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The conductor-education course (note, ‘education’ not ‘training’) at the National Institute of Conductive Education in Birmingham and the University of Wolverhampton, commenced in September 1997, its ﬁrst students qualifying in 2000.
At the threshold of the twenty-ﬁrst century these young conductors are at the threshold of their careers. In sixteen very personal contributions twenty of them reflect upon their early experiences and concerns.
They have had to be pioneers, inventing and reinventing their professional identity out of what they do in their everyday practice, inventing and reinventing themselves, adapting and improvising to a degree unenvisageable in initial training. They work mainly in small establishments or wholly on their own, pioneering ways that are little trodden or wholly new. In three instances this has involved pushing Conductive Education out into the developing world.
In 1997 such situations were impossible to foresee. Fast forward just another twelve years, to 2021. The contexts and demands of future conductive practice are even more unforeseeable today. The experiences and concerns of their ﬁrst years as conductors are indicative of the wider flexibility and adaptiveness that will pull Conductive Education through the difficult years ahead.