Thank you Robert! With your patient help, I was able to finally let go of years’ worth of chronic neck pain from which chiropractors, PTs and massage provided only temporary relief. – Bill Jacks, Mining Engineer, Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Canada
When I began my Alexander Technique teaching practice in Lincoln, Nebraska in 1990, I soon realized that there were quite a few people who lived hundreds of miles from me with an interest in taking lessons – and for whom I was the closest teacher!
This was very different from my previous teaching experiences in London and Toronto and prompted me to experiment with phone sessions.
Initially I used this method only for students who were occasionally able to see me in person.
The sessions were often useful, but also frustrating for me, because I couldn’t actually see my students in real time. That is quite a limitation when posture and movement improvement are the focus of the coaching!
When Skype and high-speed internet service became available, the process became a lot easier and far more effective. Soon I was receiving requests from people who had no Alexander Technique experience and who lived not only in western Nebraska, the Dakotas, Kansas and the like, but in such far-flung locations as South East Asia, Croatia and northern Canada where there are no Alexander Technique teachers.
Over time, a growing share of my Skype clients have had some Alexander lessons, and live in communities where there are Alexander Technique teachers, and who wish to explore different ways of using the discoveries of F. Matthias Alexander, the developer of the Technique. I have also worked with Alexander Technique teachers who want to learn effective new methods to teach their in-person and Skype students.
I call the on-line process I’ve developed Skype Posture and Movement Coaching.
I wanted to tell you how profoundly helpful my Skype lesson was. I’ve made significant progress on my singing as I’ve been using what you showed me. I’m really looking forward to another lesson with you. – Lilly Sutton, Alexander Technique teacher in Knoxville, Tennessee
Skype Posture and Movement Coaching is designed to help you learn how to improve your posture, and the quality of your physical functioning. It shows you, in a very simple and practical manner, how you can sit, stand and move in ways that utilize the structure of your body and the effects of gravity and the support of the earth on that structure. You will learn how to make specific targeted changes that will improve the way in which your entire body functions.
Skype Movement Coaching is largely based on the principles of the Alexander Technique. It is not a therapy, or a substitute for medical care. It is not a “cure” for conditions such as back pain, repetitive strain injury and the like, but it does address posture and movement patterns that often contribute to these conditions.
Having just started to experiment with Skype coaching myself, I booked a session with Robert out of curiosity. It was not only very helpful to me personally, but also gave me great insight into how you can work effectively using this medium. Since then I’ve done a few coaching sessions with him and I highly recommend his approach for both absolute beginners and those with more experience. – Imogen Ragone, Alexander Technique teacher and website designer in Wilmington, Delaware
WHAT EQUIPMENT DO I NEED FOR SKYPE MOVEMENT AND POSTURE COACHING?
Skype, a high-speed internet connection and a way of using the built-in camera on your computer, tablet or smartphone to show you doing simple activities like sitting, standing and moving. I record each session and send it to you to watch as it often provides a useful review.
Skype is a free download, and Skype to Skype calls are free.
If you are using a tablet or smartphone, I strongly recommend getting a stand for it that allows you to easily change it’s camera viewing angle and range. Several of my clients and I have found the Levo G2 stands to be particularly good for this purpose.
Another piece of equipment that will be very helpful for the Alexander Technique self-help process known as Constructive Rest (which I will go over with you in some detail) is a 6″ diameter dense foam roller, at least 2 1/2 feet long.
Both the tablet stand and roller can be purchased at Amazon USA and Amazon UK (Amazon Basics has very inexpensive foam rollers.)
HOW MUCH TIME AND EFFORT IS NEEDED TO BENEFIT FROM THIS PROCESS?
Apart from the half hour sessions, not a lot of time. Nor much “effort” in the usual sense of that word. What is important is a sincere interest in improving your posture and patterns of movement and a willingness to experiment with some very simple processes that, for the most part, you can do from time to time during your normal daily activities.
I am very happy I was able to begin my first Alexander Method sessions with Robert through Skype. I am the kind of person who is willing to learn on my own. I also appreciative having an expert to consult and help shorten the learning process. Skype and the Alexander technique website gave me the best of both worlds. I was able to get personal assessment and instruction and then assume responsibility for putting it into practice. – Mavis Curry, retired, and a volunteer teacher, Des Moines, Iowa
HOW DO I GET STARTED?
You can contact me, Robert Rickover, by phone or email using this Contact Page to set up an initial session. I charge US$60 for a 30 minute session. Most clients pay with PayPal – or with a credit card using the Donate button at AlexTechExpress.com/support
In general, I’ve found that scheduling a session or two a week for a couple of months provides a good foundation for most people.
I have been a teacher of the Alexander Technique for over 35 years. During the past decade, I have devoted much of my teaching practice to helping people who, because of where they live, have only limited access to a teacher and who therefore need to rely heavily on themselves to make useful changes in their physical functioning.
I was fortunate to have studied and worked for many years with the late Marjorie Barstow, the first Alexander Technique teacher formally trained by F. Matthias Alexander, the developer of the Alexander Technique. Her unique teaching style placed a great deal of emphasis on encouraging students to take responsibility for themselves by re-directing their thinking in order to make changes in their posture and movement. In her group classes, she also emphasized developing observation skills, both of oneself and of others in the class.
In my experience, Marj’s approach is ideal for working with students at a distance.
Years of experimenting have led me to the development of a series of simple, yet powerful, processes that can be successfully taught at a distance. Descriptions of one of these processes can be found at Up With GravitySM
Thank you Robert for your excellent guidance in the Alexander technique. Even through Skype, one is able to learn this important instruction.
Robert has an excellent eye and is very thorough and patient. His Alexander Technique directions can be easily applied, and because of our lessons, I am a healthier musician and person as a whole. This has been exciting work for me and I plan on continuing. Robert teaches with enthusiasm and passion! – Margaret Wronka Moeckel, pianist and organist – Hamburg, New Jersey
Here’s a podcast about my use of Skype for distance learning:
Here are some podcasts with my students about their experiences with distance learning:
John Riley, an attorney in Seoul, Korea:
Susan Kroger, an educator and author in the Detroit, Michigan area:
Linda Ross, a retired attorney in Anacortes, Washington:
Mavis Curry, retired and a volunteer teacher in Des Moines, Iowa:
Frank McNellis, school counselor in Sarasota, Florida:
You can also listen to several other podcasts about using Skype for distance learning here.
You can read more about me at my Homepage.
Don’t forget to visit the Alexander Technique Distance Learning Group on Facebook.
There are no teachers anywhere near where I live and so on a lark I tried using Skype to see if your sessions would help. I’m an amateur singer and do some public speaking for my firm and was always ill at ease in front of an audience. You were able to guide me through some very effective methods that enabled me to feel at ease in those situations. Also – a sort of bonus – my speaking and singing voice improved a great deal. – Suzzie Chu, Marketing Executive, Taipei, Taiwan
Image purchased from 123rtf.com