Master Teacher of the Alexander Technique
Photo Courtesy of Holly Sweeney
There isn't anything either right or wrong when dealing with co-ordination. There are degrees of movement. Life is really moving from one position to another. We never stop and say, "This is right--this is my posture, this is the way I ought to be". If we do that, we're stiff trying to hold that posture. It isn't natural for our bodies to be held in positions. - Marjorie Barstow, quoted in Practical Marj
Marjorie Barstow, from Lincoln, Nebraska was the first person to graduate from F. M. Alexander's first training course in 1933. After working as A. R. Alexander's assistant in Boston and New York in the 1930's, she returned to Lincoln.
She continued teaching until shortly before her death in 1995 at age 95. During the last 2 decades of her teaching, she attracted thousands of students to her workshops Lincoln, and around the world, with her unique approach to teaching Alexander's discoveries.
This page will be expanded to include additional information about Marj and her teaching, based on your contributions. If you would like to contribute (articles, photos, comments about Marj's teaching etc), please contact me, Robert Rickover, using this Contact Page
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Videos - Audio Interviews - Articles, Quotes, Blogs and Photos
The videos listed below will give you some idea of her teaching style towards the end of her life, including her emphasis on students' taking responsibility for themselves, her use of a wide range of activities as frameworks within which to teach the Alexander Technique, the power and delicacy of her hands and much more.
Watch a very short introduction to the Alexander Technique by Marjorie:
View the full video here
Video of Marjorie teaching in 1986: Part 1 - Part 2 - Part 3 - Working with Musicians - Constructive thinking - Full Video (about 1 1/2 hours)
View a growing collection of short video clips showing Marj's teaching toward the end of her life
(Please note: When most of these last videos were shot in 1990 and 1991, Marj was well over 90 and sufering from severe osteoporosis which limited her ability to reach her full height. Despite that, her movements were as fluid as ever. In Alexander Technique jargon, her conditions of use had diminished with age, but her manner of use - and with that, the power and clarity of her touch - was at its peak.* During this workshop, she taught for 6 hours a day - mostly standing on her feet - for seven straight days! These videos were taken from almost 20 hours of raw footage that include a great deal more valuable material. To enquire about purchasing DVDs of this footage, use this Email Contact )
*Click here for more on conditions and manner of use
Marjorie Barstow's Teaching - Conversation with Robert Rickover and:
Michael Frederick - Listen - Download Transcript
Belinda Mello - Listen
Ariel Weiss - Listen
Jano Cohen - Listen
Franis Engel - Listen - Download Transcript
Joanie Mercer - Listen
(Transcripts courtesy of Saskia Breitling)
Marjorie Barstow and Marjory Barlow - Conversation with Robert Rickover and Mike Cross about the parallels and differences between these two master teachers. Listen***
Some aphorisms of Marjorie Barstow
"A little bit of nothing"
Photos of Marj
a Moment, with Marj
Marjorie Barstow - Her Teaching and Training
Alexander Technique Workshops of Omaha - Teaching in the Barstow Tradition
I can't teach anything that I haven't done myself. I may not always do it, you know we don't always do what we should (life would be very dull if we did). But I know when I want to have more freedom, I know what I can do and what I must do, then I make the choice of whether or not to do it. - Marjorie Barstow, quoted in Practical Marj
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Alexander Technique Nebraska and Toronto with Robert Rickover
Robert Rickover is a teacher of the Alexander Technique in Lincoln, Nebraska. He also teaches regularly in Toronto, Canada.
Robert has been teaching the Alexander Technique for over 30 years. He trained at the School of Alexander Studies in London and studied extensively with the late Marjorie Barstow and assisted her in teaching workshops in Lincoln.
Robert is on the faculty of the annual Nebraska Wesleyan University High School Solo Singer Workshop. He is the Director of Alexander Technique Workshops - Bring a Workshop to Your Area and Movement Coaching by Phone.
He hosts the Alexander Technique Podcast and is the creator of Body Learning Blog and is the developer of Up With GravitySM a way to harness the power of gravity to release tension and lighten up
Robert is the owner of Alexander Technique Website Hosting - a service for Alexander Technique teachers. He is the author of Fitness Without Stress - A Guide to the Alexander Technique.
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