Some Conducting Thoughts from BAMA

Lots, lots, lots going in Tuscaloosa.  It’s absolutely gorgeous outside and the weather looks like it is going to stay this way for much of the day.  A thunderstorm here or there this afternoon but let’s face it, it’s Alabama!  The south + humidity + summer = thunderstorms can pop up at any time.  But THAT’S alright!  There is always PLENTY to do inside at DMA.

Yesterday the students got their first look at themselves and what their conducting looks like.  Was the pattern even? Was the pattern clear? Was the pulse even so a band would maintain tempo and timing? And the questions continued.  It is so very hard for anyone to evaluate themselves on video tape–we all want to be perfect and 9 times out 10 (or more!) what we see is NOTHING that we expected.

The easiest way for ANYONE to OBJECTIVELY evaluate whether or not their conducting conveys the CORRECT message to musicians (even motion through time and space; clear, consistent beat patterns) is to video tape yourself.  When you watch the tape, turn the sound OFF! Now, simply say “ta” each time you see your hands “hit” the focal point/ictus.  If the sound of your voice is not as even as a metronome clicking a steady tempo, the conducting pattern is NOT conveying an even tempo to the musicians.

Now for the hard part: one has to figure out what’s not even about the pattern and then has to being the process of “fixing it!”

Want more on the subject?  Purchase and read the conductor’s bible, “The Modern Conductor” by Elizabeth H. Green.  You can get it on Amazon!

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