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
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:
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
being caught in rushing, personal crises, etc.,
Learning blocks — difficulty
or frustration in
rehearsal / practice, in studying or in learning new
Phobias and fears — fear
of flying, fear of heights,
fears of driving, other ‘irrational’ fears, etc.,
Relationship issues — on-going
conflict or arguing, being stuck in reaction, jealousy, etc.,
Compulsions and dependency —
quitting smoking, over-indulging, anorexia, etc.,
Self-worth and judgment — self-judgement
worry of what others are thinking, low self-esteem, envy
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
And, of course, anything else
that you want to bring
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:
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
and be more in touch with
what the sensitivity and
intelligence of your marvelous system is telling you,
uncover inaccurate and misconceived
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
communicate more effectively
understanding of other people's point of view and so that
they understand yours,
uncover your amazing potential
learning and deep change the more you gain the tools
to see clearly how things work and align yourself with
And this can happen a lot more easily and quicker than you might think.
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.
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
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
there is tremendous support and
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
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
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
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
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:
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
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
About the developer of LearningMethods
David Gorman has been studying human
structure and function since 1970. He is the author of an illustrated 600-page
text on our human musculoskeletal system, called
The Body Moveable (now in
its 6th edition and in colour), and numerous articles and essays, including
the book, Looking at Ourselves (2nd
edition in colour).
David has been working with performers (singers,
musicians, actors, dancers and circus artists) for over forty years. He is a
trainer of teachers of LearningMethods and of the
Alexander Technique and has taught all
over the world in universities, conservatories, performance companies, and orchestras;
for doctors in hospitals and rehabilitation clinics; and in training courses
for Feldenkrais, Alexander Technique, physiotherapy, osteopathy, massage & yoga.
Over the years, his changing understanding about the
root causes of people's problems led him to gradually extend his Alexander Technique
teaching into the development of a new work, LearningMethods (and an
offshoot, Anatomy of Wholeness about our marvelous human design), which
is being integrated into the curricula of performance schools in Europe, Canada
and the United States by a growing number of LearningMethods
Teachers and Apprentice-teachers.
For the last 6 years, David has been running online
post-graduate groups for Alexander Technique teachers and groups for those who
want to learn to use LearningMethods in their own lives and work, as well as
a group for those who want to go on to train as LearningMethods teachers.
If you have any questions please contact us at: