Susie Mallett

small66711@aol.com

Sunday, 17 October 2010

"Autumn poppies" by Susie Mallett, 2008

As I mentioned this morning on Conductor Anne Wittig, over the Atlantic in British Columbia, and I have been communicating in the form of comments on this site. I have decided not to leave this communication buried but to publish it here Perhaps it may encourage others to start communicating with us on this or another theme.

It may even encourage someone out there to send me something of their own to post on this site. I am still enthusiastically waiting for a response!

Anne Wittig said on 16 October 2010:

Susie,

I agree with you when you say: "I believe that the term conductive upbringing as Mária Hári described it and used it, has still not been fully understood everywhere where “conductive education” is being practised ". In fact I just had conversation with my conductor friend in Winnipeg about it.

I might be a bit controversial with saying this but I think its because the understanding of conductive education is not consistent within the conductive professional. One of our lectures at University said that her understanding of conductive education changed with time. It was different from when she started studying it, evolved when she finished her degree, changed again when she had 5 years and at 10 years experience, etc..

I am in total agreement with this. My understanding of it changes a lot and it really is as if it develops the more experience I gain. Lately, I have been more aware of the importance about increasing motivation, creating activity and allow spontaneity to happen.

It's not that I never heard about those things before, they are a huge part in the training to become a conductor, but relevance and interrelationship between each thing we do becomes more apparent with time. It actually starts to have a meaning to me that I'm more able to verbalize which I know couldn't before. I think in the beginning you work a lot on developing your teaching skills and when you become more confident with them you are able to really explore each aspect of CE with fresh eyes and learn. I do have a question: what do you mean by" it depends on ... to develop a system? I feel I might not fully understand it.

Susie Mallett replied:

Anne, yes I think you are right some conductors do feel that they need to develop their teaching skills when they first begin working as conductors. Others have a need to develop different skills. I think this is very much dependent on where they work and what experience they already have.

I had been a teacher and an art therapist for several years before trained as a conductor.

When I began to work as a conductor I began immediately to work as a pedagogic up-bringer and I developed these skills. These were the skills that I wished to acquire and the reason for my studying at the Petö Institute.

Conductive work takes place all over the world in a way that suits the country, the users and/or the providers. In the case of self-employed conductors, to suit conductors too.

It is the pedagogy that directs how we work, the type of practice takes its shape from the situation that we find ourselves in.

Yes, I think too that the understanding that we have of conductive pedagogy develops with time.

I have never worked in a country where the work is known as conductive education so my understanding of the work of a conductor has always been that it is nevelés, Erziehung or Förderung, upbringing or development. I think that this has had a huge influence on how I understand it.

Our aim as conductors is to guide our clients, children or adults, so that their lives becomes conductive. The conductor is present in the clients' life as much or as little as is necessary or that the situation allows.

The conductor also educates the other up-bringers and carers of the clients so that the whole life transforms into a conductive upbringing.

This will result in the client using their full potential in all situations with the assistance required given at the right moment, but not necessarily by a conductor.

For me conduction never meant working for an isolated three hours with my client, it always meant reaching further a field, visiting and working together with as many of the people as possible who are involved in the twenty-four-hour day of the client.

If I had written this posting today I am sure that I would have worded the sentence you ask about differently. I would almost certainly have used the words conductive lifestyle instead of system. That is:

“...it depends on the willingness to transform, to bring about changes and to develop a conductive lifestyle”.

For a conductive upbringing to be successful we need cooperation between lots of people, with transformations continuously taking place as conductive living seeps into every aspect of a client's life.

Anne Wittig’s response to this:

Hi Susie...

Thanks for your long response.

I really like the phrase "it depends on the willingness to transform, to bring about changes and to develop a conductive lifestyle".

I also agree that conductive upbringing should reach in all aspects of the person's life. I feel that the way I work now (independently) I have a better opportunity to do so than I had before working in a center. At the center working with all aspects of the clients life was encouraged and we tried as good as we could. Different circumstances meant that some clients CE upbringing stayed at the center.

I think you made a good point with this sentence: "I have never worked in a country where the work is known as conductive education so my understanding of the work of a conductor has always been that it is nevelés, Erziehung or Förderung, Upbringing or development. I think that this has had a huge influence on how I understand it" .

I think that sometimes peoples understand education as something that happens in an educational setting Kindergarten, school, university etc., so somewhere else. Not necessary, as something that happens at home.

And you are right, its our job to change this.

Learning how to sprial upwards and outwards!

Conductive upbringing is not something that you go somewhere to have done to you. It is something that you learn to use as your way of life. You may do this learning through your parents, or through a carer, with the guidance of a condcutor. Learning about a conductive upbringing or lifestyle can be done in a group or in individual sessions. At home, at school or in a specialist centre.

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