Let freedom ring

July 4th was the debut of DEGREES OF A FREEDOM, an Awareness Through Movement® lesson that I’d composed the week before in honor and celebration of Independence Day in the US of A.

I knew I’d be presenting to fellow Feldenkrais® teachers during our early morning international online study group and, just a little later, to a group including them, students from the public classes and workshops I’ve taught both locally and afar, and my far-flung friends, all of who would be at my free online class celebrating Independence Day. This was one of my main motivations for taking on the project.

Fact is, I cherish the demand: coming up with a lesson that’s going to be equally meaningful and moving for folks new to the method and for longtime aficionados. That’s because I’ve come to appreciate how adding this compositional constraint — on top of all of those imposed by the requirements that need to be met for it be a Feldenkrais lesson — challenges my curiosity and creativity in a most delightful way.

On the one hand, I ask:

  • In what ways can the lesson let newbies know how to best to benefit from it? 
  • Are the positions, movements, and kind of focus demanding enough to be intriguing but not so difficult as to be discouraging or dangerous? 
  • How can I eliminate the need for any prior knowledge or experience? What do I need to make explicit?
  • What stepping stones do I need to add so that it’s not asking anyone to make too big a leap?
  • How does the lesson make itself relevant to the student?

On the other hand, I also ask:

  • How can the ATM engage experienced practitioners and teachers? 
  • What kind of inquiry will help them discover something new about what they already know so well?
  • When will the lesson lead to an unexpected shift of perspective, a new take on something they know, an unfamiliar yet fitting metaphor, or another sort of surprise? How will the lesson lay the groundwork for this punchline?
  • What can the lesson contribute both to someone’s personal and professional practice? 

If you’re curious to find out how the ATM turned out, the recording of my second time teaching DEGREES OF FREEDOM is now available via the Mind in Motion Online Library. After you log into Mind in Motion Online (MIMO), click here to download the audio (MP3) file or listen to it immediately by streaming directly from the website to the Internet-connected device — smartphone, tablet, computer, etc. — of your choice. (You’ll also find the recording in the Library/Files section of the website under Free Lessons :: Original Compositions.) Fair warning: the lesson is just shy of one hour and 12 minutes long.

If you have a professional, Become a Better Teacher, MIMO account, once you’re logged in you’ll also be able to access the recording of our post-lesson discussion..

(If you have yet to sign up for your free MIMO account, you can do it now.)

If and after you do the lesson, I’ll be curious about how you found it.

What did you learn?

How well I did I meet the challenge I wrote about? How I can I do better?

Rather than respond via email or some other private means of communicating, would you please log in and let me know in the comments section below?

Ready to discover your respiratory repertoire? Want to find out how to take your learning beyond the lesson?

This year’s version of my almost annual ATM summer camp, A Breath of Fresh Air, is about breathing better in your daily life.

BTW, you only have until midnight California time today, 6 July 2019, to qualify for the reduced early tuition.

Your thoughts?
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