Graduate Conducting – MUSC 515

CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 07/28/2020

Course Description

Intermediate and advanced instruction in choral and instrumental conducting techniques for music educators. Knowledge and skill areas stressed are a review of conducting gestures and patterns; advanced score interpretation, rehearsal management and technique, special challenges in choral and instrumental contexts.




This course is designed to refine pre-existing choral and/or instrumental conducting skills in the music educator. Specific attention will be given to the music teacher as conductor. Areas of study include: 1) advanced conducting technique; 2) advanced score study, marking, and preparation; and 3) advanced rehearsal techniques. Representative literature from various periods will be studied and conducted. The course provides extended teaching, coaching, and podium time working with ensembles in rehearsal (lab ensemble).

Measurable Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Analyze a choral and/or instrumental score for the purpose of teaching and conducting an ensemble.
  2. Demonstrate advanced analytical and gestural conducting skill.
  3. Evaluate the stylistic characteristic of a choral/instrumental musical score.
  4. Rehearse an ensemble (choral and/or instrumental) with skill, efficiency, and confidence.
  5. Articulate the practical application of internalization technique to conducting technique.
  6. Compare appropriate conducting technique for select meter and stylistic characteristic.

Course Assignment

Textbook readings and lecture presentations

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 Forums (3)

Discussion boards are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the student is required to create a thread in response to the provided prompt for each forum. For Forums 1 and 2, each thread must be 400–500 words and demonstrate course-related knowledge. In addition to the thread, the student is required to reply to the threads of at least 2 classmates. Each reply must be 200–250 words. Each thread and reply must contain at least 1 citation and 1 biblical reference. Current Turabian format must be used.

For Forum 3, the thread must be 200–250 words. In addition to the thread, the student is required to reply to the threads of at least 2 classmates. Each of these replies must be 400–500 words. Each thread and reply must contain at least 1 citation and 1 biblical reference. Current Turabian format must be used.

Video Critiques (2)

The student will submit a 2–3-minute video of him/her conducting a song/piece to the Discussion Board Forum area. The student will then critique at least 2 classmate’s videos. Each written critique/reply must be 200–250 words and contain at least 1 citation. Current Turabian format must be used.

Score Analysis

The student will complete advanced analysis and marking as applied to a work by a choral or instrumental ensemble. The instrumental student must prepare at least 100 measures of a piece of music as if he/she will rehearse it. The choral student must choose a song from standard high school literature that is 3–5 minutes in length. In addition, the student will complete a paper of 1,000–1,500 words. The paper must include at least 2 citations and be in current Turabian format.

Live Rehearsal Observations (2)

The student will contact a local conductor about viewing rehearsals at 2 different points in the course, and complete a written observation for each rehearsal. Each observation must be 500–800 words and must be written in current Turabian format.

Program Note

The student will prepare a program note of 100–300 words and submit it to the Discussion Board Forum. Longer pieces require longer program notes. The student will reply to at least 2 other submitted Program Notes in 100–150 words.

Conducting Videos (2)

The student must begin the preparation for these assignments during Module/Week 1 of this course. The student will video himself/herself conducting an ensemble. The choral conducting student must conduct 1 song for each assignment. The instrumental conducting student must conduct a piece that totals 5–8 minutes in length. The student will be conducting live choral or instrumental ensembles.

Final Presentation

The student will complete a 10–15-minute video presentation. This presentation must include an introduction of a piece of music that the student will be conducting. The music may be from a live performance (preferred) or an audio recording (the student must receive permission from the instructor to use an audio recording), and 3–5 minutes of the video must showcase his/her conducting skill. The remaining portion of the presentation will include his/her thoughts on techniques and strategies he/she has learned in the course, and how he/she implements these into his/her conducting.