Conducting

Why is this part of the curriculum? 
In directed ensembles, the conductor leads the interpretation of the music, which includes beating time, indicating changes of volume and tempo, and shaping musical line. Conducting is a skill which is continually developed and practiced throughout a musician’s life.

If you are not a conductor, Kenneth Phillips says this in Basic Techniques of Conducting: “No study of conducting is ever wasted, for once you understand what it is the conductor is trying to communicate, and how he or she goes about it, you will become a more sensitive and responsive ensemble member.” For example, by learning the conductor’s vocabulary, you can communicate more effectively what you need from the conductor. If you perform without a conductor, you’ll hone your musical interpretation skills and enhance the group’s cohesiveness.

What will I learn? (Click on the course titles at the right for detailed information on that course, including suggested pre-work.)

Conducting 1 — Review the basics
Posture, stance, use of a baton, and non-conducting hand gestures, all in common meters. Additional topics include critical listening, score study, and memorization.

Prerequisite: none, although this is not an introduction to conducting. Submission of a conducting video is required.

Conducting 2 — The next step 
Compound and mixed meters, changes in tempo, and subdivisions of the beat, all in a variety of musical styles. Additional topics include musicality, plus continued score study and memorization.

Prerequisite: Conducting 1. Submission of a conducting video is required.

Conducting 3 — Focus on the individual
Honing style for clarity, including accents, syncopations, irregular measures, sightreading, score marking, and memorization.

Prerequisite: Conducting 2. Submission of a conducting video is required.

You will be videotaped in all of these classes. Please note that you might not be conducting a handbell ensemble — in many cases we use multiple keyboard players to stand in for the ensemble.

Faculty

Master Teachers (all levels)
Lee Afdahl

Conducting 1 Faculty
Tess Houston
Michael Glasgow
Al Reese
Joy Toll-Chandler

Testing Out

The process to test out of Conducting 1 is outlined HERE. Test out options for Conducting 2 and 3 are under development.

 

Conducting 1 — Review the basics examines the components of conducting, execution of metrical patterns, and the means by which to communicate all the musical indicators contained in the score in a clear, concise, and understandable manner. Repertoire range:  Level 1 to 3.

Prerequisite: none, although this is not an introduction to conducting. Submission of a conducting video is required.

If you have not conducted before, consider taking a basic conducting class before you take this Certification class. Another option would be to ask a conductor who you wish to emulate to provide private conducting lessons.

In order to successfully pass this course as part of the certification curriculum, students must be able to:

  • Demonstrate correct posture and stance;
  • Demonstrate clear cut-offs;
  • Demonstrate baton selection and technique;
  • Conduct common meter patterns as well as mixed meters (including all common patterns in four, three, two, and 6/8);
  • Demonstrate a clear preparatory beat;
  • Demonstrate the ability to conduct music beginning on various beats;
  • Demonstrate a steady/consistent beat/pulse;
  • Demonstrate dynamic changes with the use of the conducting and non-conducting hands;
  • Identify basic elements of score study (i.e. form, rhythm, melody);
  • Research background of the musical selection and share your interpretation of the same;
  • Demonstrate the ability to recognize incorrect or missing notes and various techniques;
  • Demonstrate how to conduct musical and stylistic elements (i.e. ritardando, fermata, cuing, legato, and staccato);
  • Demonstrate verbal and non-verbal communication skills, including facial expressions, body movement, gestures, eye contact, posture, and tone of voice; and 
  • Demonstrate the ability to memorize sections of the repertoire.

You will be videotaped in all of these classes. Please note that you might not be conducting a handbell ensemble — in many cases we use multiple keyboard players to stand in for the ensemble.

The Scoring Rubric for Conducting 1

Video Submission (due no later than one month before the class begins)

Please submit a video of you conducting at least one entire selection that is a good representation of your conducting skill level.

Videos submitted by the deadline (no later than one month before the class begins) will be reviewed by the Conducting Faculty, and comments on your conducting will be provided prior to class. In some cases, the Faculty may suggest that an applicant is not ready for that level of Conducting Certification class, and would be better served by gaining additional experience, and seeking training and coaching before attending the Certification class.

The video should meet these requirements:

  • The video should be at least two, but no more than five minutes in length;
  • The video should be shot within the last nine months; and
  • The video should be shot so that the camera is facing the conductor and the conductor’s full body (head to toe) is visible. Please do not submit videos shot from the side and/or that do not show your feet.

The video should be uploaded to YouTube as an “unlisted” video. The link to the video should be sent to the Certification Program Coordinator at certification@handbellmusicians.org. Your video will only be available to the Conducting Faculty, and will not be available to the public.

If you have question regarding video submission, please contact the Certification Program Coordinator at certification@handbellmusicians.orgPlease indicate which class level (1, 2 or 3) you will be attending, and the location of the class in the submission email.

Required Text & Music (purchase before coming to class)

  • Handbell and Handchime Notation Guide, AGEHR Music, AG015, 2016/2017
  • Tucker, Margaret, Carillon and Bell Jubilee, Choristers Guild CGB779
  • Moklebust, Cathy, For the Beauty of the Earth, Choristers Guild CGB562

Be prepared to conduct portions of the two music selections from memory. 

Recommended Text

  • Phillips, Kenneth H., Basic Techniques of Conducting, Oxford University Press, 1997 (Your local community college library may have this text.)

Testing Out

The process to test out of Conducting 1 is outlined HERE.

How Long is this Class?

This class is typically taught in three 75-minute class periods. The classroom sessions are followed by a testing period in which each registrant has a private conducting session of 10 minutes.

What Should I Study Ahead of Time?

Be prepared to conduct any section of the two required scores — the more you have memorized, the better!

What Should I Bring to Class?

  • Baton
  • Two required scores
  • Metronome
  • Pencil & eraser
  • Paper for taking notes

 

 

Conducting 2 — The next step examines the components of conducting, execution of metrical patterns, and the means by which to communicate all the musical indicators contained in the score in a clear, concise, and understandable manner. Repertoire range: Level  3 to 4.

Prerequisite: Conducting 1. Submission of a conducting video is required.

In order to successfully pass this course as part of the Certification curriculum, students must be able to:

  • Demonstrate compound meters;
  • Demonstrate mixed meters;
  • Demonstrate changes in tempo;
  • Demonstrate subdivisions of the beat;
  • Demonstrate musical styles via conducting and non-conducting hands;
  • Demonstrate your interpretation of the musicality of the repertoire; and
  • Demonstrate your ability of conducting one entire repertoire selection from memory.

Note:  You will be videotaped in all of these classes. Please note that you might not be conducting a handbell ensemble — in many cases we use multiple keyboard players to stand in for the ensemble.

The Scoring Rubric for Conducting 2

Video Submission (due no later than one month before the class begins)

Please submit a video of you conducting at least one entire selection that is a good representation of your conducting skill level.

Videos submitted by the deadline (no later than one month before the class begins) will be reviewed by the Conducting Faculty, and comments on your conducting will be provided prior to class. In some cases, the Faculty may suggest that an applicant is not ready for that level of Conducting Certification class, and would be better served by gaining additional experience and seeking training and coaching before attending the Certification class.

The video should meet these requirements:

  • The video should be at least two, but no more than five minutes in length;
  • The video should be shot within the last nine months; and
  • The video should be shot so that the camera is facing the conductor and the conductor’s full body (head to toe) is visible. Please do not submit videos shot from the side and/or that do not show your feet.

The video should be uploaded to YouTube as an “unlisted” video. The link to the video should be sent to the Certification Program Coordinator at certification@handbellmusicians.org. Your video will only be available to the Conducting Faculty, and will not be available to the public.

If you have question regarding video submission, please contact the Certification Program Coordinator at certification@handbellmusicians.orgPlease indicate which class level (1, 2 or 3) you will be attending, and the location of the class in the submission email.

Required Text & Music (purchase before coming to class)

  • Handbell and Handchime Notation Guide, AGEHR Music, AG015, 2016/2017
  • Helman, Michael, Variations on ‘Ein Feste Burg’, AGEHR Publishing AG35240
  • Compton, Matthew, I Will Arise and Go to Jesus, AGEHR Publishing AG35313

Be prepared to conduct one of the two music selections from memory. 

Recommended Text

  • Phillips, Kenneth H., Basic Techniques of Conducting, Oxford University Press, 1997 (Your local community college library may have this text.)

Testing Out

Test out options for Conducting 2 are under development.

How Long is this Class?

This class is typically taught in three 75-minute class periods. The classroom sessions are followed by a testing period in which each registrant has a private conducting session of 10 minutes.

What Should I Study Ahead of Time?

Be prepared to conduct any section of the two required scores, plus one score from memory.

What Should I Bring to Class?

  • Baton
  • Two required scores
  • Metronome
  • Pencil & eraser
  • Paper for taking notes

 

 

Conducting 3 — Focus on the individual examines the advanced components of conducting, execution of metrical patterns, and the means by which to communicate all the musical indicators contained in the score in a clear, concise, and understandable manner. Repertoire range: Level 5 to 6.

In order to successfully pass this course as part of the Certification curriculum, students must be able to:

  • Demonstrate complex compound meters;
  • Demonstrate complex mixed meters;
  • Demonstrate complex changes in tempo;
  • Demonstrate complex subdivisions of the beat;
  • Demonstrate advanced musical styles via conducting and non-conducting hands;
  • Demonstrate your advanced interpretation of the musicality of the repertoire; and
  • Demonstrate your ability to conduct two repertoire selections from memory as specified below.

You will also be asked to submit a lesson plan for a selection from the required repertoire, and the test will include sightreading.

Note: You will be videotaped in all of these classes. Please note that you might not be conducting a handbell ensemble — in many cases we use multiple keyboard players to stand in for the ensemble.

The Scoring Rubric for Conducting 3

Video Submission (due no later than one month before the class begins)

Please submit a video of you conducting at least one entire selection that is a good representation of your conducting skill level.

Videos submitted by the deadline (no later than one month before the class begins) will be reviewed by the Conducting Faculty, and comments on your conducting will be provided prior to class. In some cases, the Faculty may suggest that an applicant is not ready for that level of Conducting Certification class, and would be better served by gaining additional experience  and seeking training and coaching before attending the Certification class.

The video should meet these requirements:

  • The video should be at least two, but no more than five minutes in length;
  • The video should be shot within the last nine months; and
  • The video should be shot so that the camera is facing the conductor and the conductor’s full body (head to toe) is visible. Please do not submit videos shot from the side and/or that do not show your feet.

The video should be uploaded to YouTube as an “unlisted” video. The link to the video should be sent to the Certification Program Coordinator at certification@handbellmusicians.org. Your video will only be available to the Conducting Faculty, and will not be available to the public.

If you have question regarding video submission, please contact the Certification Program Coordinator at certification@handbellmusicians.org. Please indicate which class level (1, 2 or 3) you will be attending, and the location of the class in the submission email.

Required Text & Music (purchase before coming to class)

  • Handbell and Handchime Notation Guide, AGEHR Music, AG015, 2016/2017
  • Keller, Michael, Transfiguration, AGEHR Publishing AG57002
  • McChesney, Kevin, Capriccio, AGEHR Publishing AG35131

Be prepared to conduct all of “Capriccio” and “Transfiguration” from memory. 

Recommended Text

  • Phillips, Kenneth H., Basic Techniques of Conducting, Oxford University Press, 1997 (Your local community college library may have this text.)

Testing Out

Test out options for Conducting 3 are under development.

How Long is this Class?

This class is typically taught in three 75-minute class periods. The classroom sessions are followed by a testing period in which each registrant has a private conducting session of 10 minutes.

What Should I Study Ahead of Time?

Be prepared to conduct all of “Capriccio” and “Transfiguration” from memory.

What Should I Bring to Class?

  • Baton
  • Two required scores
  • Metronome
  • Pencil & eraser
  • Paper for taking notes