Lessons & Courses - The PAAT Training Course


Alexander Teachers who train with PAAT attend a four year training course. The PAAT Training Course was founded by Brian Door in 1979. Brian Door qualified from Walter Carrington's Training Course who was himself trained by Alexander and continued to work closely with him until his death. The Training Course is managed by a Training Course Committee.

From the outset progress through the Course and final qualification has always been determined by written examination and practical demonstration. This policy continues today.

Admission to the training course

The PAAT Training Course is accessed by Students who have first attended the Association's Recreational Course. This is an ongoing course offered in terms of 12 weekly sessions each lasting 2 hours. There are 3 terms per year and Students can choose not to attend all three.

All applicants for the Recreational Course shall normally have had one year of lessons (in the region of 40 lessons) before they apply. Alternatively they may have attended a course run by PAAT Members in a college or university. Anyone applying to join the Recreational Course who has not had any lessons in the Technique or attended a course shall be recommended to their nearest teacher (from the Association's list of teachers) in order that they may take lessons. Anyone applying before they have had this number of lessons shall be encouraged to continue with individual lessons until such time as they have developed sufficient maturity in their understanding of the Technique to benefit from beginning the Course.

Special provision shall be made for applicants who have attended an extended course run by the a member of the Association, for example at a college or University, and such other courses as the Executive Committee decide appropriate from time to time.

Anyone who is recommended to the Recreational Course shall generally be at least 18 years of age.

Course Details:

The PAAT Training Course is a four-year course.

Each year begins in September and finishes in July;
A year is divided into three terms;
Each term is thirteen weeks long with a half-term break;
Each week requires twelve hours attendance;
So that it is open to as many people as possible, the twelve hours are divided into three sessions two of which are held in the evening and one on a weekend morning;
The current sessions are held from 6 to 9.30pm on Thursday and Friday evenings and from 8.30am to 1.30pm Saturday mornings;
Every year students are required to attend an "intensive" week (7 days) held at some suitable residential centre.

Current fees are £800 per term.

Thus over the four year period attendance is in excess of two thousand hours. Students cannot complete the Course in less than four years and must have attended a minimum of two thousand hours.

IN ADDITION students will need to spend at least eight hours a week in private study of the set texts in order to complete assignments and pass the examinations successfully.

There are no formal academic requirements for entry to the course. Help is given with basic studying skills, including English.

An Abridged Syllabus:

In all years the emphasis of practical work is on the change of the individual student.

Year 1

Alexander Studies: in-depth analysis of Alexander's four books.

Anatomy: osteology - preparing detailed drawings of each bone.

NOTE: Everyone can learn how to draw. Help is given. Developing this skill is an added bonus of the course.

Year 2

Alexander Studies: in-depth analysis of a selection of the other books on the Alexander Technique (always including Barlow, Jones, Macdonald and Westfeldt), about fourteen in all. Comparison of these texts with Alexander's books.

Anatomy: syndesmology, myology, arthrology. Detailed study of ligaments and muscles. Considering bones, ligaments and muscles as functional joints.

Physiology: introduction to the study of physiology, the basic concepts and functions.

Year 3

Alexander Studies: consolidation of previous work. Collecting material for a comparative study to be presented as a Project (15,000 words) in year 4.

Anatomy: angiology, neurology, systematic study of blood supply (including Iymphatics) and nervous system. Thinking about anatomy from the regional point of view.

Physiology: deepening study of this topic, including physiology of blood supply and breathing, with emphasis on becoming "literate".

Movement Studies: an introduction to the science of movement and maintenance of posture.

Year 4

Examination Year.

Presentation of five essays (each 12-15000 words) giving an exposition of the Alexander Technique.

Presentation of Project.

Two three-hour written examinations on Alexander Studies.

Demonstration of skill with the hands.

Demonstration of communication skills.

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