I had a fantastic time in Chicago last week at the 11th International Congress for the Alexander Technique! This was the third Congress I’ve attended over the last ten years, and it always gives me such a “high” to be in the same space with hundreds of other AT teachers from around the world. It’s like finally being reunited with extended family!
This time, I had the honor of presenting a workshop for Alexander teachers who teach musicians, entitled “Beyond Physical Touch: The Subtle Secret to Teaching Musicians.”
The workshop was filled with excited teachers, and it felt great to be able to share my ideas with such an enthusiastic audience open to learning! It was really special to have my friend Pedro de Alcantara there, contributing great ideas, as well.
More highlights from the week…
#1 – The biggest highlight was joining Mio Morales for all of his workshops and (BIG NEWS!!) making the joint decision to start teaching online together. This is going to be an amazing collaboration!! 🙂
Mio is also a professional musician who has been teaching the Alexander Technique for 40+ years.
#2 – Reuniting with good friends I normally only get to see online was such a treat! Here, Imogen Ragone and I enjoy a beautiful sunset by Lake Michigan.
#3 – I surprised myself by agreeing to perform at the Congress “talent show” when a few modern dancer / AT teachers roped me in! That was an extremely interesting experience, which I write about in more detail in my next post.
Of course, not everything about the week was ease and roses…
As with relational dynamics in most families, some things were quite challenging.
For instance, not everyone believes in or understands how powerful online AT teaching can be, and there are actually people who still think it can’t be done – despite plenty of evidence to the contrary (I’m guessing most of them have never tried it). There were plenty of difficult discussions on the topic, and it was sad to see rifts arising between old friends because of this controversy.
However, one of the most exciting and heartwarming aspects of the Congress was meeting with those who are already using the internet to positive advantage, reaching out to help countless people around the world, finding it an invaluable tool to share Alexander’s discoveries with amazing success.
Some of these innovative teachers have been good friends of mine for years already, but it was so encouraging to see how many young teachers are curious and open to learning how to teach online.
There’s no doubt that the internet is here to stay. It’s up to us to learn how to use it intelligently, for the good of all. The tides are changing, for sure, and I’m happy to be riding the wave!
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