Miss Goldie (1905-1997) was the closest to Alexander. She worked alongside him from 1927 until his death in 1955, and he held her work in high esteem. She taught in, and then ran the little school, and was part of the first training course. She saw the schism that happened in 1934, in which Pat MacDonald and Marjory Barlow developed the ‘modern method’ of teaching the technique, which was then taught on mainstream training courses. In her later years, Goldie was vocal in her disapproval of what had happened, clearly perceiving herself as the guardian of his true technique.
Without the modern method the technique would have not survived, so there is no criticism for anyone. But it is now time to look at what became implicit, and what was lost. While Goldie is best known for her deep inhibition work, we will focus here on her very different approach to chairwork, which was more about integrating the parts of the torso and the limbs than about freeing the neck. This is the work described in Man’s Supreme Inheritance, FM’s first book, and it underpins our work; without it I consider that we cannot fully understand the later work. Alexander rarely used the table, chairwork was predominantly how he taught, Goldie did the same in her later years. While Modern AT often focuses on release of tension, Goldie focused on not releasing. Instead she worked to tone and integrate the body, waking up the whole musculature which brings strength and coordination.
We will use functional anatomy, kinetic chains of muscle and myofascial linkages, and my understanding of the role of the thoracolumbar fascia to understand what Goldie was doing: how the body links up top to bottom and front to back, and how to utilise these for powerful chairwork. We will likewise look at the role of natural breathing and the core muscles for support and integration. These concepts make the work much faster to teach and much more accessible to pupils. There will be full practical explorations of all concepts that can be used both for your self-work and in your teaching.