We are a vibrant learning community.
Everyone comes to this work out of their own experience. Our school gives credibility to this experience; it is in the application of the technique as our life unfolds when we learn the most. It’s not so much about procedures and correct ways of doing things as it is in the way that we change our thinking. We form ourselves into a non-judgemental, deeply respectful, interdependent curious group of wayfarers. Be it throwing a dart, opening a door, playing an instrument, eating with chopsticks, or learning how to begin our private practices, the basic tenants of the technique are always before us. The Alexander Technique guides us from every point of view in whatever we are studying: this allows us a rich and varied exploration of human movement and expression.
The school was co-founded in 1983 with myself and Bruce Fertman. The school began as a residential course that met four days each week. Simultaneously we developed a monthly extensive study course. We began under the influence and guidance of Marjorie Barstow in the early 1980s. Marjorie was the first teacher trained by F.M. Alexander. The students met with her four times during the year and we had quite an extensive additional faculty. Both Bill and Barbara Conable were part of the regular faculty in our early years Many other fine teachers came as well: Barbara Kent, Elisabeth and Lucia Walker, Erica Whitaker, Lyn Charleson, Jeremy Chance, Tommy Thompson and others.
We taught for thirteen years running both the extensive study course and the residential courses. In looking back, we noticed that students from the extensive study course were very independent and became fine teachers. They were able to easily take the work into their lives. At the end of thirteen years, we ceased running the residential course and shifted those students into the extensive study course. The school at times was quite large. Over the years we’ve trained many Alexander Technique teachers. For a glorious ten years, we had five core faculty: myself, Bruce Fertman, Jan Baty, Meade Andrews, and Cynthia Mauney. Glenna Batson also came quite often. We all taught regularly and we brought in many guest teachers. It was quite exciting, but also challenging.
People always traveled from afar to come to the school. In January, the entire school would go up to Hampshire College (winterim) course in Amherst Massachusetts. The whole school would go to Nebraska to study with Marjorie Barstow. We would all go to Vermont to learn with Jan Baty. The entire school would go to Sweetbriar, VA every year until 2005. Within the last fifteen years or so, Bruce expanded the program into Germany and Japan and Canada .
I took over the Philadelphia program on my own steam in 2007. I made some definitive changes. I wanted the school to run in a very clear fashion with strong follow through, so we began the long weekends of intensive study where I am the primary teacher and Zoana Gepner-Mueller also teaches each weekend. We have guest teachers come in quite often to teach about anatomy, building a private practice, etc. The students have a strong understanding that they must have exposure to other teachers to round out their understanding of the technique. The program is smaller, more personal, and more attention is paid to each person for whom they are. Overall this school is helping people come into themselves as teachers. I’m very proud of their integrity, flexibility, and the liveliness with which they explore the technique with others and in their own lives. The thing that distinguishes this program now is that it is deeply personal. We are an interdependent learning community committed to everyone learning together, which makes a really humanizing experience for people.
We’d be happy for you to come for a visit and experience it for yourself sometime