COMPANION

Don Burton

Don Burton (1943–1996), UK teacher of the Alexander Technique and Head of Training.

Life

Don Burton trained as physiotherapist and then as a teacher of the Technique around 1970–73 at the Constructive Teaching Centre (CTC).

Don Burton and other teachers started a group for pupils who wanted intensive work in the Alexander Technique without joining a training course in the basement of CTC around 1978 or 1979. Many of these people went on to train as teachers, and the group can be seen as a forerunner for the ‘morning class’ at CTC.

Don Burton went to start Alexander Teacher Associates (ATA) in 1979 or 1980, an association which ran a training course where responsibilities were shared by a number of teachers. ATA grew rapidly in numbers; at its peak having around 50 students. Don Burton left for Australia, and the training course was continued by Lizzie Atkinson and later Adam Nott before it closed in 1986.

After starting a training course in Australia together with other teachers in 1983/84, he resigned his directorship in 1984,[1] and subsequently left STAT and moved to Cumbria. Here, in 1986, he started the Fellside Alexander School, in Kendal, – an ‘independent school for the study of the Alexander Technique and related subjects’ – which offered a training over long weekends.

Don Burton was known for his creativity, his innovative approach to teacher training and for his anatomy lectures as he had an indepth knowledge of anatomy.

Obituary

‘Don Burton’ by Jamie McDowell.[2]

Remembrance

  • ‘Tributes to Don Burton’ by Ann Baeppler, Ken Thompson, Robert Chandler.[3]
  • ‘Don Burton’ by Lizzie Atkinson.[4]

Descriptions

‘An appreciation of the visionary contribution Don Burton made to the Alexander Technique community’ by Gentian Rahtz pays homage to Don Burton’s innovative approach to teaching on a teachers’ training course, the Fellside Alexander School, Kendal.[5]

Don Burton *25 March 1943 – †9 February 1996.

References

[1] ‘The Alexander Technique Sydney 1980–1987’ by Terry Fitzgerald in The Alexander Review vol. 2, no. 3 (Centerline Press, September 1987), pp. 45–46.
[2] ‘Don Burton’ by Jamie McDowell in The Alexander Journal no. 15 edited by Adam Nott (STAT, 1997), pp. 31–32.
[3] ‘Tributes to Don Burton’ by Ann Baeppler, Ken Thompson, Robert Chandler in STATNews vol. 4, no. 15 edited by Malcolm Williamson (STAT, June 1996), p. 14.
[4] ‘Don Burton’ by Lizzie Atkinson in The Alexander Journal no. 15 edited by Adam Nott (STAT, 1997), p. 33.
[5] ‘An appreciation of the visionary contribution Don Burton made to the Alexander Technique community’ by Gentian Rahtz in STATNews vol. 9, no. 10 edited by Jamie McDowell (STAT, May 2018), pp. 20–22.