Lots of new information from Dr. Jim today, as well as a personal critique of my budding conducting technique. I have some specifics to work on, including baton management, but in general the comments left me feeling positive about the process and more confident in my own abilities.
We had a lecture on Laban technique as it applies to conducting, and learned that what people think of as their personal space has a cool name: icosahedron (who knew). It’s important for conductors to map their own bodies and their icosahedron, so they know how much space they have to work in. It’s kind of like knowing how much room your car takes up, so that when you attempt to parallel park, you’ll be successful.
Also learned today from Dr. Jordan:
“Listening is indicative of your soulfullness and allows you to get in touch with your inner self.”
“Listen only with your right ear – the left ear doesn’t detect pitch very well anyway.”
“Breathe in with intention. When you’re having a conversation with someone, you think up exactly what you’re going to say during each indrawn breath. In singing and conducting, that’s known as the audiational breath. As a conductor, know what you’re going to do with that next musical phrase before you begin to conduct. Singers should also determine what they intend to do with the musical phrase during their indrawn breath.”
“Whatever it is you want your choir to sing must be heard within you before anyone else hears it.”
My last day of instruction is tomorrow. I’ll be sad to say good-bye to my fellow classmates – we’ve shared an extraordinary journey peppered with lots of ‘Ah-Ha!’ moments. Tomorrow we get to jump right into directing a four-part canon. A little daunting with just a half-hour’s worth of instruction, but I think we’re up to the task.