From the beginning, Mr. Gurdjieff assigned pupils to be responsible for various aspects of his work. These people in turn passed on their direct understanding to those who followed them. At 94 years old, Elsa Denzey is one of those direct links. Working with Annette Herter, Thomas de Hartman's chosen protégée, she accompanied classes for Jessmin Howarth, one of Gurdjieff's original dancers and teachers, and learned the very precise way that Mr. Gurdjieff wished his music to be played.
She has successfully transmitted the exercises and methods of inner work for the pianist taught to her and discovered throughout her 60 years playing for movements classes, by mentoring pianists from around the world. These pianists continue to pass on this exacting method. Weekend seminars are held from time to time for those actively playing for classes in groups worldwide.
The study of both the Sacred Dance music and the music composed by Gurdjieff and de Hartmann as “listening” music is a vehicle for the transmission of understanding the ideas of inner transformation. This training is invaluable for the serious music student of the Work.
The system of self development called The Work developed by Gurdjieff, is taught in schools throughout the world. Each school follows the same philosophy and direction for inner study though the emphasis may be different according to the interests and talents of the students and the emphasis of the directors. The Society for Arts and Ideas, as the name implies, has particular interest and training in the study of Mr. Gurdjieff's Movements, music and ideas; these are approached along the lines set out originally by Gurdjieff and Mme de Salzmann.
The teaching, sometimes referred to as "The Fourth Way", is an oral tradition. Though many books have been written describing the Work, the teaching cannot be understood purely by reading the texts. Jeanne de Salzmann and Louise Welch carefully prepared the directors of The Society for Arts and Ideas since 1956, in the way to encourage inner growth in interested students and this mentorship continues today. Students begin to unravel the insights Gurdjieff described in his writings so these ideas can become a living reality.
From time to time open lectures or talks are scheduled for those interested in exploring a further interest and participation in the Work. The question of "Who am I?" or "Why am I here?" is a wonderful place to begin and the search is forever compelling and fascinating.
Gurdjieff said "take the heart quality of the east and the mind quality of the west and seek". His method speaks to a new awakening and to a perception of how it might be possible to live one's life is a new way.
For dates and times of introductory talks, please use the email on the Contact page for further information.