April 7

AT Connect – Megan Taylor

 How did you get into the AT?

I was a musician (cellist) living in London, with a dysfunctional back and bad RSI in the arms. Luckily I was referred to Wilfred Barlow by an orthopaedic specialist. After some reluctance I went to see him and he kindly sent me to Cheryl Gardiner, a wonderful teacher.

Where and when did you train?

I trained first with SATA (Sydney Alexander Teaching Associates), and then with Andrea Beasley in CATTS.

What sort of practice do you have? (eg mixed, mainly actors, groups, individuals etc.)

My practice has been individual and group lessons for musicians, and public servants struggling with long hours and static work environment (long hours on the computer). And a whole lot of different people apart from that, including teenagers and some children.

What’s your favourite thing about AT?

It gave me my professional life back again, and I became functional, well and joyful. And that has never stopped, I love movement, am endlessly curious, and the discipline, experimentation and logic is wonderful.

What do you love about teaching?

It is a wonderful privilege to work with people, both adults and children. People are amazing and endlessly fascinating, and to be able to bring about a positive change is very rewarding. Each person is a research opportunity and I am grateful for the insights from every lesson.

Is there anything you find difficult or challenging?

Yes the admin! I love the work, with people, and don’t enjoy the admin necessary in the modern world. Covid did get me going though, I faced up to it and got through.

What’s coming up for you in your AT life?

I’ve just taught a Brass players’ workshop, and one for school age and pre university cellists. There are a few such workshops coming up. Some of my students who are working as professional musicians are coming back to Australia post Covid, and it is great to catch up and work with them. And I just keep teaching individual students from all walks of life.

Who has been an inspiration, mentor or memorable positive influence on you in the AT world?

My AT education started I London with Cheryl Gardiner, at The Dartington Festival with Axel Hahr. Then Joseph Artzi in Copenhagen. And when I returned to Sydney there was a broad group of teachers running SATA, Terry Fitzgerald, Duncan Woodcock, Kri Ackers, Andrea Beasley, Caroline Jamieson, Marion Miller. There have been workshops with Marge Barstow, Walter Carrington came to my training course for a week, wonderful. And over the last several years I have enjoyed workshops with John Nicholls in Melbourne with a group of teachers who get together once a year. I am grateful for every single lesson, and to all my wonderful colleagues with whom I swap work.

Any tips for other teachers?

Onwards and upwards!

What do you get up to outside of AT?

I play in Symphony Orchestras, enjoy chamber music, teach cello, grow my own veggies, and have just raised a Guide Dog pup. I’m passionate about restoring the land and water systems in Australia.

Anything else that you would like to include?

Thanks for the opportunity to profile in our wonderful Journal. Please do contact me for any lessons in when visiting Canberra, or for workshops anywhere in Australia. I like working online too.

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