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 be 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 an handbell ensemble – in many cases we use multiple keyboard players to stand in for the ensemble.

Faculty

Master Teachers (all levels)

Lee Afdahl and Kermit Junkert

Conductin 1 Faculty: Michael Glasgow

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 thru 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.

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

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

  1. Demonstrate correct posture and stance
  2. Demonstrate clear cut-offs
  3. Demonstrate baton selection and technique
  4. Conduct common meter patterns as well as mixed meters (including all common patterns in four, three, two and 6/8)
  5. Demonstrate a clear preparatory beat
  6. Demonstrate the ability to conduct music beginning on various beats
  7. Demonstrate a steady/consistent beat/pulse
  8. Demonstrate dynamic changes with the use of the conducting and non-conducting hands
  9. Identify basic elements of score study (i.e. form, rhythm, melody)
  10. Research background of the musical selection and share your interpretation of the same
  11. Demonstrate the ability to recognize incorrect or missing notes and various techniques
  12. Demonstrate how to conduct musical and stylistic elements (i.e. ritardando, fermata, cuing, legato and staccato)
  13. Demonstrate verbal and non-verbal communication skills
    1. non-verbal skills include:
  • Facial expressions
  • Body movement
  • Gestures
  • Eye contact
  • Posture
  • Tone of voice
  1. 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 an handbell ensemble – in many cases we use multiple keyboard players to stand in for the ensemble.

The scoring rubric for Conducting 1 can be found HERE.

Video Submission (due no later than 1 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 1 month before the class begins) will be reviewed by the Conduct 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 2, but no more than 5 minutes in length.
  • The video should be shot within the last 9 months.
  • 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 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.

If you have question regarding video submission, please contact the Certification Program Coordinator at certification@handbellmusicians.org.

Required Text & Music (purchase before coming to class)

  • Handbell and Handchimes Notation Guide, AGEHR Music, R101, 2010
  • 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.)

How Long is this Class?

This class is typically taught in two 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  3-4)

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:

  1. Demonstrate compound meters
  2. Demonstrate mixed meters
  3. Demonstrate changes in tempo
  4. Demonstrate subdivisions of the beat
  5. Demonstrate musical styles via conducting and non-conducting hands
  6. Demonstrate your interpretation of the musicality of the repertoire
  7. 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 an handbell ensemble – in many cases we use multiple keyboard players to stand in for the ensemble.

Test out options for Conducting 2 are under development.

The scoring rubric for Conducting 2 can be found HERE.

Video Submission (due no later than 1 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 1 month before the class begins) will be reviewed by the Conduct 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 2, but no more than 5 minutes in length.
  • The video should be shot within the last 9 months.
  • 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 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.

If you have question regarding video submission, please contact the Certification Program Coordinator at certification@handbellmusicians.org.

Required Text & Music (purchase before coming to class)

  • Handbell and Handchimes Notation Guide, AGEHR Music, R101, 2010
  • 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.)

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 5-6)

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

  1. Demonstrate complex compound meters
  2. Demonstrate complex mixed meters
  3. Demonstrate complex changes in tempo
  4. Demonstrate complex subdivisions of the beat
  5. Demonstrate advanced musical styles via conducting and non-conducting hands
  6. Demonstrate your advanced interpretation of the musicality of the repertoire
  7. 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 an handbell ensemble – in many cases we use multiple keyboard players to stand in for the ensemble.

Test out options for Conducting 3 are under development.

The scoring rubric for Conducting 3 can be found HERE.

Video Submission (due no later than 1 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 1 month before the class begins) will be reviewed by the Conduct 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 2, but no more than 5 minutes in length.
  • The video should be shot within the last 9 months.
  • 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 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.

If you have question regarding video submission, please contact the Certification Program Coordinator at certification@handbellmusicians.org.

Required Text & Music (purchase before coming to class)

  • Handbell and Handchimes Notation Guide, AGEHR Music, R101, 2010
  • 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.)

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