Pető Institute

Some sad news today

Today I heard about the death of Margit Balogh, former Librarian at the Peto Institute, from cancer.

She became Librarian of the Institute in 1992 and brought new life and systems to the  Institute’s collection. In a chapter written for the recent book on Dr Hári (Balogh and Dezsőné, 2014) she describes her work there under the watchful, interested eye of Mária Hári, who encouraged her  to update the procedures, re-organise the stock, and develop the use of computers,  making its holdings  more accessible.

Margit also edited the book Mária Hári and her conductive education in 2007.

In 1993 I visited the Institute and met with Margit.  We communicated through an interpreter as I knew no Hungarian and she no English, but it was an interesting meeting as we talked about the unique sources on Conductive Education held in the Institute and the beginnings of the Library I was establishing for the Foundation for Conductive Education in England.

Margit did retire some years ago but today’s users of the Library owe her a large debt for all she did for the collection, and Conductive Education.

Today is a very sad day.


Balogh, E and Horváth Dezsőné, (2014) Emlékkönyv, Hári, Mária 1923-2001. Budapest: Pető András Főiskola


Some Photos Taken at the Peto Institute

A posting on Facebook today led me to a collection of 49 black and white photos taken of children and conductors at the Peto Institute.

These are not dated but look to me like they were probably taken in the 1990s, and how they came to be taken  is not stated.

The photographer, Stuart Freedman, started taking photos professionally in 1991 and is now a celebrated photographer worldwide covering a wide variety of topics and events.



Conductive Education on the Isle of Wight?

Whilst looking for something else on the Internet I found a reference to a collaboration between the Peto Institute and the Shen Clinic on the Isle of Wight.

This news item was written in 2008  and I had not seen it before or been aware of the proposed collaboration, or the degree level training programme.

On looking at the website of the Shen Clinic, a complementary medicine centre, I found that in 2006 the director of the clinic  was selected as a member of an E.U. research team for Health (Complementary & Alternative Medicine, Biological Medicine, Natural Medicine, Oriental Medicine) headed by Dr Gabriella Hegyi MD PhD, University of Budapest. And that :

In 2008 we were visiting guests at the world famous Peto Institute Budapest and we continue to be supporters of Conductive Education.   At that time we discussed an in-principle but favourable collaboration between the Peto Institute and The Shen Clinic.

I could find no more information, so assume that the project did not get further than discussion stage.

If anyone else knows about this I would be grateful to hear what happened and if there are any plans for the future.

Update on new online service

Last week I posted about the new online service

from Special Needs Jungle for obtaining copies of journal articles not yet free on the Internet.

I applied for an article and received a very nice email back  stating that my request had been forwarded to the publisher and I should hear in about six days or so.

Today I checked my email and found I had been sent a reply last night. The article was now available for me via the Special needs Jungle website where I was to follow the link given.

I did this and found the report by Ester Cotton on a study visit to the Institute for Movement Therapy and School for Conductors, published in 1965, was now available to me in a pdf format. Terrific service from an organisation staffed by volunteers!

I was also told :

Please do pass on this service to your colleagues and friends and feel free to share the research using this link:

All items requested in this way will be available to those who access the Special Needs Jungle website. This is the first,  and I am sure others will follow.  In fact, I have several I will ask for myself and I will check the list regularly to see what is on it relevant to Conductive Education.

Please remember that not every request may be granted, but do try it out.

Peto Andras College takes Conductive Education to Transylvania

A Hungarian news item today reports on a three week programme of Conductive Education in Transylvania, Romania, provided by conductors from the Pető András College, (the newly re-named  Pető Institute).  In July  candidates from two villages took part in   a selection process and the three week course has just finished.

No mention is made of further sessions as far as ! can tell.

The report refers to the Institute , not the College,  but I have used its new name here.

Success with the Pető Institute catalogue

Bea Toth has kindly put me right about this and I have now been successful in doing an author search.

Before  entering another name, I needed to end each session of searching, not just delete the name in the search box, then  go back to browse and then insert  Pető, András rather than András Pető and I then got the three records up.

I will now explore other options of searching the catalogue  and see how I get on.

Perhaps there are notes to help with searching but I haven’t managed to find them yet.


Pető Institute library catalogue online

I have just been sent some links to what looks like a new version of the catalogue of the Hári Mária Library and Regional Source Centre at the Pető Institute, available online since 7 February.


It is now possible to search the catalogue either in English at

0r in Hungarian at


There are useful tips on how to search.

I have had a quick look at what is entered in the catalogue and was surprised to find that I could find nothing by András Pető himself.


I believe the library is open to all, so suggest you contact the Librarian (I am not sure if Beata Toth has been replaced) at if you have any queries or wish to access the material.


Libraries, what are they for?

 Ever since I was a child I have used libraries for pleasure and information. Most people of my age that I know do the same. But how many other people actually know what they are for, and use them for this? Even students seem to struggle at times.

  • Libraries are depositories of information which is organised and arranged to make retrieval as easy and quick as possible.
  • Their contents are listed in a catalogue which can be searched to indicate whether and where information is stored.
  • Librarians are professional people trained in organising such information, helping users find what they want and establishing the location of such material in their own library – or elsewhere.

This is put beautifully in this excerpt from Libraries are Essential:

 There is much more to doing real research than typing a few words into a search engine such as Google. Librarians are trained to do high-level research, which supports scientists, doctors, lawyers, professors, writers, government officials, and other important professionals every single day. Without the aide of librarians, all of these people would be making decisions without having all of the relevant knowledge they need on their topics.

Conductive Education libraries

 Libraries and librarians may seem an easy target when financial cuts are to be made, which means that valuable resources are not being exploited to the full. Conductive Education publications are limited in number and new, accurate material can be hard to find. Five years ago the Foundation for Conductive Education decided that it could no longer prioritise the expertise of a professional librarian for its library and recently the Pető Institute lost its librarian (I do not know whether a replacement has yet been appointed. Would not this be public information deserving of prioritisation?). Who is maintaining and developing these libraries now?

 I do not know.

SAHK in Hong Kong has a library but I do not think it is open access as the others are. A few years ago a ‘mobile’ library was established to be used by all the conductors and centres in New Zealand. Again I do not know if that is still a going concern.

As far as I know there are no other collections of any size other than personal ones.

The Virtual Library of Conductive Education

 In 2009 I started collecting information on items on the Internet and catalogued the details in the Virtual Library catalogue. This now  has a new format and an updated help page.Yesterday I spent time entering further details of material available on line into this catalogue.

I will post occasional lists of yet more items added here on this blog.

Other sources of information

Information about Conductive Education is now accessible via e-conduction’s website which acts as a knowledge portal leading people to blogs, books, unpublished material, and conductors’ workplaces:

Previous postings on libraries and information:





Pető Institute library news

Last week the librarian at the Pető  Institute left. I do not know if someone else is now in post, but I do hope that another professional has taken over the reins.

Over the past few years Beata and I have occasionally contacted each other for help and information and I have always found her very professional, knowledgable and willing to help.

There are very few people that I am in contact with who ‘know’ the literature of Conductive Education, and  I will miss knowing she is there, but wish her all the best for the future.


More information about a Masters degree in Conductive Education – of a sort

Since last week I have been checking frequently to see if there were any responses to the original request for information about a possible Masters degree in Conductive Education on Yahoo and this blog.
First, a reply was put up on Yahoo from Mel Brown about the possiblity of such a course which is still in the discussion stages. This can be found at

Secondly, Andrew Sutton left a comment on this blog referring to other Masters courses in special education and included a link to

A conductor has told me today that she had thought there was a Masters available from the Peto Institute but this had turned out not to be the case.
The minimum qualifications necessary to teach at a university is having a Masters degree – how many conductors have this? Who else could do the teaching?
I suppose that such a course will not become available until there is a big enough demand. Doing a higher degree is very expensive these days and you would need to be very sure it was useful (as well as interesting and informative) before investing a lot of time and money in it.
It will be interesting to see what the future brings.