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   What is LearningMethods?

    ...how can it help me?  ...and what will I learn?

"I believe that any teaching is fundamentally ineffective, whatever the method, unless it helps people feel, experience and become confident of their essential resourcefulness, their real self, their inborn freedom and security, their uniqueness and universality, from the inside of themselves and by themselves."
                          paraphrased from Akihisa Kondo

- Who is it for?
- How will the work help me?
- What will I be learning?
- What is the format?
- Where is the work being taught?
- How do I find out more?
- A more detailed description and the premises of the work
- About the developer of the LearningMethods
- see also the article:
        "A Basic Fact and a Fundamental Question"

  

WHO IS IT FOR?

People who come to the work are just ordinary people like you and me. Some are performers (actors, musicians, dancers, athletes, etc.), or professionals (psychotherapists, body-workers, teachers), or business people.

Some are mothers, husbands, parents, lovers. Some are people with chronic problems they've had as long as they can remember, others are there because of an issue that that has just come up but which they cannot solve. Some also come to learn more about how they can help others better or teach more effectively.

In fact, the work is for anyone curious and interested in learning more about their problems, understanding themselves, and how to make their own and other people's lives better...

  

HOW WILL THE WORK HELP YOU?

Whatever your background or experience, the LearningMethods workshops and classes are there for you to explore any issue or problem that has come up for you in your life and that you want to understand and to change.

 Here are some of the common issues that people bring up:

     Tension and pain — on-going or in activities like
       playing an instrument, driving, using a computer,

     Nervousness and stage-fright — in performance
       situations, giving a speech or presentation, or socially,

     Stress and strain — business demands, deadlines,
       being caught in rushing, personal crises, etc.,

     Learning blocks — difficulty or frustration in
       rehearsal / practice, in studying or in learning new
       activities,

     Phobias and fears — fear of flying, fear of heights,
       fears of driving, other ‘irrational’ fears, etc.,

     Relationship issues — on-going misunderstandings,
       conflict or arguing, being stuck in reaction, jealousy, etc.,

     Compulsions and dependency — eating disorders,
       quitting smoking, over-indulging, anorexia, etc.,

     Self-worth and judgment — self-judgement or
       worry of what others are thinking, low self-esteem, envy
       and comparison,

     Worry, fear for the future / stuck on the past —
      
worrying about bad things that could happen, or unable
       to let go and move on,

     Other learning and discovery issues — how to go
       on learning and discovering for oneself, when to trust
       your own feelings, how to allow rather than force
       learning, etc.

     And, of course, anything else that you want to bring
       up...

Or you may simply want to learn more about yourself, or take your already-existing teaching or helping skills in a new direction…

  

WHAT WILL YOU BE LEARNING?

Through the process of exploring and understanding your own issues, as well as by witnessing the explorations of others, you will find that you are learning to:

  systematically explore your own experiences and
    thoughts to be clear what is happening in your life,

  recognize the difference between a symptom and its
    cause so you can liberate yourself from having to
    endlessly deal with symptoms,

  understand the messages of your emotions so that
    you can act instead of react and no longer be a slave to
    your feelings,

  and be more in touch with what the sensitivity and
    intelligence of your marvelous system is telling you,

  uncover inaccurate and misconceived beliefs and
    interpretations that keep you caught in problems,

  let change into your life without fear of the unknown
    and discover the pathway to what makes you happy,

  get out of the way of your intention, stop trying and
    making effort so that your innate co-ordinations can
    organize what you want,

  be clear about your own value and abilities and not
    get caught in worrying about what others think,

  be yourself with ease and acceptance, both alone and
    with others, and see others as they are so you can
    respond appropriately,

  communicate more effectively with more
    understanding of other people's point of view and so that
    they understand yours,

  uncover your amazing potential for effortless
    learning and deep change the more you gain the tools
    to see clearly how things work and align yourself with
    them.

And this can happen a lot more easily and quicker than you might think.
You CAN be liberated from the habits and problems of a lifetime.

  

WHAT IS THE FORMAT OF THE WORK?

Depending on your situation and preferences, you can work with a LearningMethods teacher in individual (private) classes, small group sessions of several people for several hours, or in a workshop over 4 to 10 days. Some teachers also work with on-going groups which meet regularly to keep a continuity and progression of work.

Whichever way you choose to work, these are practical and applied sessions driven totally by your own questions, problems, explorations, experiments, responses.... and learning.

The emphasis is on helping you learn how to gain the practical tools you can use in your daily life to find out for yourself and solve your own problems.

It is usually surprising to people just how easily and quickly their major life issues can begin to move and be transformed when they have the tools to really find out what is happening and make practical real-life experiments.

Individual Classes or Small Groups:
You can take an individual class (usually at least 1-2 hours in length) or you can share a longer session with 1, 2 or 3 others (especially helpful for people working through relationship or shared issues). It may take only one or it may take several sessions for you to understand your issues deeply enough that you can make changes on your own in your daily life.

Workshops:
The work is also often done over 4 or 5 days in a small intimate workshop with 5-8 participants. This length of time is ideal, not only to be able to take the time you need to fully explore your issues, but also to be able to revisit them as you make experiments and changes. The number of participants is kept small to ensure a depth of personal and practical work as well as an intimate atmosphere within the group.

Sometimes people are a bit anxious about joining a group and feeling like they may be exposing themselves and their problems to others. But most people, in spite of their initial fears, find that the process is very easy and comfortable once they are there. You will certainly find a welcoming atmosphere of like-minded people who genuinely are interested and who want to better understand themselves and other people.

There are huge advantages to working with others:
  you will likely find others who share similar problems and
    whose experiences and solutions can help you,
  articulating your experiences out loud is essential to
    being clear,
  there is tremendous support and understanding
    available to us when we all go through things together.

  

WHERE IS THE WORK BEING TAUGHT?

Along with the numerous workshops and individual sessions in cities in Europe and North America, these are some of the places where the work is being taught or has been taught in the past few years (click here for a more complete list):

For actors at the:
Conservatoire de Théâtre – Avignon, France
Shaw Festival Theatre – Niagara-on-the-Lake, Canada
The Citadel Theatre – Edmonton, Canada
Rencontres de Théâtre du Gard — Nîmes, France
Théâtre de Périscope — Nîmes, France

For singers at the:
Royal Academy of Music — Stockholm, Sweden
Göteborg Opera — Göteborg, Sweden
University of Wisconsin — Milwaukee, USA

For instrumental musicians at the:
Royal Academy of Music — Stockholm, Sweden
Swedish Royal Opera Orchestra — Stockholm, Sweden
Academy of Music — Malmö, Sweden
Göteborg Opera — Göteborg, Sweden
ProMusica — Le Thor, France
Music Department, Australian National University — Canberra, Australia
    (for faculty and graduate students)
Orchestral Academy, Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival — Germany
    (for professional musicians from around the world)

For dancers and circus performers at the:
University College of Dance — Stockholm, Sweden

For business people at the:
University of Avignon — Avignon, France
    (for the post-graduate course on International Business
     Negotiation)

  

HOW DO I FIND OUT MORE?

The best way is to come and experience the work for yourself. For details of courses or to make an appointment, contact us by e-mail, by phone or by writing (see addresses below). Any LearningMethods teacher will be happy to answer your questions. You can locate the closest teacher from the list of qualified teachers.

You can also explore this LearningMethods web site for more information. There are numerous articles on-line, as well as pages about studying the work, training to become a teacher, links to other teacher's sites and more. You can also order some of the articles and books in printed form.

  

ON THE PREMISES OF THE WORK:
        ...A more detailed description

(see also the article "A Basic Fact and a Fundamental Question" for more about the nature of the LearningMethods work.)

When any of us can say that we have a problem—a personal, a relationship, a work or a performance issue that gives us problems in an on-going way—and we are unable to solve it for ourselves, we need help.

LEARNINGMETHODS IS AN EXPLORATION…

We have a universal human characteristic that shows us how much we are inherently learning creatures. We go about our lives and all is OK until suddenly we are brought awake in the moment by some symptom—a pain, a tension, anxiety, frustration, or some other tangible experience—which we feel as negative or 'low-value'.

Notice that we are not only woken up in that moment by the symptom but we immediately feel that 'something is wrong'. And we 'naturally' want to do something to make things ok again. That is, we humans appear to have an in-built way to detect problems; to look for and learn what actually is wrong; and to use that knowledge to change for the better.

All too often, though, we seem to mistake this marvellous human property for a problem. That is, we mistake the wake-up call (the symptom) as if it was the problem and immediately get busy trying to get rid of the symptom. From the moment of being brought to awareness by the symptom we cast about for what to do to end it and get back to the way things were before. If our way of changing things works for the moment to rid us of the symptom, we are happy—for the moment.

But what happens if the problem returns a day or a week or a month later?  Often, if one 'expert' can't relieve us, we'll search out another; if whatever technique or process we've learned doesn't work, we'll try another one. But do we really know why we have this symptom? Or what it is a symptom of? Until we really know what the 'problem' is, how can we make an effective AND permanent change?

LearningMethods is a simple way to discover for yourself just what the problem is and therefore what needs changing, by systematically looking at your own already-existing experiences, thoughts and feelings, uncovering your current understanding of these experiences and your underlying belief systems (the way you see things) in order to reveal any assumptions, mismatches and misconceptions.  The work then gives you a direct way to make your own real-life explorations and experiments to find out more accurately the way things work and then choose different and better pathways in your life.

In the process of doing this in the territory of any one problem, you will gain a general set of tools for exploring and changing in any other territory of your life, now or in the future.

LEARNINGMETHODS IS A TOOL…

There is an old saying that goes:
"Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day;
  teach a man how to fish and he can feed himself for
  a lifetime!
"

LearningMethods is the set of tools to learn to fish for yourself, feed yourself and grow in your own way.

These tools are available to explore any problems, any issues and any territories in your life, no matter what they are.

LEARNINGMETHODS IS A QUESTION…

The essence of LearningMethods is captured in this essential question:

Read a related article on this fundamental question: "A Basic Fact and a Fundamental Question"    Do we, as human beings, have the possibility
    of gaining sufficient information through our own
    channels (our own senses, perceptions and awareness),
    and do we have the in-built ability (or intelligence,
    for lack of a better word) to understand the
    significance
of this information such that we can
    then make appropriate choices and changes
    to navigate through our own lives constructively?

A very big and absolutely fundamental question. For, depending on which answer we find, we would then take completely different pathways in our lives. LearningMethods is also a way to answer this question.

For if we do already have the ability to register sufficient experience of what is happening, and the in-built ability to appreciate the meaning of that information in order to be able to learn how we work and the world works, then we have something of the utmost worth, beyond rubies and diamonds; beyond our wildest dreams—our own in-built value system that gives us the ability to know what is best for us !

In this case the pathway that makes sense for us to take is to improve our ability at these three skills:
  getting all our own information of what is happening out
    on the table;
  seeing how we can most accurately understand it for
     ourselves;
  and then using that understanding to make our own
    choices and take our own actions.

On the other hand, if we don’t have our own in-built value system then we are in big, big trouble. For if you don't, or I don't, then who does?   And if you don't or I don't, but someone else says they do, what do you or I have within us that we can use to really know if they do or not?  Especially when we see that so many people say that they have a truth, but these ‘truths’ are all different from each other?  Without some way to tell for ourselves, we can only find out the hard way, through experience afterwards... 

Perhaps we could rely on the 'traditional' solutions to many of life’s problems that have been tried and tested over the millennia? But this world is changing so fast that most of these don't seem to apply as they once did. Besides, when we look around at the solutions each society has found, it is easy to see that they too are different enough from each other. So again, where are we without some internal way to assess their value directly for ourselves? Where do we turn? And who do we turn to? I don’t know. Is there any way of knowing?

Interestingly, many people really like the first possibility that we have our own in-built value system. However, they all too often seem to operate from the second possibility by adopting values from outside themselves, only to find them a poor match to the particular needs and richness of their lives.

LEARNINGMETHODS IS FOR YOU...
AND BY YOU…

This work is for you if you are interested in exploring for a clarity and an understanding of your own issues and problems by learning more about yourself through your own experiences, your own thoughts and belief systems. Workshops or individual or small group sessions are driven by your questions, your experiences and your insights and experiments, i.e. the emphasis is on learning how to learn and find out for yourself in the company of others who are also doing the same. The teacher's job is simply to help you learn how to explore the landscape of your own experience and understanding in as systematic a way as possible, to help you to make experiments to test the 'reality' of your belief systems and to see how things really work; and to help you learn how to carry on with this on your own where it really counts—out there in 'real life' moments.

It is usually surprising to people just how easily and quickly their major life issues can begin to move and be transformed when they have the tools to really find out what is happening.

Sessions can be set up either individually, in small groups of 2, 3 or 4, etc. or by joining in any of the scheduled workshops that take place in various cities in Europe and North America. These workshops are small—usually between 5-8 participants, in order to ensure a depth of personal and practical work. Most of the time we will be working as a group so that each person learns to articulate their experiences and everyone can share in the learning. There is a tremendous support and understanding when we all go through things together, not to mention more opportunities to gain a perspective on one's own issues when we see them mirrored in others.

The workshops usually take place over 4 or 5 days, from approximately 10:00am to 3:30pm or 4:00pm with lunch from about 12:30pm to 1:30pm. Because of the small class size, preference will be given to those committing for the whole workshop, but if numbers permit, it may be possible to attend for a shorter period. This is especially helpful for those who wish to get a sense of whether this approach will be helpful for them before committing to a whole workshop.

 

About the developer of LearningMethods

David Gorman developed the LearningMethods work out of over 40 years of research and teaching experiences. His background is in art and science and a fascination with exploring human structure and function. In the early 1970s he spent many nights dissecting and drawing in the human anatomy lab. In 1981 he published an illustrated 600-page work on our human musculo-skeletal system called The Body Moveable (about to enter its 6th edition) and in 1996, a collection of articles, Looking at Ourselves (now in its 2nd edition).

He happened upon the Alexander Technique in 1972 and was immediately intrigued by its power for change. After training as an Alexander Technique teacher with Walter Carrington in London, David has been teaching that work since 1980, becoming well-known worldwide for his innovations to the work and notorious for challenging the orthodoxy of the profession. He has been invited to teach all over the world in universities, conservatories and training colleges, at conferences and symposia, and with performance groups and health professionals.

In 1982, his teaching was revolutionised by his discovery of a new model of human organisation — Anatomy of Wholeness — with its profound implications about our in-built natural tendency toward balance, ease and wholeness. He extended these insights into a new way of training teachers of the Alexander Technique and from 1988 to 1997 in London, England he trained 45 teachers.

His experiences with his own students and in other training groups made it clear that a huge part of our chronic problems lay not in the 'body' but in our consciousness and habitual way of seeing things and how we misinterpret our daily experiences and then become caught in reaction to these misunderstandings. At this point it also became apparent that his discoveries revealed new premises which in turn implied new teaching methods, so David developed the LearningMethods work to teach people how to apply their in-built intelligence and clarity of perception to their daily experience in order to understand their problems, solve them and more successfully navigate their lives.

Since the beginning of this new work in 1997, David has trained a growing number of LearningMethods Teachers, many of whom are now teaching the LM work in universities and conservatories, and he has now begun a new modular training program for LearningMethods, Anatomy of Wholeness and the Alexander Technique, pioneering new ways to learn and teach via online video conferencing.

 

If you have any questions please contact us at:


DAVID GORMAN
E-mail:     Telephone: +1 416-519-5470
78 Tilden Crescent, Etobicoke, Ontario  M9P 1V7  Canada   (map)