Master Classes

Frank Wildman (1977) GCFT, Ph.D. holds degrees in Physical Education, Biology and Psychology. He directed the first accredited Feldenkrais training in 1986, and had organized and has directed over a dozen Feldenkrais Training Programs. A past Guild president, he heads the Feldenkrais Movement Institute and has authored many audio and video programs and books on the Feldenkrais Method®.

PRESENTATIONS: "What is the Feldenkrais Method?"

Whether it's an initial interview with a client, your first visit to your prospective in-laws or a presentation for medical professionals, artists, athletes, or the general public, your style of answering this question can determine whether you gain rapport or not. This in turn can make the difference between gaining your livelihood with the Feldenkrais Method or not. One of the major problems in the Feldenkrais community is presenting the Method to professional and other audiences. We need skills in design and presentation to effectively communicate to communities outside our own. The ability to present yourself and the Method in an effective and interesting manner, are as important as your skills practicing the Method. This may very well be the most crucial workshop you can take to sustain your career and further the recognition of the Method. We will use theater exercises and video feedback to make your personal style of communication more effective in addressing audiences that are important to you.

How to Prepare Yourself

Our postural preparation is a crucial factor in organizing our perceptions and actions. How we prepare ourselves for a presentation, an Awareness Through Movement or Functional Integration lesson, can influence the outcome more than our technical proficiency on that particular day. How do you reach inside yourself to create a profound and unique experience for your students and clients? How do you use yourself to create a specific feeling in a teaching situation? How can you share your passion with an audience in a way that engages them more fully? How can you utilize your doubts and insecurities as assets to create a unique teaching style? This workshop will show you how to become a more effective guide by preparing for surprises and challenges from the inside. You will learn how to engage your students by creating situations that are outside of their usual habits and experiences.

Finding the Core of a Lesson

Good musicians do not simply memorize and play the sequences in a musical score, they must understand the meaning of the piece they are playing in order to emphasize, interpret and improvise. The same is true for a Feldenkrais Practitioner. In this course, you will learn to discover the core of a lesson. Once you understand the central function of a lesson, you can adjust it to fit a wide range of groups in Awareness through Movement or a variety of clients in Functional Integration. Your confidence and creativity increase, as you no longer need to depend on notes or worry about getting lost in the sequence. Awareness Through Movement® (ATM) translates more easily into Functional Integration® if we understand the core ideas of a lesson. We will use a range of familiar and new ATM lessons to identify what is central in a series of lessons as well as what is central to each lesson in a series. We will be working both hands-on and in ATM to physical-ize the ground of our understanding. Application of these lessons to the world outside of training programs will be discussed.

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Follow that Bone

In this workshop we will explore how lessons can be better designed by understanding in detail the relationship between anatomy and history of the human body. We will pick a bone or two and follow the evolution of perceptions and actions that gave birth to form. We will clarify how structures and functions of the body interact with the environment. Using these insights you will learn how to develop more potent ATM and FI lessons that connect bone through muscle and brain to the environment. This course will provide you with the tools to see and sense movement in a more precise and expansive manner and create more meaningful lessons for your clients.

Working With the Immaterial Body: How do we Recognize Learning? How do we Touch Awareness?

How do learning and awareness emerge from tissues and organs? Both learning and awareness are non-material aspects of a human being. To say that learning takes place in the brain is to explain away the mysteries of learning and awareness.

  • How do these immaterial aspects of the body express themselves in motion and
  • How do we touch and move these non-physical aspects of the physical body?
  • What kind of learning takes place in the method that is unique?

We will approach these questions as technical questions related to the notion of function.

The Evolution of Learning: Sequences, Transitions, and Consequences in Lessons

Without light there would be no eyes.” ~ Moshe Feldenkrais
    • What can I do when a lesson doesn't seem to be working?
    • Should I change to another lesson and if that doesn't help maybe even try concepts and movements from still another lesson?

Every practitioner is familiar with these questions and with the confusion they generate in ourselves and in our clients. What options are available to us in the design of a lesson, to make transitions smooth and easy? There are fundamental principles shared between the development of awareness in the Feldenkrais Method and the biological evolution of life on earth. We will approach the mysteries and the mechanisms of organic development and human learning in terms of similar underlying processes. We will work with the similarities in the design and generation of ATM and FI lessons to the similarities in the emergence and development of new life forms. Understanding how consciousness, awareness, and learning evolved in the natural world can better inform us in designing more effective and generative lessons. This will be an evolutionary learning experience.

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The Motor Concept:
Using Motor Learning and Motor Control Theories in the Design of Lesson Plans and Themes

How do we learn front and back, up and down, left and right? How do we learn to time and coordinate our movements? The understanding of these temporal and spatial learning processes can prove very helpful in choosing lesson plans or predicting and influencing the outcome of a lesson. These spatial and temporal learnings are well mapped in research and occasionally chanced upon by practitioners who find themselves surprised by the success of a particular lesson. The Motor Concept was developed by Dr. Frank Wildman in order to provide a useful model to better control and predict the outcome of lessons and select lesson plans suited to the individual needs of clients. Students will experience the Motor Concept through ATM and FI lessons.

Ligaments and Tendencies: ©1996, Frank Wildman, Ph.D.

"Sensing the skeleton" and "experiencing skeletal consciousness" are notions Moshe often discussed, but what exactly are the mechanisms whereby we sense the location of our bones in Space and Time? The relationship of our skeleton to muscular activities pours into the nervous system as much through receptors in the ligaments and tendons as within the joints or muscles themselves. Ligaments and tendons are not just passive connectors of our bones and muscles, they provide massive amounts of information due to their rich innervation, yet training programs rarely address how to use them. By working precisely with ligaments and tendons in FI lessons we will heighten skeletal sensations, improve joint stability, and affect motor control.

Orientation/Anxiety/Pleasure: ©1996 by Frank Wildman, Ph.D.

All animals must be able to orient themselves to sudden changes in the environment in order to identify potential threats. When the orienting response is effective, no anxiety arises; the fluid and uninterrupted interaction with the environment is experienced as pleasurable. When there is an interference with the orienting response anxiety is generated. In human society the nature of our orienting responses becomes extremely complex, involving our personal history, cultural tendencies, imagination, humor, and art. Identifying what is exciting to us, what is pleasurable and what evokes anxiety often becomes confusing, since the terms "anxiety" and "pleasure" mask a wealth of underlying bodily feelings. In this workshop, we will deepen our work by learning to identify and utilize differing orienting responses that form the basis of postural control and social identity.

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