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Goddard Binkley

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by Holly Rocke on 1 July 2013

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Transcript of Goddard Binkley

1920-1987
Goddard Binkley

from the next generation
--Joanna Binkley Lohmar
Binkley's love of Football
Joanna Binkley Lohmar
Family Lessons
Joanna Binkley Lohmar
Binkley the High School Teacher
Daughter of Goddard Binkley
Memories
Joanna Binkley Lohmar
Goddard made a big point of washing his hands with this 100% pure Castile soap between each lesson. He believed that this special Castile soap he found somewhere made a significant difference in the energy coming from his hands and so he made sure to keep a good supply of it. Just ordinary soap would not do.
--- James Wellman
I purchased the "empty chair" painting by Goddard that so prominently hung in his studio throughout all his years there. Goddard put by far his best frame around it which indicated to me that he liked it the most, so I was a little surprised when he showed no hesitation in selling it to me for almost less than the cost of the frame alone. He called his teaching studio an Art Gallery which always seemed a little weird since I was never aware of any thing hanging on the walls. So here he could actually claim to have sold a painting!
--- Memory of James Wellman
Goddard would have us recite passages from Shakespeare while continuing to hold one arm horizontally straight out to the side without tensing the neck (Goddard saw to that). I figured that this must have been something that F.M. did with him in London. --- James Wellman

Getting us in and out of chair he would have one of his great amazing hands making very good contact with the back of the neck while the other hand was placed just above the hip joint, all the time he was very grounded, so the whole thing felt great.
-- James Wellman
One big way that Goddard deviated from standard Alexander Technique was in his table work. He really liked doing table work and devised some moves that he felt would help unify the body, top to bottom and left to right. The big one that I well remember was that, with the student face down, he would come down with his forearms across the body from left to right, hands centered between the hips, and then lean in with his weight rotating forearms clockwise, then counter-clockwise. Then he would switch forearms right to left and repeat the whole thing. Felt great.
-- James Wellman
"The Empty Chair" Painting
Sculpture of "The Back"
Goddard Binkley began having lessons in the Alexander Technique during his studies for a Ph.D. in Sociology at the New School for Social Research, New York.
Goddard went to London in 1951 for a course of individual lessons with F.M. Alexander. He joined F.M. Alexander's last teacher training course in 1953 and qualified in 1957.
Goddard Binkley trained Alexander Technique teachers on training courses from 1975-1987. He taught the technique in the U.S. from 1959 to 1981 and in Paris from 1981 to 1987.
Sketch by Binkley
Sketch by Goddard
Sketch by Binkley
Oil on Canvas
Oil on Canvas
"House and Barns", oil on canvas, Artists of Chelsea Exhibition, May 1953
One of Goddard's greatest contributions is his
"Diary of Lessons with F.M. Alexander 1951-53"
"Woman Sitting", skulptor, 1956
I still use what I affectionately call "The Binkley Tap." Goddard would often tap the top of my head a couple of times and remind me to direct. He would also tap my knee or elbow.
--- Memory of John Henes
I remember very clearly how it was to turn Goddard's head while giving him a turn. It was like turning a big turntable with great ball bearings.
--- John Henes
Goddard''s Chicago Training Course
Lakeview Building 116 S. Michigan Ave.
From The National Exchange March 1979
From "Suburban Trib" July 1976
From "Suburban Trib" July 1976
From "National Exchange" March 1979
The training course was only a block from the Art Institute! It was quite the setting for the course. The view of the lake amazing!
--- Memory of Rose Bronec
While seated, we used a book or other support at the thoracic curve. And for those on the short side, there were phone books to place under the feet while seated against the back of the chair.
--- Rose Bronec
A lie down in a lesson consisted of work while lying on the back as well as on the front. Chair work included placing the student's hand palm side up on top of the head. --- Rose Bronec
In the early to mid 1960`s dad taught chemistry at Brewster High School in Brewster, N.Y. His good friend and our next door neighbor, Elliot "Red" Noyes was the principal at Brewster high. When Dad began teaching there the school football team had a 6+ year loosing streak, literally no winning games at all. Red asked Dad if he would consider giving Alexander lessons to the quarterback and a few of the key players. I think Dad did this with glee, he had always been a football enthusiast. Red recounted this story to me 12 or so years ago, though I had memory of it as well. Within the first season of the players receiving lessons the team began to win games and not just a few. That season and for several years after, Dad continued with the lessons and the Brewster football team were a winning team each season. Red Noyes was so impressed with the results as was everyone and as children we loved going with Dad to all those games.
During our childhood Dad would always nab one of us for an impromptu lesson, sometimes we were begrudging but it always felt wonderful.
Dad taught at two more schools after Brewster, the last one before he moved to Chicago was John Jay High where I went to school. When I entered as a freshman, I realized early on that dad was a popular and well liked teacher with the student body. I often heard from friends who were in his classes, that dad often would stray from the chemistry topic at hand and talk about the Alexander technique and would have a student come up to be a demonstration model. Many times when I was walking about campus I would suddenly feel Dad`s hand on the back of my neck and he would guide me for a way giving me movement instructions before sending me on my way.
I remember vividly my father`s hands and how they felt and I know I have his hands and something of his touch, which in part led me to my work as a massage therapist.
A montage of his work and memories from his daughter and his students .
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