Ron Colyer—Head of Training
Ron has been teaching the Alexander Technique for 34 years, and has been involved with Teacher Training for 30 years. He writes:
I had my first Alexander lessons as a young but very tense postgraduate string player. I had reached a complete block in my violin playing and had lost any confidence that I could go any further.
My first teachers were Dick and Elisabeth Walker, who had both trained with F.M. Alexander. Lessons with them lasted several years, but after around two years my Use (and confidence) had sufficiently improved to do some auditions, and I joined the Philharmonia Orchestra, and subsequently the BBC Symphony Orchestra.
Increasingly I felt I wanted to pass on the benefits of Alexander’s work, and with the encouragement of Dick and Elisabeth I joined Walter and Dilys Carrington’s Teacher Training Course, qualifying as an Alexander Teacher in 1982.
I taught privately for a while, then Dick and Elisabeth asked me to teach on their Training Course. There I met Ray Evans, an experienced teacher who was planning to start his own course, to be called the Alexander Re-education Centre (ARC). He asked me to be his Main Assistant, and Ray became a friend and mentor over several years, until he died, and I have directed the course ever since. In addition I teach privately and give postgraduate workshops, regularly collaborating with Carolyn Nicholls, my contemporary from the Carringtons’ course, and with Frankie Stringer, my Main Assistant at ARC.
In my personal journey I am more and more compelled to reflect on and reappraise my understanding of what Alexander wrote, and what those close to him transmitted to those of us fortunate enough to learn directly from them. We must constantly search for ways to express that understanding, both in language and with our hands, so that it is meaningful to the individuals we are teaching.
After years of searching for the meaning and fulfilment that I felt was lacking both in work and personally, I discovered the Alexander Technique in 1985, and had my ‘ this is it! ’ moment. I went to Melbourne, Australia , to train with John and Carolyn Nicholls, qualifying in 1989.
As well as teaching at ARC, I see private pupils at my home in Windsor, and run post-graduate courses for teachers.
I love working with training course students; accompanying them on their journey of exploration and discovery is a joy and a privilege, and also a source of continual interest and learning for me.
I belong to a large choir, and AT principles have proved invaluable in developing confidence and competence in singing.
I was trained by Dick and Elisabeth Walker and have been teaching for 30 years. I have worked as a professional oboist and more recently playing the cello. I have spent many years teaching the technique to Olympic rowers and helping with ergonomics in office / computer situations. I like to bring practical everyday tasks into my teaching, and to work with our emotions, trying to recognise how they affect our use. I like to have fun too!