The working group has completed it's task and submitted a report and recommendations to the Central Council for Church Bellringers.   This website is minimally maintained as an archive and a benchmark to measure future progress.


Learning to conduct

I had always wanted to learn to conduct, and having married one of the best composers and conductors there is I thought it would be easy.

Sadly his idea of teaching me was to say at a practice, with no warning, “you conduct this - just call a this that and the other and then it’ll
come round.”  I explained I can’t do it like that.  I need more explanation of what is going on and then time to think about it and learn it, as I do with a new method for a peal.  You’d think living together it would be easy.  As others have said, whenever we go anywhere he is obviously asked to conduct. 

After all these years I have given up.  I can call really simple things on five or six and that is fine for me now.  I asked him how he learnt, all those years ago, and he said there was a book he read that taught him everything, refined over the years (for composing) by asking a few experts a few questions and (for conducting) by considerable practice and experience.  Whenever anyone complains about not being able to conduct he always says “just read this book”. 

I think the problem is he doesn’t know how to teach conducting.  Maybe we need an ART system of learning to teach conducting, as we have one for teaching handling and change ringing! But in fairness he is a good tower captain and not at all condescending to anyone, regardless of gender or ability, and is always happy to help with advice during and after ringing and give everyone a chance to try anything
they want to.  As are so many of course.