This course will enable students to develop conducting gestures that are economical and descriptive of the work(s) conducted. The successful choral conductor is skilled in pedagogy as well as the conducting gesture. Therefore, students will spend considerable time in silent score study, in playing through each of the parts separately and together on a piano, making an analytical graph of the structure of a composition, and making a rehearsal plan for each piece conducted.
Students will be assigned several articles and book chapter readings that will be the basis of class discussion and a foundation for score analysis and rehearsal planning. Students are expected to practice conducting outside of class and prepared to conduct often in class. At times, students may upload small segments of conducting for evaluation. Student conducting in class will often be recorded. An important part of student growth will be their ability to reflect on their own conducting and make revisions. This course will consider the role of the conductor, the gesture that communicates musical expression with clarity, the analysis of examples from various genres and stylistic periods, how to build a choral sound. Students take into consideration the challenges and opportunities at various age levels. Each piece that is conducted will have historical/theoretical information to be communicated informally in rehearsal, a score analysis, and a rehearsal plan. Class members are expected to be familiar with their parts in the choral examples used in class. Conducting examples used in the class will reflect the needs/age-level and voicing interests of the class members. Students should be able to apply what they have learned directly to their teaching situation. The goal of this course is to give students the tools with which to demonstrate an understanding of the music, communicate the essence of the music through gesture, and motivate choirs to achieve excellence in artistry and musicianship.