Training at MATTS
MATTS is now closed (26th October 2017). However, don’t forget to check out this website for workshops and CPD programmes.
Also, find details of continuing classes for teachers and experienced pupils here
Prospective students are welcome to visit the school by prior arrangement with the Head of Training. Students may join the course at the beginning of the Autumn, Spring or Summer terms, and at other times, numbers permitting.
The course is based on 530 class hours per years (1600 in total). With a teacher-student ratio of at least 1-5 students are assured of considerable individual attention on a daily basis. In addition, trainees are required to complete at least 8 hours of study - applying the Technique in daily activities, reading, etc. - each week.
• Year 1 - Training focuses on individual trainee's learning, to improve his or her own self-awareness and manner of use. This is an indispensable pre-requisite for teaching an improved use of the self to others. Short, one-to-one "turns" (mini-lessons) are the basis of the practical training, together with working in small groups. Alongside this, there is study of the written works of F M Alexander and other related literature.
• Year 2 - The second year focuses more on developing the refined manual skills and psycho-physical procedures used in teaching the Alexander Technique. Considerable class hours are required to develop in the trainee the acute sensitivity of hand contact required. Concurrently there is further study of related topics to give the trainees sufficient knowledge to understand the intellectual and scientific concepts underlying the work.
• Year 3: The final year focuses on the practical aspects of Alexander teaching. The trainee progresses from practising on colleagues to supervised practice with people from outside the course. The habits of disciplined self-awareness developed in the first two years are put to the test in this situation, as the trainees must maintain a satisfactory standard in the use of themselves if they are to have the sensitivity required to help a new pupil. Development of verbal teaching instruction and presentational skills will also be included, and there will be some study of the psychological aspects of both learning and teaching the Alexander Technique. Students will be given some guidance in the practical skills required to manage their own teaching practice.
It is a prerequisite for all applicants to have had regular Alexander lessons and for them to be able to employ the Alexander Technique personally before they can begin to learn how to teach others.
This requirement also ensures that applicants appreciate the nature of the practical work and the level of personal commitment necessary to become a teacher of the Technique.
Classes are held on four days each week:
Monday to Thursday 08:45am - 12:45pm
Course Fees are currently:
£1,575 (GBP) per term
Philosophy and Aims
The MATTS course, in common with other Alexander Technique training courses, aims to assist the student on a path of integrated personal growth and development.
The course has an essentially practical orientation. Students learn through their own experience thereby developing the self-knowledge needed to assist others to learn the Technique.
Everyone connected with the school (staff and trainees alike) is expected to take an active interest in, and responsibility for, the welfare of the school and the on-going development of the course.
To develop trainees’ understanding of the core principles and methods of Alexander's work to enable them to teach the Alexander Technique in an effective, open-minded, ethical and self-directed manner. The emphasis will be on empowering individual students to take charge of their own lives; particularly by managing their own process of change in their general manner of use and of their teaching skills.
The MATTS course centres around the development of the trainee’s own "manner of use". Instruction is based on the trainers’ own experience and, in particular, the approach developed by Walter and Dilys Carrington at the Constructive Teaching Centre in London. Walter Carrington worked closely with Alexander and continued the methods and ethos of the original training course established by Alexander in 1931.
Understanding of the Technique will be informed by the trend for greater collaboration between areas of scientific study.
Daily class mainly comprises individual ‘hands-on’ mini-Alexander lessons (‘turns’), directed activities (‘games’) and instruction in small groups to develop teaching skills.
Alexander’s four books form the core study material together with other writing on the Technique and related subjects. Other subjects include relevant aspects of anatomy and physiology, educational psychology, sports and performing arts pedagogy, science-based studies in human potential, etc.
Reading List (September 2011)
Alexander, F M
Man’s Supreme Inheritance (1918), Mouritz 1996
Constructive Conscious Control of the Individual (1923), STAT Books 1997
The Use of the Self (1932), Victor Gollancz, 1985
The Universal Constant in Living (1941), Mouritz 2000
Articles and Lectures (Ed. Fischer), Mouritz 1995
Carrington, W and Carey, S Explaining the Alexander Technique, Sheildrake Press 1992
Carrington, W Thinking Aloud, Mornum Time Press 1994
Carrington, W The Act of Living, Mornum Time Press 1999
Jones, F P Freedom to Change (1976), Mouritz, 1997
The recommended reading list on anatomy and physiology, health education, educational psychology, etc. will be given at appropriate times during the course. When possible, books will be available on loan to students from the RNCM Library and from course tutors.
Enrolment & Training Policies
See attached PDF file Enrolment and Training Policies
There are no formal entry requirements but candidates must be of sound health, character and education. A thorough course of instruction in the Alexander Technique on the basis of individual lessons is presumed (see top of page). Entry is by completion of an Application Form (available on request) and interview with the Head of Training and other teachers. This will include ‘hands-on’ working as in a typical Alexander lesson.
An interest in music or other performing arts could be useful because of the links with the Royal Northern College of Music. The Alexander Technique plays an established role in the training of actors and musicians; refining skills and preventing injury, and the needs of young professional musicians will be an important consideration for teaching practice in a trainee’s final year. However, the Alexander Technique, and the principles upon which it is based, are fundamental to ALL activities and almost any form of previous training or experience can be an advantage.
Students are required to become Student Members of STAT (fee payable) and must agree not to teach without authorisation.
All students are initially accepted on to the MATTS course on a probationary basis.
STAT Student Membership
A fee is charged by the Society of Teachers to cover membership, moderation and certification (£50 per year from April, 2001).
On commencement of their course, students must become ‘Student Members’ of STAT and agree to be bound by its rules. In particular, students entering the training course must agree not to teach the Alexander Technique except under the supervision of the Head of Training, nor hold themselves out as teachers of the Alexander Technique until the Head of Training has recommended them for certification and this has been approved by the Council of the Society.
Student Members will receive regular mailings and be encouraged to attend the Annual Conference (though student member may not vote) and participate in the Student Network Programme.
Assessment and Qualification
The course is based on attendance of 1600 class hours over a minimum of three years. Assessment and qualification is based mostly on continuous assessment throughout the course by the Head of Training and other regular teachers. In particular, the student must show a commitment to ongoing change by applying the Alexander Technique in his or her daily life.
Additionally, students are ‘moderated’ in their sixth and final terms by an independent Moderator appointed by the Society of Teachers of the Alexander Technique.
Although it is expected that most students will complete their training successfully after three years, acceptance on to the course in no way implies automatic qualification. If a question arises over a student’s readiness to qualify, then he or she will be informed immediately and may, at the discretion of the Head of Training, be allowed to complete extra training on payment of the usual fees.
Candidates with Disabilities
In view of the demands of training and teaching, candidates with disabilities should seek an informal consultation with the Head of Training to discuss their special needs.