worry about “conducting” in public school?
Although “teaching” occupies
a greater portion of the time spent in public school rehearsals,
teachers who conduct clearly and expressively can save valuable time. A
prepared conductor-teacher exudes more confidence on the podium,
not only in performance, but also in rehearsals.
does the preparatory beat show?
a full measure in your head before you begin. Breathe with
the students as you give the preparatory beat. Teach students
to breathe rhythmically.
Dynamic level: Show
with entire body! Include the eyes and posture as well as the
general size of the pattern.
is horizontal, staccato and marcato patterns are vertical.
= larger, faster = smaller
Slowing down: “Bind” the
energy in the rebound to show the slowing tempo. Simply slow
down and the group will have to follow because there has not been
a new ictus shown.
Speeding up: THIS
TAKES COURAGE, CONDUCTOR! You must leave the comfort of your
ictus point being at the same time as the sound. You have to
lead the group, literally, placing your ictus a little before the
beat they are currently playing.
Pattern size should
Use left hand, but show resistance in the gesture.
Use facial expression to enhance what the hands are doing.
Legato, tenuto and
long marcato (>) are more horizontal and rounder in rebound,
and the rebound does not move as quickly from the ictus point. (Energy
captured in tip of baton.)
Staccato and short
marcato (^ ) are vertical in rebound, rebound is a quick motion.
(Energy released from tip of baton.)
ALL CHANGES MUST
OCCUR AS YOU LEAVE THE PREVIOUS ICTUS!
(duple or triple) move in the opposite direction of the next “big” beat. Subdivisions
should be placed near the primary beat and are smaller than it.
If a ritardando makes
you feel you need to subdivide, do so first in your head, then in
your hand, then in your baton.
Some excellent conductors
show a modified subdivision as they make the change. In this
case, the right hand begins to show the subdivision within the rebound
without actually beating another small ictus yet. (much easier to
show than to describe!)
meter made easy
7/8 measures are
virtually always a 3 pattern, with one floated beat.
5/8 measures are virtually always a 2 pattern, with one floated beat.
These elongated beats should be visible in the conducting pattern as three
connected but distinct, motions: ictus—rebound—change of direction
leading to next ictus.
important melodies, people who have rested a long time, critical
percussion events, sections which worry you!
2/3 of ensemble—left hand invitation plus eye contact.
Right 1/2 of ensemble—right
hand invitation plus eye contact.
Head nod or seriously
strong eye contact.
Eye contact in all
cases—at least a measure prior to the event and through the
completion of the entrance!
ways to conduct a fermata
the fermata, cut off. Remain still for longer than one beat
of the following music to destroy sense of time. Needs new
Breath mark: Hold
the fermata. The cut off is actually a preparatory gesture in the
time of the music which follows.
break: Hold fermata, subsuming the preparatory beat within
the gesture. The change of direction, without losing the
energy, actually shows the new time.