ACGM 2017 Teacher Highlights

This year, we are highlighting many of AmSAT’s seasoned teachers who may not have been highlighted before – 

Frances Marsden:

Frances Marsden completed her training in 1981 and followed this with a teaching term with Joan and Alex Murray at Alexander Technique Center, Urbana. She thought she would be there one term but stayed for 2 years. During that time, she learned to integrate the Dart Work taught brilliantly by the Murrays with the exceptional foundation she received from Walter and Dilys Carrington at the Constructive Teaching Centre, in London.

Giora Pinkas - celebrating 50 years!


He qualified from Ashley Place, where he trained with Patrick Macdonald. Patrick actually offered him the certificate before the three years were over, as he did with Yehuda Kuperman, because they were unexpectedly flying back to Israel, to serve in the army, during what became known as 'The Six-Day war'. Patrick was emotional when offering his young students their certificates (and probably wondered whether he would ever see them again), but Giora
said he would rather come back and complete it properly. After the war, Giora came back to and did just that.
He then spent one year voluntarily assisting in the class for his own benefit. He also began giving private lessons, including some in Alexander's former teaching room. This was daunting and a "reality check," as one can imagine.
On his way back to Israel he stopped in Germany, where he taught at the well known music academy in Freiburg. A professor of flute was so impressed that he offered Giora an AT "professorship" at the academy, but alas, the timing was was wrong...since Giora had his mind made up about returning home, where he launched a flourishing practice. In 1972, Giora traveled from Tel Aviv to California with his American wife and their young son. They never
intended to stay - only to visit, experience and please his wife's father - the one who bought them the tickets :) and who wanted them in the US rather then in a "dangerous" country.
Instead of staying two years as planned, destiny had something else in store. Frank Ottiwell, who for a few years in the 60's went to London to study with Mr. Macdonald, met Giora there and it was Macdonald who recommended they get in touch with with each other. At that time, however, Frank was semi-reclusive as he took a sabbatical from his work in the theater to study with a spiritual group. It took some persuasion to initiate work exchange, but it eventually led to forming a partnership. After some time of working together, Frank mentioned that a few of his private pupils wanted to be trained as teachers, but he would not do it alone. Would Giora consider joining him and starting a course together? Well, that offer was unexpected to say the least. Having no plan to train teachers, Giora wrote to his teacher about Frank's idea and added that he had no ambition to be a trainer. Mr. Macdonald, whose judgement they both trusted, replied promptly and encouraged Giora to go for it. That encouragement is what served as a "green light" - and instilled the needed courage to embark on that adventure. It is doubtful that the ACAT-West training course would have come into being without Macdonald's backing and support, which included yearly guest-eaching over the following decade.
When the partnership with Frank came to an end, Giora established The Alexander Educational Center. He was then invited to also teach and train in Germany. Beginning in the late 1980s, he directed two training courses there - in Freiburg and later in Heidelberg. He managed this bi-continental feat by having co-directors on both continents (John Baron esq. in California) allowing him to spend only 4 months of the year abroad. The Alexander
Educational Center is still active and thriving.


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