This is a hands-on, lab-style course, focused on skills particular and unique to theater conducting. Each student will choose a different musical from a list of possibilities and during the course of the semester will prepare, analyze and conduct parts of it. Additionally, all students will conduct each other. Students will also sing, play, and read dialogue for each other in order to simulate specific, relevant theater conducting situations.
This is a lecture/discussion class, which begins with a brief history of the modern American musical and basic definitions of theater terminology. Topics discussed will cover the period from the 1920s through the present, following the development of the musical from its song-and-sketch and European operetta roots to the modern integrated music drama. The body of the course follows the journey of a show from its inception through to closing night. Each participant will choose a songwriter or songwriting team as a subject for an in-depth presentation for the rest of the class. Basic theater terminology will also be taught and students will be tested on history and theater craft.
A practical course for conductors and music directors in preparation, organization, rehearsal, and recording under studio conditions. Emphasis on establishing fluency in conducting and rehearsal techniques to maximize efficiency in the session.
This course is designed to give students practical experience in conducting rehearsals of small instrumental groups. Students will expand their conducting technique and deepen their score-preparation skills in class meetings with their colleagues playing MIDI keyboards in preparation for sessions with small ensembles (e.g., brass quintet, flute choir, string quartet, wind quintet); at these sessions themselves, the students will meet the challenges of analog instrumental groups—balance, intonation, rehearsal skills, and conductor-performer relations.
Rehearsing and recording to picture with live performers under studio conditions. Focus on preparation, efficiency, and accurate synchronization.
An advanced course for conductors in the development of effective technical, musical, and psychological skills, including planning (choice of literature, aesthetic and practical considerations, allotment of rehearsal time); musical preparation (development of interpretation, choice of tempi, stylistic factors, identifying difficult or tricky passages, editing parts for bowing and breathing); rehearsal (pacing, including alternating woodshedding with play-through; balancing dynamics; using effective gestures with the baton, face, left hand, and body; giving effective verbal instructions; intonation; listening and prioritizing; stopping and starting; knowing when to be satisfied); and human factors (mutual respect and honesty, shared responsibility, ensemble esprit de corps, and psychological momentum).
This course functions as a companion to FS-P484 Scoring Silent Films 1, and prepares the students in that course for the specific challenges of conducting music live to picture in a concert setting. It is to be taken concurrently with FS-P484. Use of punches and streamers will be emphasized, as well as rehearsal technique. The course will culminate in a live performance of a silent film from a previous semester, and will prepare the students to conduct their own music the following semester in FS-485 Scoring Silent Films 2.
Supervised preparation and performance of an approved conducting project. Projects may originate with recitalists or from various departments such as Film Scoring, Contemporary Writing and Production, and Music Production and Engineering. The student will conduct at least one project from the following categories: studio recording, recital or live concert requiring a conductor, or preparing and conducting a work with an ensemble.
The ability to analyze and dissect musical scores is an essential skill for the instrumental music educator. This course will focus on techniques for analyzing scores and using this information to develop structured and sequential rehearsal plans for the repertoire studied. The application of musically appropriate conducting gestures that effectively convey the intended artistic interpretation will also be covered.
Presentation and discussion on the topics of what it takes to succeed as a professional conductor in the 21st century. Several topics will be presented throughout the semester, including how to run a recording session, the business aspect of being a conductor, interpersonal responsibilities, management, and planning. Conducting remains one of the music's elusive professions: why do some succeed while others fail? Following Richard Strauss, we spend our whole lives trying to become better conductors, only to find out at the end of our lives how much more we have to learn. In addition, the financial and managerial aspects of our organizations and of our own careers ought never to be too far from our minds: for in them we occupy the dual roles of senior manager and principal artist.
This course instructs students in the fundamental principles of free counterpoint (i.e., composition with melodic lines) with an emphasis on two-part writing. Through the utilization of a three-pronged focus on principles, literature, and experiential practice, students complete exercises and projects involving composition and performance within the common-practice period with additional attention to and experience in contemporary tonal practice.
A thorough study of the Two and Three-Part Inventions of J.S. Bach through analysis and composition within a functional tonal language. There will be two projects, a two-part invention and a three-part invention in the style of Bach.