Graduate Conducting – MUSC 515

CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 06/06/2022

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.

For information regarding prerequisites for this course, please refer to the Academic Course Catalog.


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).

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 the Course Overview.

Discussions (4)

Discussions are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the student is required to create a 400-worded thread in response to the provided prompt for each discussion. The student will also be required to respond in at least 200 words to 2 classmates prompts for each Discussion. For each thread and reply, students must support their assertions with at least 1 scholarly citation from the course readings and 1 biblical reference in current Turabian format. Please reference Discussion Assignment Instructions for further details.

Discussion: Video Critique Assignments (2)

The student will submit two 2-3 minute videos of him/her conducting a song/piece. The student will then critique at least 2 classmate’s videos in at least 200 words. Replies must have 1 scholarly citation in current Turabian format.

Score Analysis Assignment

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 Observation Assignments (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.

Conducting Video Assignments (2)

The student must begin the preparation for these assignments during Module 1: 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 Assignment

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.