Why Study Here?

Why study at the Contemporary Alexander School?

What makes us different?

Living Arts Curriculum: Contemporary Real-Life Applications

 The Living Arts Curriculum is a study of Alexander’s principles through the “arts” of our daily life. It involves us working with digital, visual, musical, textile, tactile, culinary, intuitive, and movement arts on a regular basis as a central part of teacher training.

The training emphasis is on being able to teach the fundamental principles of the Work to individuals and groups within the activities of their lives.  We work with people while they are doing whatever they do – riding a horse, playing an instrument, working at a computer, cooking a meal, singing an aria – whatever.  Within the training we go to where people work – to an artist’s studio, a riding arena, a tennis court, an ice skating rink, into a belly dancing class, up to the ski valley, or to a rehearsal of the local symphony.  We work with people in their actual settings so they can recognize their actual habits. This allows trainees to become versatile, improvisational, and comfortable with teaching the principles in a wide variety of situations.  It requires Trainees to deeply embody the principles of the Work, not just the form.


Self-Designed Programs: Flexible, Self-Paced, Non-Residential Study Options

The training is an immersion-style, self-paced program that has full time, part time, and academic calendar options available. It is specifically designed to fit into your already full life. The format consists of short intense periods of group study, balanced with ongoing personal projects in between, thus allowing students from all over North America to successfully participate. Training Events are offered throughout the year, including longer summer and winter break intensives, allowing students to design a program that is realistically manageable.

Learning the Art of Touch: Highly Sophisticated Hands-On Skills

There is an extremely strong training emphasis on gaining a high level of proficiency for using your hands as a profound tool for communication and understanding. Trainees learn to use their hands not only to feel, but also to ‘see’, ‘hear’, ‘sense’, and ‘know’ what is happening in another person’s body and being. We learn to access and communicate with all layers of a person. We work thru bones, soft tissue, organs, fluids, cells, nervous system, thoughts, memory, beliefs, energy, and so on, to gain a full understanding of the larger patterns and relationships involved in a person’s use and choices.

Like training as a musician or dancer, trainees build a regular practice of technical ‘etudes’, which develop an ability to work within a full range of technical skills: from very little contact to full body contact; from a very light touch to a weighted touch; how to effectively use all parts of the hands; how and why to spatially orient yourself to the student; etc. Trainees learn to discern and understand the patterns which create stress, tension, and injury directly thru their hands.

Beholding: In-depth Study of Pedagogy

Trainees learn to ‘meet the student where they are,’ without judgment or bias, but with curiosity and compassion. We learn to witness. To truly behold and know the Being in our hands, and to let ourselves be known as well. We learn to discern and release our own need ‘to be helpful’ or ‘to be a good teacher’. We learn to disempower the cultural memes of “trying to do good”, and deeply explore our personal definitions of the concept of “teacher”. Through practice, we embrace the power of simply ‘being with’ our students, and together, unfolding their, and our own, inherent potential.

Trainees learn how to teach a wide variety of people from all backgrounds, interests, and ages.

The training offers a range of pedagogical skills, including styles of learning, group dynamics, personality theories and a wide variety of teaching principles and theory. Trainees learn both “classical” and “contemporary” forms of conveying Alexander’s Principles. We also study with leading educators from a variety of fields, offering a wealth of personal and practical experience.

Trainees learn how to teach both individuals and groups. We learn the special skills necessary for successful group teaching, and, in particular, for crafting introductory workshops for specific interest groups. This is probably one of the most useful and important skills for building a successful and sustainable Alexander Practice.

Graduation is determined by proficiency. Everyone studies at their own rate, and everyone is ready in their own time. CAS offers full time trainees the possibility of continuing their training, even beyond the completion of tuition payments, until they and the Alexander Alliance International Directors agree that the trainee is proficient at embodying and imparting Alexander Work. After graduation, students may apply to study for an additional year as an apprentice for no additional tuition.

Alexander Plus: Complementary Integrative Studies

There are a range of complementary studies, beyond Alexander’s basic principles, which offer trainees more expertise, knowledge, and skill in their proficiency and understanding of the Work. Trainees are encouraged to expand their studies in areas which interest them, throughout the training and after graduation. Here are some of the complementary workshops and skills which are incorporated into the CAS training:

Living in a Body™ – a 20 hour professional body mapping certification course for educators

 

Body, Breath, & Sound™ – a series of workshops on the understanding and use of breath and sound

 

Ways of Knowing™ – exploration into the teachings and science of choice and manifestation

 

Cranial Sacral – basic principles of working with cranial rhythm and movement, in relation to AT unwinding

Visceral Unwinding – basic knowledge of visceral movement and support, in relation to AT

Sexological Studies– an intro to the contemporary field of sexological bodywork, in relation to AT

Learn by Doing: Worldwide Teaching and Apprenticeship Opportunities

Trainees practice teaching.  Trainees use their hands and their words from the very first day of the Program. We learn to teach by teaching – at whatever level you are at. Trainees gain the necessary skills for teaching through activities, Alexander’s basics, and table lessons. Trainees may observe and apprentice in hundreds of actual lessons and workshops, learning firsthand how to discern the underlying patterns and beliefs that need to be addressed in order for successful change.

Graduates and advanced trainees may also participate in CAS affiliated venues: for example, CAS is the resident Alexander Faculty at the prestigious Meadowmount School of Music in NY, USA, which attracts some of the world’s leading young musicians.

It Takes a Village:International Contemporary Alexander Community

Training people to deeply embody the principles and potential of the Work cannot be done within a single training – it takes a tribe – a community of like-minded explorers. Our tribe is worldwide, and we actively create opportunities for all of us to connect, study, play, and develop the deep friendships which form the ‘glue’ of our Alliance.

As the American branch of the Alexander Alliance International, the Contemporary Alexander School is a ‘sister-school’ with Alexander Alliance Germany and Japan (Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka). As an CAS trainee, you may study for no additional tuition cost at these training programs throughout your training. Faculty and Directors of each of these schools are a part of the CAS faculty.

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In addition, there is an annual international gathering held in New Mexico each August, with all of the International Directors team-teaching an innovative and lively immersion week, with graduates and trainees from all three countries. For more information, please visit www.alexandersummerretreat.com.

 

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