Musicianship and Conducting

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Musicianship Levels

Elementary: Levels 1-2Levels 3-4
For those who read music but who would like to improve their general musicianship. This will be an introduction to relative solfa, handsigns and rhythm names. The course will cover sight-singing, dictation, the five pentatonic scales, pentatonic intervals and simple diatonic music; students will also work on memory training, the development of inner hearing and co-ordination.

Intermediate: Levels 5-6Levels 7-8
For students who have successfully completed Elementary Musicianship, for those who have a good basic understanding of written music and the workings of solfa and for those who want to go beyond the basic scales and modes and into more complicated rhythms, keys, time signatures and harmonies.

Advanced: Levels 9-10 (updated September 2016)
For students who have successfully completed Intermediate Musicianship.

Find A Teacher in your area for classes and one to one lessons.

Conducting Curriculum Download

Level 1 – Introduction to Choral Conducting

Introduction – being a conductor, leading a group (Basic techniques)

  • Standing in front of your choir
  • Conductor’s posture
  • Hand position for the basic level
  • Starting pitch (including giving pitches from a tuning fork)
  • Facial expression

Introduction to basic conducting skills

  • 2, 3, 4 conducting patterns
  • Cueing (aviso) for the basic level
  • Stopping (cut off) for the basic level

Techniques for showing the following

  • Phrasing, dynamics and expression for the basic level

Level 2 – Development of Choral Conducting Technique and Methods

Consolidation and revision

A continuation of the development of the basic conducting skills

  • the four pivots of the conducting arm
  • 6/8, alla breve and multimetric patterns
  • A variety of starting and ending cues
  • Anacrusis (crotchet)

A continuation of the development of techniques for showing the following in a more complex musical context

  • Phrasing
  • Dynamics
  • Expression
  • Style
  • All the above on a more advanced level

The independence of left and right hand, the relation of gesture and sound, refinement of the expressive qualities of conducting gestures

Planning your rehearsal in order to make the best of your given time

Preparation for new songs, preventing mistakes

Warm up exercises to improve vocal tone and to prepare for your repertoire

Repertoire

  • A cappella choral pieces
  • Choral repertory with simple accompaniment
  • Canons

Assessment
Demonstration of conducting skills and techniques which reflect an understanding of the content of the course

Outcomes
Participants will develop a better understanding of basic conducting skills in a more complex musical context and
the techniques necessary to organise effective choral work.

Participants will develop confidence in their ability to help children perform musically with good vocal technique and balanced ensemble.

Level 3 – Advanced Choral Conducting and Methods

Consolidation and revision

Conducting patterns for uneven groupings (5/4, 5/8, 7/8)

  • Conducting cues for phrasing
  • Stopping and starting on any beat
  • Anacrusis smaller than a crotchet

The independence of left and right hand, the relation of gesture and sounds, refinement of the expressive qualities of conducting gestures at a more advanced level.

Repertoire

  • More complex choral works including 20th century (Bartók, Kodály etc)

Accelerando, ritardando, subdivision

Assessment
Demonstrations of conducting skills and techniques which reflect an understanding of the content of the course

Outcomes
Participants will develop a better understanding of conducting skills in a more complex musical context and the techniques necessary to organise a more complex choral work.

Participants will develop confidence in their ability to help children perform musically with good vocal technique and balanced ensemble.

Master Class (Just for BKA courses)

The Master class will focus on interpretation, musical styles and contemporary choral techniques.