Basic Conducting – CMUS 315

CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 01/15/2020

Course Description

Rudimentary instruction in conducting techniques for traditional, commercial music, and non-traditional settings. Knowledge and skill areas stressed are: basic conducting gestures and patterns; score interpretation; rehearsal management and technique; programming considerations; studio project necessities, and special problems in vocal and instrumental situation.

Prerequisite

CMUS 106 or Permission of Instructor

Rationale

Professional music training requires that a person be able to rehearse and conduct musical ensembles, both instrumental and choral. The purpose of this course is to teach basic conducting gestures and ensemble rehearsal techniques. This course applies the student’s knowledge of musicianship, musical style, and rehearsal and performance discipline.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

    1. Articulate the importance of clear, easily readable gestures.
    2. Demonstrate such gestures in use of the basic conducting patterns.
    3. Articulate unique characteristics of conducting, what conducting is, and what conductors do.
    4. Articulate three functions of conducting: meter/tempo, start/stop, and interpretation.
    5. Conduct two short pieces for choir/orchestra, demonstrating a knowledge of right-hand gestures appropriate to various meters.
    6. Demonstrate subdivided beat patterns, preparatory beats, left-hand gestures, releases, dynamic indications, articulations, intensity plane, fermatas, and asymmetrical meters.
    7. Conduct the Hallelujah Chorus from Messiah, indicating a developing visual knowledge of gestures appropriate for an assimilation of basic conducting gestures, including those learned from all modules of this course.

Course Assignment

Textbook readings and lecture presentations/notes

Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in Module/Week 1.

Discussion Board Forum

Discussion boards are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the student is required to create a thread in response to the provided prompt. The thread must be at least 300 words and demonstrate course-related knowledge. In addition to the thread, the student is required to reply to at least 2 other classmates’ threads. Each reply must be at least 200 words.

Exercise Videos (6)

The student will submit weekly videos of gestural conducting concepts practiced during each module/week. The conducting exercises will vary in length and style. For this assignment, the student is required to record a video showcasing conducting skills with the required musical selections. The student will need to have an audio source to play the tracks from the CD located in the back of the Maiello text for these exercises. The exception for this is Exercise Video 5, which will require a “live” keyboard accompanist whom the student will conduct. The student will upload each video to YouTube or Vimeo and copy and paste a link to the video into the Blackboard submission. The student will be assessed on technical skills taught in the weekly presentation videos and a general understanding/development of conducting concepts.

Video Projects (3)

The student will upload 3 major project videos of complete pieces demonstrating their progress with gestural expressions. The video projects will vary in length and style. For these assignments, the student is required to record a video showcasing conducting skills with the required musical selections. Unlike the video exercises, the video projects focus on all concepts learned in the course up through the assigned module/week. The student will need to have an audio source to play the tracks from the CD located in the back of the Maiello text for these exercises. The student will upload each video to YouTube or Vimeo and copy and paste a link to the video into the Blackboard submission. The student will be assessed on technical skills taught in the weekly presentation videos and a general understanding/development of conducting concepts taught throughout the course.

PowerPoint and Instructor’s Comments Note-Taking Submission (PICNTS)

The student must document the PowerPoint bullets that appear in each module/week’s video presentations in Microsoft Word, and then comment with more of the instructor’s verbal concepts and/or reactions to them. This assignment must be at least 750 words. There is the expectation that every PowerPoint discussed throughout the course video presentations is recorded in writing. The student is also expected to make at least 8 total one-phrase comments on major concepts discussed in the videos throughout the entire course. The student does not need to record notes on demonstration gesture videos if there are no PowerPoints in the video. This assignment is meant to ensure that the major concepts are documented and understood and that the student spends time reflecting on them.