COMPANION

First Generation Teachers

A. R. Alexander, Irene Tasker

Marjory Barlow (née Mechin), (1915–2006), Alexander Technique teacher, and niece to F. M. Alexander. Life F. M. Alexander’s sister, Amy, moved to London in 1911 and joined Alexander as his assistant. Amy married George Mechin in 1914 and their first child was Marjory. Being of weak health she moved in her teens into her uncle’s, Alexander’s, house where she helped out with housekeeping. Here she received lessons in the Technique and she joined the teachers training course on her 18th birthday, in May 1933. After her qualification in 1936 she worked as an...
Maxwell (‘Max’) Alexander (1916-1997), British teacher of the Technique and nephew to F. M. Alexander. Life At the suggestion of his father, A. R. Alexander, Max Alexander trained with Alexander (1934–37). Afterwards he moved to join his father, A. R. Alexander, in Boston, where they both taught the Technique. He returned to the UK in 1939, first teaching at Ashley Place, and then joining the Territorial Army, eventually rising to the rank of major. He taught the Technique 1946-52 (in the latter years in Nottingham) and then returned to the regular Army. From 1958...
Patrick (‘Pat’) John Macdonald (1910-1991), prominent British teacher of the Alexander Technique. Life Patrick Macdonald was born in York in 1910, the son of Peter Macdonald and Agnes Julia Rowntree. Peter Macdonald was an outspoken supporter of Alexander who had lessons in the Technique for many years. Patrick Macdonald began to receive lessons from F. M. Alexander and his brother A. R. (Albert Redden) at the age of 10, because of growing problems related to a congenital curvature of his spine. He continued to have lessons throughout his adolescent years. After graduating...
Peter Scott (1918-1978), British teacher of the Alexander Technique. Life Peter Scott went to Stockport Grammar School, Cheshire, where he gained a scholarship to Magdalen College, Oxford. As a child he developed a lifelong passion for music in general and the piano in particular. He studied piano under Edward Isaacs and continued his musical studies with James Ching. In 1936, just before going up to Oxford to read Law, he came across the Alexander Technique in Aldous Huxley’s writings; he then bought and read all of Alexander’s books, and went to an interview with...
Richard (‘Buzz’) Mott Gummere Jr. (1912–2007), US trained teacher of the Alexander Technique. Life Gummere served as Director of Admissions at Bard College and taught at Columbia University Teachers College. At the age of 28 he felt ‘vague but deep misery, but mental and physical’.[1] He had interviews with psychiatrists who concluded that there was nothing wrong. His mother made him go see A. R. Alexander. He trained as a teacher of the Technique, primarily with A. R. Alexander in Boston, and was certified by F. M. Alexander in 1944. While he never...
Richard (‘Dick’) Walker (1911–1992), UK teacher of the Alexander Technique and Head of Training. Life Richard Walker read philosophy at Oxford and was especially interested in Eastern spiritual thought. He was a keen and successful amateur golf player. He had won the Northen Open twice and had been highly placed in the German Open when he read UoS in 1936 and consequently went to F. M. Alexander for lessons. He met Elisabeth, in 1937, and she also started having lessons. They both started on Alexander’s teachers training course in 1938 and married the same year....
Sir George Lowthian Trevelyan 4th Baronet (1906 –1996) was a British teacher of the Alexander Technique who went on to become a founding father of the New Age movement. Life The Trevelyans were an aristocratic family who claimed descent from Sir Trevillian, one of King Arthur's knights. Trevelyan studied at Sidcot School, a Quaker school in Somerset, and went on to reading history at Trinity College, Cambridge. In 1928, during his university days, he started having lessons with F. M. Alexander. Trevelyan trained on the first training course 1931-34. However, he did not succeed...
Sydney Holland (1908–1989), British teacher of the Alexander Technique. Life Sydney Holland was a manager in W. & T. Avery Ltd. (manufacturer of weighing machines), and he started having lessons with F. M. Alexander in 1939. Sydney joined Alexander’s teacher training course in 1945 while continuing to work for Avery’s. He qualified in 1949 (the extra year being due to an interruption in the training as Alexander suffered a stroke in 1948). He taught part-time as he continued working for Avery’s until his retirement in 1974, at which point he could teach full-time. He was chair of...
Walter H. M. Carrington (1915–2005), British teacher of the Alexander Technique. Walter Carrington was an inspirational teacher, founder of the Constructive Teaching Centre, and an influential writer on the Alexander Technique. Life Walter Hadrian Marshall Carrington was born in Selby, Yorkshire, in 1915, the only child of the Rev Walter Marshall Carrington. In 1917 the family moved to London where he spent the rest of his life. He attended St Paul's School. He had intended to join the Society of Jesus but he was so impressed by the lessons which his mother had taken in the...
Wilfred (‘Bill’) Barlow (1915–91), British doctor and teacher of the Alexander Technique. Wilfred Barlow was the first teacher to conduct research into the Technique, and author of the bestselling The Alexander Principle (1973). Life Wilfred Barlow trained with Alexander 1938-45. In 1940 he married Marjory Mechin, Alexander’s niece. Barlow qualified as a doctor in 1941 and served in the Royal Army Medical Corps 1942-46. As a principal witness he helped Alexander win the 1948 South African defamation case Alexander vs. Jokl et al, and wrote an article on the...

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