Monthly Archives: April 2010

letter to my students

The undergrads in my choral conducting class have their final exam today, so I wrote them an e-mail yesterday. If you have any last minute questions, I’ll be on campus this afternoon, or you can always call or e-mail me. … Continue reading

Posted in what the job is | 2 Comments

athlete

A conductor’s instrument is his body.  Though our work isn’t usually aerobic or anaerobic, it is physical.  We rely on bone, muscle, ligaments, tendons, and fascia to be healthy and comfortable so that we are free to use them in … Continue reading

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mirror neurons and empathy

A conductor embodies the expressive intent of the composer and displays signals to that effect. Singers in the choir must be able to see and interpret them, and here’s how that works: The brain is made of specialized cells called … Continue reading

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sending emotion

A conductor’s job on the podium is communication.  Never mind, for now, what we communicate.  Let’s just talk about communication. Ross Buck, social psychologist and professor of communications at the University of Connecticut, wrote a book titled The Communication of … Continue reading

Posted in i'm no scientist but--, what the job is | 5 Comments

embodying the expressive intent of the composer

I use this phrase when I try to explain what a conductor does.  In the end, this is all it is: embodying the expressive intent of the composer.  That’s what conductors do; that’s our real job. Am I done now? … Continue reading

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jerks who flail

I started out by saying that the thing about conducting is that people don’t know what it actually is.  Still, the image of a conductor is kind of captivating: the maestro, the one who’s in charge and makes it all … Continue reading

Posted in conductor culture, what the job is not | 16 Comments

i’m no scientist

The thesis of my article in this month’s Choral Journal burned a hole in my brain for three years before I started writing. In summer of 2006, I was at the gym, on the elliptical machine, reading O Magazine.  There was a … Continue reading

Posted in i'm no scientist but-- | 1 Comment