AT Congress® Berlin 2022

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Teaching the Alexander Technique: What Do I Need to Know and How Do I Know I Know It?

Come to an experiential workshop derived from a considered qualitative approach to evaluating teaching competence. Participants are invited to complete the ATI Teacher Certification Process in miniature and reflect on how the process relates to their thinking about the Alexander Technique and the way they teach it.

Attendees will participate in interactive small group discussions about Alexander’s Writings, Anatomy, and Ethics in Teaching.  They will then be invited to observe a lesson with the ATI Teaching Criteria in mind.  The workshop will conclude with an open discussion about how this qualitative approach to teaching competence relates to different ideas about what it means to teach the Alexander Technique. (Please bring your copy of The Use of the Self).

This is a joint workshop together with Sarah Barker, Gabriele Breuninger, and Joe Kaplan.

About Catherine Kettrick, Sarah Barker and Joe Kaplan

Sarah Barker has a passion for teaching people how to live in a conscious body, how to embody their imagination, and how develop physical intelligence. She focuses on giving her students independence and personal success by helping them discover their own inner abilities and the power to change their quality of moving and living.

She was introduced to the Alexander Technique and the Human Potential Movement during her graduate study of acting at the Southern Methodist University. From the moment she began working with Marjorie Barstow she knew she had a thread that would stitch all of her studies together into a unified approach. The idea that one could use conscious awareness and intention to change one’s whole experience of life and art was revolutionary. She dedicated her studies in the art of acting to the psycho-physical realm. Over the 48 years since that first discovery Sarah has studied more than forty somatic systems for unlocking the freedom and ability that comes with a mind/body unity. She became a Theatre Movement Specialist helping to establish the Association of Theatre Movement Educators. She is also an actress and an acting teacher. She has directed two graduate programs for actors and has developed a body of work for physical approaches to acting and other performing arts. She is now professor Emerita at the University of South Carolina. Sarah continues to teach regularly as an invited guest for Alexander Technique teacher training schools around the world.
She has been teaching the Alexander Technique since 1974 with a focus on providing tools that help people learn the technique when there is no teacher available and then for practice as they work closely with teachers to develop the mind/body connection. More recently she has investigated the scientific understanding of touch and its implications for teaching and learning. She has delivered hundreds of workshops, demonstrations and panels throughout the United States and in Japan, Germany, the UK, Canada, Portugal, and Switzerland.
Sarah writes regularly for theatre movement and Alexander Technique publications. Most recently she launched Allez-Up!, her wellness app for smart phones. In the last few years she has authored chapters in two internationally published books: in Galvanizing Performance (with Jessica Knightly) a book of essays on new developments in applications of Alexander Technique in performance and in Physical Dramaturgy (with Routledge Press) a book of essays on physical approaches to theatre performance. Her book, The Alexander Technique, has been distributed worldwide for forty years and has been translated into French, Japanese, Portuguese, Italian and German. Moving with Ease, her innovative DVD for learning the Alexander Technique, is available in English (through easyalexander.com) and in Japanese (through Being Net Press).


Joe Kaplan has been a teaching member of ATI since 2018. A musician with a keep technical mind, he applies the Alexander Technique to his work as a composer, pianist, and percussionist as well as many computer-related endeavors. He has scored several dance shorts that have received recognition at festivals around the world. He is also the founder of YAWP Music, an inclusive collaborative community that composes, notates, rehearses, and performs new pieces of music on the spot.

Joe approaches the Alexander Technique from the perspective that FM\’s main contribution was philosophical. Analyzing human behavior in terms of \”projecting directions\” is a novel paradigm shift in the way we understand ourselves. Joe has written several articles relating the Alexander Technique to symbolic logic and other trends in 20th-century philosophy. This technical analysis of the Technique gives his teaching rigor and clarity. His detailed, research-oriented approach has helped him demystify the Alexander Technique for new students by finding the simpler ways to express the nuances of the work.


Catherine Kettrick:
I studied and trained with Marj Barstow, from 1973 until the year she died, and her effect on my life and teaching has been profound. From Marj I learned that thinking is moving; that we always have a choice; and that while this work may have lasting and joyful “physical” benefits, they all stem from a clear and well-coordinated consideration of how I choose to live and be in the world. And, most importantly, it\’s fun!

My goal as a teacher is to see pupils embark on a journey of self-directed and independent learning. As they discover where they want to go, I help them navigate that process.

For me, the most exciting part of this work is watching people realize how free they can be in their thinking and reaction to the world, and what profound effects that can have in all of their lives. I feel privileged to witness people discover the power, clarity and potential of well-coordinated thinking and moving.

As David Mills has said: “Habit is being ready for the one thing you expect next. Coordination is being ready for anything.” I want to be ready for anything.

And if you are interested:

–I am co-director of The Performance School, with David Mills, where we have a rather unique teacher training program (https://performanceschool.org);

— My revised study guide to the major writings of F. M. Alexander is on the Performance School website (keep scrolling!) along with a resource list;

–I assisted Marj on two European tours and have also taught in Australia and Japan and (of course) in the US, and in time compatible time zones on Zoom;

–I co-founded Alexander Technique International (www.alexandertechniqueinternational.org), have served on its Professional Development Committee since its inception (except for two years when I was Chair of ATI), and many other committees also!

–I have extensive experience in Formal Consensus decision making, which ATI uses in its meeting, and am currently chair of the Agenda Planning Committee;

–and I am an actor, a hoofer, and as Lady Allegra Germaine, a burlesque performer!



See also: Catherine Kettrick, Sarah Barker and Joe Kaplan – Presenter Detail Page

Tuesday, 23 August 2022
14:45 h - 17:15 h (2.45pm-5.15pm)
Main Building
Floor: 2.OG (2nd floor)
Room: H 2037

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