Alexander Training Course, Nijmegen

OATN Student Guidelines 2014 ©


General Terms and Conditions 

1.    The Opleiding Alexander Technique Nijmegen (OATN) is a three day a week, four year training course recognized by Alexander Technique Education (ATE). The course is recognized by the Centraal Register Kort Beroepsonderwijs (CRKBO) and is therefore BTW exempt.


2.    The Training Course leads to an internationally recognized qualification to teach the Alexander Technique as set down in F. M. Alexander’s four books: “Man’s Supreme Inheritance,” “Constructive Conscious Control of the Individual,” “The Use of the Self,” and “Universal Constant in Living.”


3.    The structure and content of our training course is in accordance with the rules and regulations as set down by Alexander Technique Education (ATE).


4.    The Directors of our school are Professor Nadia Kevan and Ron Murdock.


5.    Both Nadia and Ron will be present throughout the four years of the study program.



Application and acceptance procedure for new students 

1.    Enquiries are sent by post or email to the School Administrator Ron Murdock by post (Wedesteinbroek 1402, 6546 RN Nijmegen, The Netherlands) or email ( These will be answered within 3 working days.


2.    The applicant will be informed about our procedure for acceptance on the four year study program and will be invited to come to our school for an interview. The course is open to musicians, actors, athletes, physiotherapists, doctors, nurses, teachers, and people from other walks of life who the directors feel would be successful in carrying out the training course.


3.    Students will be expected to:

            a) have had at least 25 individual lessons which include at least two individual lessons with Nadia and one with Ron.

            b) have an interview with Nadia and Ron in which they will be informed about all aspects of the course, both structural and content.

            c) visit our current training program for at least one week to become familiar with our teaching methods and to meet the other students. The cost to visit the training course, per week, is €265 which includes one hour private lesson with either Nadia or Ron.

            d) speak and understand one of the three languages used at the school (English, Dutch, German.)


4.    If Nadia and Ron consider the applicant suitable for the training course, the applicant wishes to proceed and the above conditions are fulfilled then the applicant will be given a contract plus a copy of this OATN Student Guidelines and asked to contact us after 7 days to inform us of their decisionwhether to join the training program or not.


5.    If the student agrees to join the training course then they, together with Nadia and Ron, will sign the contract. Both the applicant and the school will keep an original signed copy.


6.    After signing the contract the student has a further 14 days in which they can change their mind without any financial obligation.


7.    Students who have already completed a period of study on another training course will be considered to continue their studies at our school under the following conditions:

            a) that the head of their present training course is informed about their intentions.

            b) that we receive a written letter from their former Head of Training about the details of their study, including the agreed number of hours completed.

            c) based on this information and our assessment of their progress we will then suggest the remaining amount of study time they require in order to qualify with us.


8.    Should a student leave our course they will be given a written document signed by Nadia and Ron about the details of their study, including the agreed number of hours completed which can then be given to another Head of Training should the student wish to continue elsewhere.



Terms and Conditions of Fees 

1.    The first six months of training is a trial period for both the student and the Directors. In this time the contract may be ended by either party with one month’s notice with no further charges.


2.    After this period a contract may be ended by either party by giving three month’s notice in writing.


3.    As from 1 January 2017 the training course costs €22.800,00  As our training course is recognized by the CRKBO the course is exempt from BTW. The course fees are divided over 48 monthly payments of €475,00  These must be paid, in advance, by the 28th day of each month to our bank account. Details of our bank account are given verbally on request.


4.    As and when necessary the Directors reserve the right to raise the fees in accordance with the cost of living index for the year concerned. In the case of fees needing to be raised, three months notice will be given.


5.    The student has no right to attend the course if fees have not been paid.


6.    The price of all photocopied materials is included in the fees above.


7.    Required reading (see Required Reading Book List) must be purchased during the three years of the course by the student at their own cost.


8..    Any material given to the student during the training course becomes their own property but the copyright of the content remains with the author.


9.    Students are responsible for their own living accommodation, transportation and food.




All personal information which a student gives to Directors will be done so in confidence and will remain exclusively with the Directors.




    1.       The four year training course offers 1600 hours of study. We work four hours a day, Wednesday until and including Friday, 33 weeks a year. This leaves another 16 hours to be completed (100th week). This time can be used by students for an individual study project in agreement with Nadia and Ron. Usually we work for four weeks and then have one week off. There are extended holidays for spring, summer and Christmas.


2.   Besides the 1600 hours of course study, students are expected to work on themselves an hour per day outside of the training course (self practice). Each student receives a one hour private lesson every week. Half way through their training, students are expected to write a short paper (3 A4 sheets) explaining their understanding of the Alexander terms (Primary Control, inhibition, direction etc) and their understanding of the Alexander Technique in general. In their final year students are required to write a paper in which they apply the principles of the Alexander Technique to an activity which interests them. Also in the last three months of their final year, students are encouraged to begin their teaching practice by taking on two or three pupils outside of the school who they teach for a total of 10 lessons each. At this point students are allowed to charge a small fee and to call themselves “student teacher.”


3    The course is restricted to a no more than 10 students to maintain a maximum student/teacher ratio of 5:1


4.    The teaching day is divided equally into the four areas of study. (See “Four Areas of Study.)


5.    There is a 20 minute break for refreshments.



Qualification and Extended Study 

1.    After completing 1600 hours of study at our school each student will present their work (see “Assessment, Examination and Qualification) to Nadia and Ron. In the normal case this leads to a certification by the school which permits the student to call themself: “A qualified teacher of the F. M. Alexander Technique”.


2.    A student may extend their studies if, after the full length of study, they have not reached the required standards to qualify. The length and content of this extra period of study to reach the required standard to qualify will be clarified before it begins. Extended study must be completed within one year. The student will be expected to pay for this extra study unless they are making up for missed study time during the normal study period due to illness or pre-agreed absence for occasional professional reasons in which case the fees may be wavered. The waiving of fees lies in the discretion of Nadia and Ron in agreement with the student.




Administration and Communication 

1.    Outside school hours students can contact the school at any time by writing to us via email at



2.    We can also be reached by telephone, both landline and Dutch and German mobile phones:

                Dutch landline: +31 (0)24 845 2097

                Dutch mobile: +31 (0)61 918 9886

                German mobile: +49 (0)179 596 0695


3.    We endeavour to answer all enquiries or questions within two days.


4.    Any changes to dates and timetable will be discussed with the students in advance. All information about dates and timetable will be given by the Administrator to the students at least two months in advance.


5.    Attendance lists are kept daily so that Nadia, Ron and the students can monitor their study time. We expect the students to attend all courses available and we allow for the regular absent times due to personal/health reasons.


6.    At the end of each four week study block each student is given a print out of the dates and times during that block in which they have been present. Any errors and/or omissions can be discussed at that time or within one week of the student having received the print out.


7.    If a student is ill or cannot attend our school for some other reason then we ask for a personal telephone call to inform the Administrator.


8.    If a student must be absent due to professional reasons then we ask that the student inform the Administrator one month beforehand or as soon as possible.



Student’s Evaluation 

Every year the students will be given a paper to fill out to be returned to Nadia and Ron about their evaluation of the training course. This evaluation will be discussed with the student privately within four weeks of handing in.



Student Moderation 

Our student moderator is Jos Burger-Huges, an experienced Alexander Teacher and former Head of Training of her own training course in Belgium. In a student’s 6th and 9th term their progress will be monitored by her and copy of her report will be sent to Nadia, Ron and the student. No reports of students are kept once the student has qualified.



Reading and required literature 

There is a list of reading and reference literature which the students must purchase. This does not have to be complete from the start but they are encouraged to acquire these books at the point which they are studied in class.


Required Reading Book List

Constructive Conscious Control of the Individual, F. M. Alexander 1923/1951

The Use of the Self, F. M. Alexander 1932/1946

The Universal Constant in Living, F. M. Alexander 1941/1969

Man’s Supreme Inheritance, F. M. Alexander

Born to Sing, Ron Murdock 2015

Thinking Aloud, Walter Carrington

Atlas of the Skeletal Muscles, Stone and Stone 1990      

Albinus on Anatomy, Robert Beverly Hale and Terence Coyle 1979

Towards a Physiology of the F. M. Alexander Technique, Christopher Stevens 1990/2011


Guest teachers and Guest Training Courses 

We invite guest teachers who are also members of their own country’s Teacher’s Society. These teachers will introduce aspects of learning, application and teaching of the F. M. Alexander Technique in which they are particularly qualified. There is a large range of work being offered and we invite highly experienced teachers with whose work we are familiar. We may also invite another training school, the students and director, to visit us. This exchange has proved enriching in the past and introduces the student teachers to a variety of aspects of the Alexander Technique.  


We ask students to inform us if they wish to work with Alexander teachers outside of our study programme. We agree to this usually from the second year of study.



Assessment, Examinations and Qualification 

1.    During the four years of study students are continually assessed by Ron and Nadia. At the end of each year they will be given a detailed account of their progress. This usually this takes the form of an informal private meeting between the student, Nadia and Ron.


2.    At the end of the four f year study programme each student will present their work. This will be a practical presentation where the student will be invited to show their teaching skills with their fellow students.


3.    Students will also be invited to speak about a particular area where they have become skilled in applying the principles of the Alexander Technique, give a demonstration or a short performance. 


Nadia, Ron and two guest teachers will be present at this exam and if the student is successful, then they will immediately receive a certificate of qualification.


Content of the training course 

1.    Increasing your awareness of postural and mental habits which interfere with your balance, breathing and co-ordination and learning the “means whereby” (which Alexander called “inhibition and direction”) to improve these habits is the main objective of the Alexander Technique.


2.    The Psycho-Physical Support System ©

    At our school in Nijmegen we teach the Psycho-Physical Support System. This is based on years of scientific research by Chris Stevens and Nadia Kevan which brought to light the physiological process behind the effects of the Alexander Technique.


3.    The objective of our training course is to learn to teach this.


4.    The student learns these skills by working individually with a teacher who will communicate through voice, touch and movement how to release unnecessary tension of mind and body which develops into habit. We use simple positions and movements of the body to begin with, encouraging our students to direct their awareness to those aspects of themselves which build strength and confidence. Our instructions guide the student’s consciousness into the present moment where they can learn to choose how to react to thoughts and feelings within, and also to events in the immediate world around them. When our students’ skill increases we introduce more complex movements and tasks, like use of the hands, walking, running, dancing, vocal work and gesture, playing an instrument, carrying objects or writing at a table. It is through these activities that the students learn to integrate the principles of the Alexander Technique into all activity. Performing such movements with a new awareness of themselves, students often report a feeling of stability, lightness and ease, making even the simplest of tasks enjoyable and meaningful.



Four areas of study (individual and group work): 

1.    Working on yourself

If you are training to become a teacher of the Alexander Technique you will first and foremost learn to improve your own psycho-physical balance and co-ordination. Each day of the training begins with “working on the use of yourself.” This is of utmost importance and builds the skills necessary to teach. We provide our students with the craft of “self-help.”


2.     Applying your awareness to Life:

Learning how to integrate each stage of development into your professional and personal activities will be part of your daily training. This aspect of the course requires much practice. We will guide your co-ordination while performing many kinds of activities. In this way you experience your own potential which you then can develop further when working on your own.


3.     Understanding experience and the freedom to speak:

Part of the teaching day is devoted to reading, discussing and looking at wider aspects of the history, science and relevance today of the Alexander Technique. We teach the anatomy and physiology which applies to this work. There is regular reading from one of the 4 books written by the founder, F. M. Alexander, which contain essential material for learning the principles and meaning of the work. There is a session at the beginning of each week where students talk about their development and there are at least two sessions during the week for individual questions.


4.     Communication through our hands:

In an Alexander lesson the teacher communicates to and guides their pupil with their hands. This is a very specific use of a teacher’s hands and the skill lies in learning to touch without effort and manipulation (which we call “Non-Doing.”) The “use of our hands” is taught by co-ordinating the experience and knowledge gained through the above areas of study and applying these to “Hands On.” We guide you through this process allowing time within the training course hours for self-practice. This aspect of the training course contains the essential guidance towards the art of teaching the Alexander Technique. You learn to communicate to your pupil the psycho-physical experience of non-interference with the natural process of balance and co-ordination.



Procedure should something happen to us

1.    Should either of us be unable to continue with the training then the responsibility for continuing the training course automatically passes to whoever of us is able to continue.


2.    Should both of us be unable to continue running the training course then our moderator assumes responsibility for the continuation of the training until such time as places on other training course become available where students can complete their training.



Complaints procedure 

1.    Complaints should be made to Nadia and Ron in writing.


2.    No complaint will be considered from an anonymous source.


3.    Within two weeks of receiving the complaint the student will be invited to discuss their complaint with us.


4.    Should the issue remain unsolved after the meeting with us then the matter will be referred to an independent third party mediator within 4 weeks of receipt of the complaint. The decision of the third party mediator shall be binding on all parties. Costs for mediation will be shared 50/50 between the school and the student.


5.    No complaint will be kept by the school once a student has qualified.



The spirit of our school 

The spirit of our school is one of mutual trust and respect allowing each student a calm and friendly space to develop their psychophysical potential. Becoming a student at our school means to enter into this spirit.