Sunday, March 10, 2013

W10.07 Guest Post From Eileen Troberman in Reply to My Case Study...

Eileen Troberman is one of the treasures of the Alexander world - a teacher who has inspired many students to train as teachers, but has always struggled to make ends meet. The time for that has changed, as she explains in her guest post below…


Jeremy, I've learned so much from your blogs. I have been totally supporting myself on my own (rent food, gas, medical insurance, etc.) by teaching AT for many years now and still I am often wondering if I'll have enough for my bills every month. Making a good income from AT teaching is an absolute necessity for me. I have no family, money or savings to get me by in slow months so I work 7 days a week, seeing students whenever they will come. Thank you for showing me some ways out of my limiting financial beliefs about teaching AT!

I'm still too multi-niche. I love working with anyone who wants to learn and improve themselves but that's anyone who wants to take Alexander Technique lessons and way too multi-niche. I really love working with musicians. - especially pianists. That could be an enjoyable niche for me, so I will start doing some more workshops for pianists. I often think that because I am not a musician, that sometimes gives me a slight advantage in teaching musicians - in that I didn't grow up with a lot of use assumptions about how an instrument should be played. That has helped me notice habitual patterns that interfere with performance that are often taken for granted in playing certain instruments. Is that a slight USP?

Also you've inspired me to start giving some advanced AT courses for my long-time students. Many of my long-time students are already in teaching professions (music teachers, etc.) and would love to learn to see what I see, and how to use that kind of observation to be even more effective in teaching their field of expertise. My first course will be "Learning to See". One of the many unique understandings I received from being around Marj Barstow all those years was how to "see" movement. I understand it as sort of an instantaneous "see-sense" and I've been working out how to describe it to pass it on - and this skill doesn't require the use of hands-on.

I'm thinking that giving some kind of advanced training to long-time AT students in order to guide them in ways that can minimally and effectively add some of the principals of Alexander Technique, into what they're already teaching their students, would be a good and needed service product to develop. 

I'm planning on doing some other courses like this with varied topics for one or two days a month for a few months, and see how I like doing them. Jeremy, your writings have inspired me to start giving these workshops, but my students had actually been asking me for exactly these workshops for years. Yes - years!! There I was, thinking "sure… someday… it is a good idea… I wonder how I'll decide what day that people can make it, how much will I charge, and how many hours for the workshop… will that mean they won't come for private lessons, and I could lose what supports me in paying my monthly bills?"

I thought I was living in the U.S., when I was actually living in a nation called Procrasti. Yup, I've been living in Procrasti-Nation and after the shift in my thinking from reading your blogs, I've gotten up and noticed it's time to move and see what happens.

I will just set a time and date and do a workshop that costs a bit more than the weekly lessons, and this could be the start of something successful and beneficial for people! It could become a service product that I offer to other long time AT students that I don't personally know.

You asked where I'd like to be. I like San Diego but I also like New York and the East Coast. I don't know if I'd eventually move from here but because of how long it takes to start a sustaining practice somewhere, I have to be good at having a secure income before I could consider moving anywhere else.

I don't know yet about educating teachers and about starting BodyChance in the US. First I've got to do some more work on myself as "I like being liked" and don't how it'd be to have the ire of my colleagues for running a teacher training school that doesn't fit with their traditional model - but I am considering it. I'm already on the edge of not being liked by colleagues for doing Skype lessons. I call it "Movement Coaching through Skype Video based on the Alexander Technique" to get around the conflict with colleagues that would occur if I called it "Alexander Technique Skype lessons". I have a brilliant student on the other side of the world where there are no Alexander Technique teachers, and he's doing just great with Skype lessons. I've been told that A.R. Alexander learned without hands-on.

Because I've taught at BodyChance in Japan, I've seen first hand what a good program it is. And the US needs a school like BodyChance. Under the current traditional training school model that, by it's weekday daytime schedule, limits admittance mostly to those who don't need to work to support themselves, there's been an inadvertent limit on AT's popularity because of its limiting the number of people who would otherwise want to train and then go out and teach.

I think it's wonderful and very fortunate to be able to train five days a week, 3 hours a day if you don't need to work a regular weekday job. I was lucky when I trained to have a good waitress job that gave me enough money to pay for training and rent and supplied me with some meals. I often worked 7 nights a week during my training so I could afford to be there. I was just 27 and could do that then. It would be tough now. There needs to be a training with a flexible schedule suitable for people who need to keep their day jobs in order to support themselves while training. Go BodyChance! And Thanks Jeremy!

TOMORROW: How You Teach Is How You Should Run Your Business - Using Accurate Thinking Based On Objective Information

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1 comment:

  1. Eileen - wonderful! All the very best to you with your new ideas. Just to say, I am with you here in the UK; you have 'voiced' many of my ideas about workshops and groups, too. And I have to 'earn it all' too as I am on my own. And I too have been so motivated by Jeremy's posts. (Thanks again, Jeremy.) So, I shall be thinking of you over the ocean, and I hope you are able to post some feedback as to how it's going for you as you go along. Much joy, clarity, energy, and a bit of the old luck to you. :-) Love Annie


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