The majority of adult Alexander students come for lessons because they have developed a problem of some sort. When this is the case, the Technique takes on a remedial role and becomes a form of re-education.
How much more sense it would make to have learnt the basics of the Technique when they were young enough for it to play a preventive role!
Alexander did in fact run a small, full-time school for children for several years, until the war led to its closure. Nowadays, quite a number of children have lessons, particularly children in most of the specialist music schools; but the Technique can be equally helpful for basic skills such as writing, singing, playing sports and sitting at a computer - as well as developing self-awareness, personal confidence, and supporting general physical & mental health.
For more ideas, you may like to visit www.alexandertechnique.co.uk/education.
How can children benefit from Alexander lessons?
Most very young children quite naturally have what Alexander teachers call ‘good use’. As they grow up this natural ease is often lost – especially once at school; and even more so when they start spending time with computers, mobile phones and similar devices!
Some children come for lessons for a particular problem: tension-related aches and pains; back pain caused by bad posture; unhelpful breathing patterns, and so on. However, Alexander lessons are not only for those with problems: any child can come along and learn something useful, with gentle encouragement and a few little fun activities.
Lesson benefits include:
- Better posture and greater awareness of movement in activities of all kinds – including use of computers
- Ability to calm down and relax, leading to good concentration and energy levels
- Prevention of posture-related back and neck pain
- Support for practical skills such as handwriting, sports, playing an instrument and using the voice
- Sensitivity, in a positive sense, towards oneself and to others
- Starting to take responsibility for one’s own life and health
How many lessons do children need?
With any age group it is difficult to set a standard number of lessons as the norm. People with a health problem, and performers needing to develop a very high degree of coordination for their art or sport, may choose to have many more lessons than those who just want to be sure they approach life with good personal use, physically and mentally.
Janet offers a structured, six-lesson course for individual children and teenagers. Further lessons may be recommended as a follow-up.
During the course, the main concepts of the Alexander Technique are presented, but without being too serious about it. The individual's interests, as well as any problems, are included whenever possible. Sensitive hands-on guidance is offered if the young person is comfortable with it: most children & teenagers really enjoy the ‘Alexander touch’ and respond to it very well.
Parents are encouraged to come to the introductory session, and ideally to experience the hands-on guidance for themselves during this first lesson. After the introduction, parents are still welcome to attend, and with younger children it is important that they continue to do so.
Teenagers and some older children may prefer to come to lessons on their own, and this is fine – but lessons will be most effective when parents take an interest and give appropriate support.
Lesson format and fees for individual children
Single lesson: £20 for half hour or £30 for 45 minutes
Six Lesson Course (£120 in total):
First lesson (3/4 hour) with parent observing and participating: £30
Subsequent five half hour lessons, weekly if possible: £90
(These prices have a £15 discount per lesson on the standard lesson prices; plus an additional discount for the block)
These can sometimes be arranged as either one-off or ongoing sessions.
The focus can be general, looking at basic posture, movements and everyday activities; or more specific: writing, use of computers, voice and communication, or back care, for example.
Please contact Janet to discuss your needs and interests, and for a quotation.