to performing artists, business leaders, peer groups and the general public.

From 1986 to 2003, Jeremy was the Editor and Publisher of DIRECTION, an international Journal on the Alexander Technique (http://www.directionjournal.com) which is now being managed by Jean Fischer at Mouritz Press.

In 1998 Jeremy met Jaldhara, the mother of their children Grace and Angelica, and decided to settle in Kyoto and start an Alexander Teacher Training school. He initially named it ATA in honour of Don Burton’s trendsetting school of the 1980s in London. ATA eventually evolved into BodyChance and before COVID-19 hit, had 120+ trainees in the school – making it by far the largest school in the world.

BodyChance grew to this size as a result of Jeremy making a conscious decision to save his family by building his business. At 43 he embarked on a long-term project to become a master of business technology and over the next 20 years spent a lot of money and time studying his personally designed MBA. At first, Jeremy taught his own trainees how to gather students. Alexander\\\’s Discovery flourishes in Tokyo today as a result of his trainees using business skills learnt while training at BodyChance.

Out of this experience, Jeremy formed ATSuccess and began coaching Alexander teachers and trainees the world over. During this time Jeremy conceived and developed his 12-Point Plan for becoming a successful teacher. Today, the world’s largest online Alexander Training Organisation – Peter Jacobson’s Total Vocal Freedom – grew out of Peter’s association with ATSuccess. Many of today’s most commercially successful teachers have had some kind of contact with ATSuccess.

In 2018 Jeremy embarked on an expensive and ambitious program to introduce Alexander’s Discovery to corporations in Japan. He was about to sign an annual contract with a large corporation when COVID happened and the project fell into ruin. BodyChance also diminished from a peak of 140+ trainees to 68 trainees today. However, BodyChance survived COVID.

Jeremy still lives in Japan but spends as much time as he can in Australia to be with his daughters and family. He runs the world’s largest Alexander training school – BodyChance – and is about to embark on a major new project. If successful, this will constitute an unprecedented development for Alexander’s discovery, and a gamechanger for Alexscovery Teachers (AT) in Japan. Stay tuned…

You can keep in touch with my ideas by reading my (almost never) Daily email. Read what teachers say about it and sign up by clicking on the website link below…


See also: Jeremy Chance – Presenter Detail Page

Wednesday, 24 August 2022
15:00 h - 17:00 h (3.00pm-5.00pm)
Math Building
Floor: OG
Room: MA144

AT Principles and Procedures||Everyday Activities||Practical Teaching Skills||Communication/Verbal Skills||Connections to other Modalities/Techniques||Science



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