Beginning Conductor’s Class

Boy, am I exhausted…

I didn’t take as many notes today, because I spent most of my day involved with kinesthetic learning exercises – connecting movement with sound and breathing.  We learned how to conduct while sitting on big rubber balls (the right size for each of us – I had the short person variety). We practiced patterns, we all had a brief individual vocal lesson (individual only in that it was our turn to sing in front of everyone else). I’m pleased to report that I was used as the example for good abdominal and back expansion while drawing in the beginning breath. Not quite so  precise and clean with the onset of vocal production, but I breathe really nice. (-:

More conducting drills – a lecture on the Saito method of conducting and incorporating those ideas into the patterns introduced yesterday, some amazing demonstrations on how the conductor’s stance and gestures change the vocal sounds coming from the singers. It’s unbelievable how much difference a slight change in the conductor makes in the sound – even when you’re the one making the sounds.  A lot of it must be subconscious, because there’s no way that we, as singers, had time to react or respond by thinking about it first – the changes in tempo or rhythm, marcato vs. legato – all happened without us thinking about it first.

Heard in class today:

“Take the ‘noble’ posture – it helps your breath, which in turn helps your singers breathe properly.”

“Feel the torque you need in your ribs to hold your sound together.”

“To change (lighten) the sound, take the weight away – created by either acceleration or deceleration. Think of how natural that is – it’s like the waves on the beach that ebb and flow.”

More score study to do tonight – I have to be prepared to both sing (in solfeg for all you solfeg lovers out there) and conduct two pieces – an Aeolian and a Mixolydian exercise. I can only visualize myself conducting the piece – I can’t actually practice the conducting. I have to do that on the fly tomorrow…fun and games!

So who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks?

MV

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1 Comment

Filed under Church Music

One response to “Beginning Conductor’s Class

  1. Todd

    It’s so fun reading about your and John’s adventures! And it’s great that your both working so hard — I’m sure that it will pay off handsomely in a much better performance from all of St. George’s musicians!

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