My visitors today

Sunday 27 April 2008

Conductive Education, a new way of life

The Resting Dancer, 2004 , by Susie Mallett

I was just reading a posting on a student- conductor's blog, entitled “What is Conductive Education?”. The student didn’t attempt to answer this, she went on to describe her task for a presentation that she was giving.

On her Comments board, Norman (I am assuming it is Norman Perrin) had left his own interpretation of one of Dr Hári’s answers to this question.

Norman wrote: “ Conductive Education is about enhancing the quality of intention to achieve.”

Dr Hári wrote:

"…conductive education enables individuals to build up a new quality of life and a new quality of intention to achieve higher levels of coordination and some increase in coherence and power… for the everyday course of life this means that the individual is able to establish aims (intentions), to retain them, to monitor progress towards them, to resist failure and to overcome obstacles to their achievement.”

I was interested in something that both the student-conductor and Norman wrote, that it depends on who they are talking to as to how they explain what Conductive Education is.

This is certainly true and sometimes it can be very frustrating when my head is buzzing with Hári said this and Petö said that and I know this isn’t how I am going to convince these people to become future clients. What I need here is to be more concrete and to show them the exercises and I start by explaining to them that Conductive Education is a way of life, it is a "life style" in which one learns how to create a new way of life! Through CE one learns, just as Norman states, how to be active, one is motivated into wanting to achieve.

I will be presenting “Conductive Education” to a group of people with Parkinson’s disease next week. Usually I over-prepare for such things and get over-anxious too, worrying whether I shall be understood and asking myself whether the audience, by the end of the 45 minutes, will be any the wiser about a subject that it has taken me years to understand.

At the last Parkinson’s self-help meeting I realised that I was not talking to the people my talk was prepared for and that I needed a different tactic to keep their attention. I threw my papers on the floor, pulled my chair up closer, told them about András Petö and his early work and then just got them to join me in doing some exercises.

I was not actually as well prepared for this as I was for the other, more formal speech. I was wearing a mini-skirt and boots, but I managed quite well. The group immediately became more animated and their “quality of intention to achieve” rose visibly, and not because of the mini-skirt I can assure you!

I will be taking the same approach next week. I will be prepared. This time no wads of paper, just my notebook and I will be wearing my stretch jeans!


Norman Perrin
Conductive Education. Occasional Papers 2. Orthofunction – A conceptual analysis. Mária Hári.

Student Conductor

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