Good to great: Conducting, Rehearsal, Discipline

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A presentation that encompasses the lessons one conductor learned from master teacher Jerry Jordan. This presentation is one attempt to codify all of the lessons I learned about directing choral music from my mentor.

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Good to great: Conducting, Rehearsal, Discipline

  1. 1. Good to Great:<br />Conducting, Rehearsal, and Discipline<br />
  2. 2. Good to Great:<br />Everything I Know About Creating an Exceptional Choir<br />
  3. 3. Good to Great:<br />Lessons my father taught me: a tribute to Jerry Jordan<br />
  4. 4. Jordan Training<br />1985 – 1990 Undergraduate<br />(Clinton High School)<br />(Broadmoor Baptist Church)<br />(Master’s Mississippi College)<br />(Doctorate, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, 1993-1997)<br />1997 – 2000<br />“visiting professor”<br />$20,000<br />Real education<br />
  5. 5.
  6. 6. Basics: High expectation<br />Excellence<br />
  7. 7. Basics: Recruiting<br />Your people are everything.<br />Do everything you can to get the right people in choir.<br />
  8. 8. Basics: Travel<br />Recruiting bonus<br />Show your choir the world<br />Expose students to tastes, smells, sounds of other cultures<br />
  9. 9. Basics: Blend<br />Same Pitch<br />Same Vowel<br />Same Volume<br />
  10. 10. Basics: Taking the stage.<br />Confidence.<br />Connecting with the audience.<br />Tempo of walking speed.<br />
  11. 11. Basics: Selecting the Music<br />The Secrets<br />
  12. 12. It’s not easy.<br />
  13. 13. It’s not easy.<br />
  14. 14. Pick music that makes your choir sounds good.<br />
  15. 15. Don’t Follow the Crowd.<br />
  16. 16. Embrace the Classics.<br />
  17. 17. Avoid the Latest & Greatest.<br />
  18. 18. Avoid the Latest & Greatest.<br />Unless it is REALLY good.<br />
  19. 19. Look for music written by people that understand the voice<br />
  20. 20. Look for music by composers who exhibit creative thought.<br />
  21. 21.
  22. 22. The Infinite Variety of Music<br />
  23. 23. Infinite Variety of Music<br />
  24. 24. Infinite Variety of Music<br />
  25. 25. How many different ways can a note be sung?<br />
  26. 26.
  27. 27. Nuance<br />A Few Secrets<br />
  28. 28. Hearing beyond what you see:<br />
  29. 29. Hearing beyond what you see:<br />Ability to See what isn’t there.<br />
  30. 30. Hearing beyond what you see:<br />Seeing Beyond what the Composer Provided<br />
  31. 31. Hearing beyond what you see:<br />Imagining Inspiring Sounds<br />
  32. 32. Hearing beyond what you see:<br />See what is Implied<br />
  33. 33. Hearing beyond what you see:<br />Courage to Break the Rules<br />
  34. 34. What is the Most Expressive Element in Music?<br />
  35. 35. What is the Most Expressive Element in Music?<br />METER<br />
  36. 36.
  37. 37. From Wikipedia:<br />Meter or metre is the measurement of a musical line into measures of stressed and unstressed "beats", indicated in Western music notation by a symbol called a time signature. <br />
  38. 38.
  39. 39. Why is meter the most Expressive Element in Music?<br />
  40. 40. Why is meter the most Expressive Element in Music?<br />Effects every beat of every measure.<br />
  41. 41. But you can’t see meter when you look at music.<br />
  42. 42. But you can’t see meter when you look at music.<br />You have to know what to do with it.<br />
  43. 43. But you can’t see meter when you look at music.<br />It is an unwritten rule.<br />
  44. 44. See shapes.<br />Pergolessi: Oh My God, Bestow Thy Tender Mercy<br />
  45. 45. How many different ways can a note be sung?<br />
  46. 46.
  47. 47.
  48. 48. Denial of Expectations <br />
  49. 49. Denial of Expectations <br />Great composers set up an expectation and then deny, or prolong, the fulfillment of that expectation.<br />Your job as a conductor is to magnify those efforts.<br />
  50. 50. Teaching the Notes Wrong<br />
  51. 51. Teaching the Notes Wrong<br />Most people teach notes without any interpretive idea<br />Will have to unlearn the wrong way<br />When we “Add Interpretation”<br />Interpretive ideas to add at the very beginning<br />Dynamics<br />Meter<br />Line<br />Sight-read musically?<br />
  52. 52. Value of Repetition<br />
  53. 53. Value of Repetition<br />Most directors “STOP” when their musicians finally get it right<br />“Lock it In!”<br />Repeat the right thing at least three times to lock in the correct action-response or interpretation<br />Responses:<br />Great! Again!<br />One more time – this time watch me<br />Once more – greater dynamic contrast.<br />
  54. 54. Fixing the Link<br />
  55. 55. Fixing the Link<br />Music is made up of parts – sections – verses<br />Build sections into your music – rehearse groups of measures together and then build <br />Most likely to make mistakes:<br />At transitions between parts<br />Variations of established patterns<br />The unwise conductor only works the different sections – not the transitions. Once you get it right, repeat it. And then, again!<br />
  56. 56. Modeling<br />
  57. 57. Modeling<br />Importance of vocal modeling<br />You can’t fix everything with words.<br />Use instruments that you know well.<br />Ask ensemble to do it “EXACTLY” the way you do it<br />Don’t stop until they do it the way you want it.<br />Your modeling doesn’t have to be perfect.<br />
  58. 58. Isolating to the Individual<br />
  59. 59. Isolating to the Individual<br />Brings a new level of attention from your ensemble<br />There is a certain “one of the crowd” feeling in ensembles<br />Turning the tables on the “ensemble” brings a much higher level of concentration from your members<br />work with the individual on a musical task<br />Pick someone who will do well at the task<br />Go down the line<br />
  60. 60. Ability to Choose your Response<br />
  61. 61. Ability to Choose your Response<br />Every action does NOT deserve a reaction from the teacher<br />React vs. Pre-act<br />We have the ability to choose our response in every situation.<br />Experienced teachers don’t react – they pre-act – they know what they are going to do if a student does something wrong<br />Catch a child doing something good.<br />Positively reinforce good behavior<br />
  62. 62.
  63. 63. Text – Vowels - Consonants<br />Knowing What You Want<br />
  64. 64. Connecting the Notes<br />Attention to Diction<br />Use of the Shadow Vowel<br />(Dracula Talk)<br />
  65. 65. Relish the Sounds of every word.<br />Sandstrom: Sanctus<br />K. Lee Scott: Go Lovely Rose<br />
  66. 66. Unlock dramatic potential of powerful words<br />Carey: Hear de Lambs a-cryin<br />
  67. 67. Realize when vowel shapes and sounds work against musical ideas.<br />Tu-a<br />Alleluia<br />
  68. 68.
  69. 69. Conducting and Gesture<br />When is it Important?<br />
  70. 70. Does your conducting inspire your choir to actually watch you?<br />
  71. 71. Can they look away and still perform with precision?<br />
  72. 72. Train your choir to watch you<br />
  73. 73. Train your choir to watch you: do something differently when they aren’t watching.<br />
  74. 74. Emphasis Conducting<br />Patterns and Cues<br />No Patterns, no cues<br />Conduct an interpretation<br />
  75. 75.
  76. 76. Good to Great:<br />Conducting, Rehearsal, and Discipline<br />

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