Alexander Technique Centre Ireland Newsletter, September 2012


Welcome to the September 2012 edition of the newsletter! In this issue we announce an online petition, a voice course by an international guest teacher, news from the Training College, Open Week, Awareness Week, and an International Convention taking place in Ireland in 2013.

A special welcome if you are new the Alexander Technique mailing list. You will be sent an e-newsletter about 3-4 times a year. I hope you find this newsletter helpful.

Featured in this issue:

Together with improved physical and mental health I have found that the Alexander Tehcnique has brought about a general heightening of consciousness on all levels.
Aldous Huxley, Writer

Petition for Better School Chairs

Find out about our School Chairs Campaign

In 2005 the National Back Pain Association (now known as BackCare, the UK-based charity for healthier backs) identified backward sloping school chairs as a major cause of back problems in adults. Their report 'Your Back in the Future: How school furniture is ruining our children's physical health' is available by contacting BackCare directly. It concludes that we should improve posture by providing a height adjustable 5° to 10° forward sloping or rounded seat, and a height adjustable sloping desk for reading and writing.

Unfortunately nearly all the schools in Ireland use backward sloping chairs and flat desks of fixed height, causing untold suffering, yet the Department of Education has been turning a blind eye to the problem since 1998. (See:

The Centre has set up an online petition to see if we can change the situation and is actively lobbying TDs. The petition can be found at

Just recently there has been a proposal by the National Standards Authority of Ireland (NSAI,, to increase the backward slope from -5° to -10° in the near future. This will only make the problem much worse. Any help by signing the petition or contacting your local TD will be greatly appreciated. Please contact Richard Brennan if you would like more information:

Free Your Voice three-day workshop with Ann Rhodes

Ann Rhodes

The Alexander Technique when applied to speaking and singing helps students in many disciplines enhance performance, increase focus, and enliven stage presence. This class will incorporate the basic concepts of Alexander's principles with a study of vocal technique including basic anatomy and function of the voice (breath, phonation, resonance, tone placement and production, articulation, and expression). We will emphasize how the basic teachings of F. M. Alexander can enable participants to apply these techniques and knowledge of basic vocal technique to their own speaking and/or singing as well as inform their "use" in everyday activities. The class will include presentations, videos, and kinesthetic experiences that will give students the opportunity to explore their own voices both individually and in a group context.

Dr. Ann Rhodes is a professor of vocal music who has been actively involved in the study and application of the Alexander Technique for nearly thirty years. She started formal study of the Alexander Technique in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, and continued training in Leeds, England. Dr. Rhodes received her certification in 2006 from the Alexander Technique of Cincinnati, an American Society of Alexander Teachers training program. Over the past fifteen years, Dr. Rhodes has specialized in working with vocalists and instrumentalists at colleges and universities in North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Virginia, and Kentucky. In addition, she has presented special workshops about the vocal process to Alexander Training Schools in Cincinnati, Ohio, York, England and Galway, Ireland.

She has been an active participant in workshops and conferences in Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, Virginia, California, London, England and Galway, Ireland. Dr. Rhodes is currently an Adjunct Professor of Music at Berea College in Berea, Kentucky where she teaches voice and Alexander Technique for Musicians. She also maintains a private voice and Alexander Technique studio in Berea, KY.

Course Details

Dates: Tuesday 25th - Thursday 27th September 2012
Times: 10.00 am – 4.30 pm each day
Venue: The Alexander Training College, Moycullen, Co. Galway
Cost: €195 for three days or €75 for one day
Suitable for: Everyone
To Book: Please contact Richard Brennan on 091 555800 or email

International Alexander Technique Awareness Week

International Alexander Awareness Week 2012 takes place from October 8th to 14th. There will be special events around the country and worldwide, to raise awareness of the Alexander Technique. The theme this year will be Poised for Life, geared towards children (from pregnancy and childbirth, up to 18 years of age), their parents and teachers.

The Centre will be offering half priced lessons for children under 18, pregnant mothers, and teachers during the whole week (please quote Alexander Awareness Week when booking your lesson).

For other offers and special events around Ireland, please visit the Irish Society of Alexander Technique Teachers (ISATT) website,, nearer the time.

Open Week at the Training College in Galway, 6th - 8th November (Free)

Informal group at Alexander Technique Training Centre, Galway, Ireland

If you have ever considered doing further training in the Alexander Technique, either for you own personal interest, or with a view to becoming a teacher of the Alexander Technique, then you may be interested in the Open Week at the college. During this week people can come to the college for a day or a week and join in on the sessions.

This week is completely free to those who have never been to the college before, and half price (€95) to those who have visited before.

It is open to all those who have already had some lessons or who have been to an introductory workshop. Please see for more information about the training.

To book a place please call 091 555800 or email

Training Course News

New Graduate from the Training College

Helen Frayling, new graduate of Alexander Technique Training Centre, Galway, Ireland

Congratulations to Helen Frayling who graduated from the training course in June. We sincerely wish her the best of luck with her new career and hopes she will visit the training course very soon.

A Change of Teachers

Fede Betti, Alexander Technique teacher, Ireland

The training course is saying a very sad goodbye to Fede Betti who has been teaching on the course for many years. He is moving to Ballinagough which is close to Mountshannon in East Clare to set up a new home with his wife, Maggie and their three children. His latest addition is a little baby girl called Maev, born at the end of July. They we had a lovely home birth and Maev was born still in the amniotic sac! So congratutaions all round! We will be inviting him back very soon to give his very popular running course. We wish him the best of luck with his new life, and the training course's loss is East Clare's gain!

Tina Kiely, Alexander Technique teacher, Ireland

Fede will be replaced by Tina Kiely who trained at this teacher training college about 10 years ago. She is also a qualified Yoga teacher and massage therapist.

We welcome Tina as part of the team and look forward to her unique style of teaching.

Tina will also be giving special Alexander Technique and Yoga courses; anyone interested in these is welcome to contact the centre at


There is one place available on the Alexander Technique Training Course, starting in September 2012, and two places starting in January 2013. You can apply anytime.

Visiting the Training Course

Informal group at Alexander Technique Training Centre, Galway, Ireland

Although primarily the Training Course is for those who wish to train to become Alexander Technique teachers, we do welcome those who wish to visit for a day, a week or even a whole term to improve their own understanding of the Technique. Anyone who is thinking of training to be a teacher is welcome to visit during the Open Week or any other week by arrangement. For further information see or contact the Centre on 091 555800.

TERM DATES FOR 2012 - 2013

Autumn term 2012

Start and end of term: Tuesday 16th September – Thursday 6th December
Mid-term break: 28th October – 3rd November
Visiting teachers: Ann Rhodes (USA), 25th - 27th September

Spring term 2013

Start and end of term: Tuesday 8th January – Friday 15th March
Mid-term break: to be announced
Visiting teachers: to be announced

Summer term 2013

Start and end of term: Tuesday 9th April – Thursday 20th June
Mid-term break: 19th – 26th May
Visiting teachers: Anne Johnson (USA), 7th - 10th May and 14th - 17th May

Course hours: Tues 2.30–6.30pm, Weds 9.30am–4pm, Thurs 9.30am–1.30pm, Fri 9.30–11am
Please note: Visiting teacher weeks hours are 10am – 4pm.

For full details please visit:

Alexander Technique Teachers' International Convention, March 2013

Ancient celtic spiral, Newgrange, Ireland

The Alexander Centre is organising an International Convention at the Emmaus Retreat Centre, Dublin, Ireland on Friday, 22nd - Friday 29th March, 2013.

The theme of the convention is 'The Future in Our Hands' and is specially designed for all Alexander Teachers and advanced students of the Alexander Technique.

We invite all teachers of the Alexander Technique around the world to participate in a gathering designed to frame the original principles of F.M. Alexander within the evolution of contemporary ideas and developments.

This meeting offers the worldwide community of Alexander teachers the opportunity to enjoy the work of six unique teachers of the Alexander Technique as well as to engage in sharing their own knowledge with colleagues from around the globe.

Presenters include Giora Pinkas, Vivien Mackie, Glenna Batson, Bob Britton, Lyn Charlsen Klein, John Baron and Richard Brennan.

Registration is now open. A discount applies for registration before the end of September. Full details and registration are available at

Short Courses with Richard Brennan

Richard Brennan, director of Alexander Technique Centre, Galway, Ireland

Forthcoming Introductory and Intermediate short courses led by Richard Brennan are given below. Please note that you are also welcome to visit the college for intermediate training. For booking information and further details, please visit our short courses page.

Ardenode Country House Hotel (temporary home of Chrysalis), Ballymore Eustace, Co Kildare
Fri 31st Aug - Sun 2nd Sept
Change Your Posture, Change Your Life - Residential weekend course

Slieve Aughty Riding Centre, Kylebrack West, Loughrea, Co Galway
Sun 16th Sept
Alexander Technique and Horse Riding - One Day Introductory Workshop

National University of Ireland, Galway
Sat 6th + Sat 13th Oct
Change Your Posture, Change Your Life - Two introductory day workshops

Emmaus Centre, Lissenhall, Swords, Co Dublin
Sat 3rd - Sun 4th November
Residential (or non-residential) weekend course
€190 / €140

The Department of Lifelong Learning and Outreach, University of Limerick
Fri 9th - Sat 10th November
Alexander Technique Seminar - Non-residential weekend course

| Tel: + 353 (0)91 555800 | Email:
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