The next Amsterdam International Feldenkrais Teacher Training (AMS 6) will start in February 2023. Larry Goldfarb is the Educational Director and Caro van Iersel is Educational Co-Director.
AMS 6 is an accelerated training program with four segments each year for three and a half years.
The Amsterdam Feldenkrais training teaches the observational skills, kinesthetic and tactile sensitivity, theoretical understanding, and pedagogic proficiency needed to work successfully with groups and individuals. Through intensive personal exploration, trainees discover previously unrecognized possibilities for movement, finding out first-hand how limitations and physical trouble need not be the consequence of how they move. To allow abilities and acuity to mature, we teach crucial hands-on and observation skills from the outset. We give individual homework and study group assignments between segments to support ongoing learning between class meetings.
Ongoing support is available online, individually and during monthly meetings.
Through experiential movement lessons, small group exercises, lectures and discussion, individual assignments, supervision, and personal coaching, we prepare professional movement educators who understand the craft of teaching as well as the art of Feldenkrais.
If you want to learn more about this training in Amsterdam, please contact Louise Marius, the program’s administrator at Stichting Feldenkrais Instituut Nederland, via e-mail or phone [+31641282001]. To stay informed, please subscribe to our newsletter by clicking here.
Larry Goldfarb and Caro van Iersel will also be giving a live workshop soon.
Our first in-person event is happening on Saturday, 14 May, from 10:00 to 17:00 in the center of the Netherlands. We are finalizing the location, tuition, and other details. To find out more, please subscribe to our newsletter by clicking here.
Training Test Drive
You don’t have to wait until a workshop to learn more about the training.
You can experience the start of a training program by signing for the free Training Test Drive, which gives you access to audio recordings of the entire first week of the AMS 3. Please click here to sign up for a free Become A Teacher account on the Mind in Motion Online website. You will receive access to the Test Drive and other resources. We will also add your name to the training mailing list.
The curriculum consists of four meetings a year, allowing for the incremental, step-by-step, progressive development of observational skills, teaching abilities, and theoretical understanding.
Keep the momentum going
Thanks to study groups, online access to the recordings of the training, and engaging homework assignments, you can continue learning between the segments.
Learn without compromise
Rather than being limited to the outdated “lose your mind and come to your senses” of the trainings of yesteryear, AMS 6 makes the learning logic of Moshe’s method explicit. That means you learn the how and why of the method.
Become a better communicator
Improve your abilities to interact verbally and non-verbally with individuals and with groups.
Make the method yours
The program is built from the ground up, so you can benefit from the lessons of the founder’s journey by applying them to your life.
Prepare for a new profession
Be ready to teach classes and give hands-on lessons by the time you graduate.
Let’s take a deeper look at each of the educational approaches we use in AMS 6.
Awareness Through Movement
You’ll do two or more Awareness Through Movement (ATM) lessons every day of the training. Most of these ATMs will be drawn from the training programs that Dr. Feldenkrais conducted and the public classes he taught, while the rest come from recent developments in the method.
So that you will get the most benefit possible from doing ATM, you begin the training by developing your personal practice. Then, after spending time simply experiencing the lessons, you start an interactive, lively investigation into how and why ATM works, one that continues over the entire program. This way, you have ample time to develop your understanding of lesson structures and strategies needed to become a good teacher.
Because it is crucial for you to know the entire spectrum, you’ll experience everything from simple introductory classes to intricate series of interwoven ATMs. Because it is not enough to read a lesson like a script, you learn how to engage and respond to students effectively. You also become proficient at talking about and promoting the method. You find out how to teach short mini-ATMs as a part of lectures and demonstrations and how to present short sessions that quickly and effectively communicate the method’s efficacy.
Because we do not artificially separate Awareness Through Movement from Functional Integration (FI), you’ll learn how they are just two related aspects of the method, two sides of the same coin, each illuminating the other.
No matter what others say, to truly understand the method and practice it well, you need to understand the skeletal design of the human body. In AMS 6, you will learn anatomy and biomechanics experientially: through your experience of doing ATM, by touching other students, and by “riding along” while someone else moves. You develop your tactile and kinesthetic acuity by doing ATM lessons and completing assignments in small groups. To understand the teacher’s perspective, trainees coach each other in practicing hands-on skills and, eventually, giving FIs. Peer supervision provides the basis for offering lessons to the public and prepares you to give lessons under faculty supervision. All along, you receive the feedback necessary for refining the touch that teaches. You receive at least three individual Functional Integration (FI) lessons each year at no extra cost whatsoever. Receiving these lessons – given by members of your trainers, assistant trainers, and other highly experienced teachers – is a central aspect of becoming a good teacher. On top of that, you observe lessons given during class, watch FIs given to your fellow trainees during non-class hours, and review the hours of videos provided free in the training’s online multimedia library.
You participate in regular discussions in small groups and with the entire class. These discussions vary in style from question-and-answer periods, dialogues, open-ended talks, and conversations oriented around specific topics. They give you a chance to grapple with difficult questions – those without pre-determined answers – and actively investigate them, learning how to deal with novel situations by employing Feldenkraisian reasoning.
Small group exercises
Working in small groups gives you the chance to learn from and with your classmates. These activities are crucial to developing the understanding and skills needed to teach FI and ATM. In these groups, you will do activities such as observing a particular movement, practicing a specific technique, or analyzing a lesson. For example, in preparation for teaching an ATM lesson at home, you’ll map out how to present the class and practice teaching sections to each other. We are committed to creating a constructive atmosphere for learning. Small groups play a central role by creating a place where each trainee can speak and be heard. They also give you a place to discuss the training process, reflect on what you’re learning, identify difficulties, and develop solutions. By drawing on each member’s different skills and backgrounds, the group becomes a place for collaborative interaction and cooperative learning. We expand beyond the idea of being in a group to learning with a group.
You participate in a community-based ATM teaching project during the third and fourth years. For this project, you prepare a lesson or, optimally, a series of classes for a group or institution in your community. In this way, while still developing your skills, you have a student teaching situation for testing your abilities, getting feedback, and continuing to improve. The project allows you to put what you learned to work for the benefit of others, serves as a stepping stone to being paid for teaching classes, and, therefore, provides an essential step in becoming known as a Feldenkrais teacher.
Trainees work on the plans, curriculum, and presentation on their own, in study groups, and with the faculty, thereby giving us another means to keep learning how to teach ATM better alive beyond the program’s second year.
Support and Supervision
So that we can track your progress through the program, the educational director and faculty get to know each trainee. Observing you learn, interact, and practice in class day by day gives us the overview needed to assess your progress and nurture your development. Supervision, in the sense of watching and guiding, is an ongoing aspect of the program.
We sponsor a Big Sister/Brother program where you invite a Feldenkrais teacher you know to be your mentor. In exchange for working with you regularly, answering your questions, and supporting your learning, this teacher will be given access to selected recorded materials and homework assignments so that they can follow and support your progress throughout AMS 6.
The educational director, Larry Goldfarb, will answer questions, discuss your learning process, and provide support via email and virtual office hours to facilitate your learning further. He follows your learning process to identify subject areas or skills that need work and to map, in close collaboration with you, a personalized strategy for your development, including individual assignments for learning between segments.
The training facilitates continuous, incremental learning. That means that we are committed to utilizing the intervals between training segments as a part of your ongoing personal and professional development.
To that end, we encourage you to take ATM classes and workshops offered by your local teachers during the interim periods. In this way, you can learn about different teaching styles and begin to interact with future colleagues. We also suggest that you receive FIs between segments for the same reasons.
We ask you to participate in regular study group meetings to stay in touch with other trainees and keep the learning process alive between segments. These study groups provide a place to do ATM, practice teaching and touching, discuss questions, prepare lessons, and continue learning outside of class.
To deepen your understanding of the method and strengthen your ability to express that understanding, we offer both individual and group homework at the end of each training module. These assignments include asking you to read articles and books, do movement observation exercises, experiment with ATM teaching, practice hand-on work, and refine your analytical abilities and communication skills by writing.
You can access and download the audio and video recordings of the complete training for free via our online multimedia library, which provides another way to continue learning between segments. We offer an online school that allows you to share your experiences, realizations, and questions with the other trainees and get support from the faculty.
It’s wise to consider the expenses above and beyond the course tuition. Please realize that becoming a Feldenkrais teacher means purchasing books and other educational materials. You might also want to budget for classes and individual lessons outside of the training. Finally, you’ll need to buy a Feldenkrais table along with rollers, pads, and a stool, which can cost anywhere from €700 to €1,500 or more.
To give you an overview of the curriculum, we provide the following year-by-year breakdown of the training’s design for learning.
From the beginning of training, you start learning through your own experience by doing Awareness Through Movement (ATM) lessons. In the first segment, we teach the classics that Dr. Feldenkrais relied on most in his lectures and public workshops.
For the rest of the first year (and all of the second), the ATMs map how coordination and skill mature from infancy to independence. Retracing the ways children learn and exploring developmental patterns allows you to move beyond your personal history and reveals the very processes that underlie human learning.
To become a movement detective requires developing and refining your ability to observe with your eyes, hands, and ears. You deepen and refine your insight and comprehension by observing yourself and others during each segment and between them. You will be studying and applying the SPIFFER model, an explicit framework for investigating movement and understanding the mover. You’ll also begin learning fundamental communication models and skills – ways to better understand and communicate with others.
In addition, you start learning the hands-on work, known as Functional Integration® (FIsm) lessons from the beginning. Because we believe it takes time to become proficient, we don’t wait until the second or third year of the training. You practice and refine the essentials of teaching through touch – skeletal contact, tactile tracking, and directional touch. So that you don’t hurt yourself helping others, you also begin to develop effective self-use, meaning how to move safely and effectively as a teacher.
Building on the ATMs from the first year, we continue the developmental theme, moving past the motions of early infancy to explore locomotion and other more complex skills. So that you will be ready to begin teaching ATM at the end of the second year, you study the grammar and syntax of lessons. You practice and improve the skills an ATM teacher needs, including giving instructions and guiding a group, planning and promoting a class, and making lessons relevant to daily life. And you’ll learn the non-verbal and linguistic patterns of effective communication.
Since giving a good FI requires teaching ATM well and vice versa, we interweave the teaching of these two modalities. The emphasis is not on learning to move others but on developing awareness of – and skill in – moving yourself to move someone else. The skills to teach classes and give hands lessons are fostered in pairs and small interactive groups, providing ongoing, real-time support and supervision.
The second-year ends with an ATM teaching practicum during which you receive individual feedback about your abilities and personal guidance in how to continue to develop them. By successfully completing this process, you earn a certificate to teach ATM classes to the public.
You continue to connect more of what you’re learning about yourself doing ATM to understanding the method and teaching it. Because you have been simultaneously cultivating verbal and hands-on teaching skills from the beginning of the program, we avoid the historically difficult transition from teaching ATM to giving FIs.
Your movement observation and hands-on skills continue to improve through structured sequences of assignments. We explore similar themes in different positions and from varying perspectives to foster genuine understanding and move beyond simple paint-by-numbers lessons. You learn how to help others recognize and remove the obstacles that interfere with continued improvement by facing your roadblocks, plateaus, and dead-ends. We give you assignments designed to enhance your problem-solving skills and critical thinking abilities, such as translating an ATM into an FI or finding new ways to do things you already know how to do.
Because we know it takes time to become a competent and captivating ATM teacher, you continue to develop your teaching abilities and presentation skills throughout the third and fourth years of your training. Doing a community project gives you a trial run at preparing, polishing, and presenting a free public class or workshop with the full support of your study group and the faculty. You gather the students’ feedback and review it with the Educational Director, reflecting on what worked and what didn’t . . . and figuring what you need to learn next. In this way, you become a reflective practitioner at the same time as you start to teach paid classes and workshops.
You will do more complex and challenging ATMs, including lessons based on the martial arts roots of the method. You have many chances to develop your coordination in surprising and delightful ways. You’ll continue to improve your abilities at the same time as you learn more about helping others improve theirs.
You develop the ability to give lessons by getting better at the full range of Feldenkraisian strategies, schemas, scenarios, and skills. Now that you and your classmates understand the underpinnings of the method, you supervise each other giving FIs.
After learning to give FIs in the first three years, the fourth and final year allows you to become a better functional integrator. It’s time to bring together the models you’ve learned, the ways of noticing you’ve developed, and the skills you’ve honed. We’ll go into further depth with the repertoire you’ve learned while also refining your ability to find lessons and modify them – or create them – to fit your students’ needs.
Building on what you’ve already learned about articulating and presenting the work, we challenge you to continue improving how you talk about and teach the method. You delve deeper into what makes a lesson a Feldenkrais lesson and into what makes our lessons meaningful and memorable. Reflecting on your learning journey – and taking into account what you witnessed of how classmates traveled through the training and all you learned from being a part of their process – prepares you for understanding and working with the many ways people learn. You’ll learn to recognize and effectively and compassionately respond to different learning styles as you master different teaching strategies.
To receive individualized feedback and attention, you collaborate with your classmates, learning from and with each other while, at the same time, also receiving personal support and assistance from faculty. The training ends with an FI practicum during which you will be supervised by the faculty giving lessons to people from the general public. The practicums are not tests. Instead, they are an opportunity to get recognition for what you’ve learned, build on your competence to develop confidence, and further improve your skills and abilities.
AMS 6 will meet four times each year: February, May, August, and November. As soon as we finalize the dates, we will update this section.
Please sign up to stay informed.
Would you like to join your potential classmates, the core members of the team, and Larry Goldfarb to find out what our established, respected, and innovative teacher training has in store for you?
Leading up to the training, we offer several free online introductory workshops for you to learn more about the Feldenkrais Method, find out about the Amsterdam training, and get to know the faculty.
The upcoming meetings will be online on:
- Thursday, 17 March
19:30 to 21:15 (Amsterdam time).
- Tuesday, 26 April
19:30 to 21:15 (Amsterdam time).
- Sunday, 19 June
19:30 to 21:15 (Amsterdam time).
In these webinars, you will:
– Experience the Feldenkrais Method.
– Get a taste of our approach to training teachers.
– Learn about who is teaching in the program.
– Find out the training schedule.
– Discover how the curriculum combines classic and contemporary approaches to best support your learning
To join us, please register by clicking here.
Whether you’re wondering if you want to become a Feldenkrais teacher or you’re sure that is your direction, and you are ready to find out if the Amsterdam training is right for you, we hope you can make it to one or more of our meetings.
If you have any questions about the training or the webinars, please contact our administration.