How to Find and Choose an Alexander Technique Teacher
Finding a teacher
The first of the websites listed in Alexander Technique Links to Additional Sources of Information includes a wordwide directory of teachers. The following three websites on that page are useful for determining whether your teacher is a member of one of the major Alexander Technique professional societies.
Choosing a teacher
Personal recommendations can be helpful. If that is not possible, and there is a choice of teachers in your area, it can be very useful to talk with two or three on the phone to learn about their training and certification(see Training and Certification of Alexander Technique Teachers), their teaching experience, and their approach to teaching (see Teaching Styles and Specialties. Be wary of any teacher who fails to provide clear answers your questions.
It may be helpful to talk to some of their students if that is possible. You might also want to find out if any of the teachers offer introductory classes or workshops. Consider taking an initial lesson with more than one teacher so you have some basis for comparison.
You can learn a great deal by observing your teacher. Odd posture or movement patterns can be a cause of concern although it is important to bear in mind that some teachers came to the Technique because of physical problems of their own. Some of the very best teachers suffered from serious illnesses or accidents before becoming teachers and have learned to make the best of their situation. What is important is how well a teacher has learned to move within the framework of those limitations that cannot be changed.
A Close Teacher-Student Relationship
Your Alexander Technique teacher is someone you will be working closely with over a period of weeks or months and so it is important that you feel comfortable with him or her. It is entirely possible that a teacher that is suitable for one person may not be the best fit for someone else.
It is usually best to take at least two or three lessons with a teacher before making a judgment about the effectiveness of their teaching. The Alexander Technique teaching process is not complicated – indeed it is the essence of simplicity – but the Technique’s approach to posture and movement is quite different from that of other methods, and from most popular writing on these subjects and so may be a little confusing at first.
Students often notice changes in their functioning after a few lessons, sometimes during or after their first lesson. They may feel lighter and may notice a decrease in physical tension. These initial sensations can be a bit elusive at first. Also, because our physical sensations are conditioned by habitual patterns of posture and movement, changes in those patterns may feel a bit odd. And, just as unconscious mis-use patterns in others are often easily seen by you, so to other people may notice changes in your own posture and movement patterns before you become aware of them yourself.