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0508 TARUNA (827862)
06 877 7174 (local)
+64 6 877 7174 (international)
Our Staff || Brian Tracey
Brian is the Programme Director for the Certificate in Rudolf Steiner Education and has over 25 years experience in Waldorf education, Curative education and adult education, including 18 years as a class teacher at Titirangi Steiner School in Auckland. Areas of expertise include science, mathematics, history, English, drama, mentoring, teaching as an art, social education and the role of humour
Our Students || Rebecca Struthers
Rebecca Struthers did the Art of Health in 2012, she was interviewed by Taruna in 2013 and asked about her time studying with us:
1) Tell me about your background and your work?
As a violinist currently in the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, my work includes performing a wide variety of music, also coaching, mentoring, some teaching, and playing in smaller ensembles including a contemporary group, a trio, and a quartet that visits rest homes and schools around the country. Aside from years of practicing, my background includes study in various complimentary therapies and a keen interest in the metaphysical and hidden aspects of being.
2) I understand that you came to Taruna as your chosen professional development supported by the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra why this course particularly?
Playing an instrument as a profession involves seemingly conflicting forces of discipline/ structure and freedom. Balancing these can be tricky: the exacting focus required (getting the next set of notes right in the right place) can mean the ‘freer’ more creative side gets squeezed out. I chose this course to broaden my outlook and give time to nourish the creative, expressive side of my nature.
3) Was this your first encounter with Anthroposophy , what are your keen learning highlights from it as a philosophy?
It is interesting that in an increasingly secular society the need to be fed and nourished at a deeper level remains undimmed. I was familiar with Antroposophic principles, having been introduced to them through esoteric studies some years ago. Having a vast structured context into which all our experiences as a human being can be placed I find brings a deeper connection to what is real within and beyond me. Life takes on renewed meaning and colour. As a philosophy it also offers wonderfully practical ways to live this out on a daily basis!
4) How did you benefit from the course personally and professionally?
Personally, I am experiencing the benefits still resounding. Our group was quite an amazing bunch to be with, and our teachers so warm and inspiring. This really made it sing! The timing was just prior to my 49th birthday, and I learnt a whole lot more about the significance of this as an age. I feel a profound shift in myself, and have been moving into a new modus operandi with added determination, having gained a sense of future possibilities. In addition, it was so very good for my brain to use those synapses in a completely different way.
Professionally, an unexpected phenomenon has occurred while playing in the orchestra. When ‘tuning in’ to the conductor’s beat and the collective ‘orchestra beat’ I am able to bring this together with my own inner rhythmic impulse so that they are one and the same. Previously, I usually sacrificed my impulse to the collective impulse. It may sound a little obscure, yet is a significant change, and one that has (so far) stayed with me.
5) What was your prior art experience, if any? Did this matter?
I was brought up in an “arty” household- we didn’t have television, and were encouraged always to make things. My mother taught art and drilled us in observation at every opportunity. Painting and drawing became very therapeutic surviving the emotional ups and downs of my twenties. Aside from a few invitations and birthday cards, the next art I did was on the course twenty years later. This lack of experience was irrelevant as we all worked through basic techniques, and together with highly skilled teaching and some fabulous encouragement, it was (with the exception of clay-work) a joy!
6) How have you integrated it into your life?
I would say the daily practice of reflection on the night (‘echo’), and at the end of the day (harvest’) and going through the day backwards before sleep, connect me to my inner self and to the universe in a particularly effective way.
Through the biography study, I have gained a deeper insight into the context of where other people are coming from, and with that comes greater interest in them as individuals and greater generosity and tolerance when difficulties arise. I am realising we are all in relationship with one another. I particularly connected with the learning about the elderly. This year I decided to help my parents move to Wellington so they can be better cared for and closer to family in their final years. Sadly last week my father died, making this only possible for my mother. Without this course I never would have been so bold as to suggest the idea to two very independent souls, nor felt capable of handling all it entailed.
7) Anything else that you would like to add?
This course is more than the sum of its parts. It is a resounding symphony to the human spirit.