MUS 3030 Basic Conducting

Instructor: Dr. Kevin Ford   Office: Cadek 306a   Phone: 425-5243   email

Office hours: T,TH 9:30-10:30 or by appointment

Catalog Description: Techniques of the baton, basic score reading and transposition, fundamentals of conducting. Fall semester. Prerequisite: Music 207, 208.

Course Materials and Texts:

  1. Green, E. A. H. (2004) The Modern Conductor (7th Edition). Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall Inc.ISBN: 0-13-182656-5

 2.   Conducting Baton (if you don’t already have one wait until the discussion before you buy one)

 3.   You will need to be able to view video files through Blackboard


Course Topics:

1. The History and Development of Conducting

2. Conducting Patterns and Gestures

3. Basic Rehearsal Techniques

4. Basics of Score Study


Assessment Measures:

30%: self-analysis and correction through video observation training and listening assignments

50%: video exams

20%: final exam

attendance and participation: the third absence lowers the final grade by five points, the fifth absence lowers the final grade five additional points, the 7th absence lowers the final grade five additional points, each absence thereafter lowers the final grade 5 points.


Course Objectives:

To develop a conducting technique.

To develop the ability to interpret with stylistic understanding of choral music of the various styles and periods of choral composition.

To develop the ability to study and prepare a music score for rehearsal purposes.

To develop an efficient rehearsal technique and: a) to give verbal directions clearly and concisely, b) to indicate interpretive and stylistic ideas in gesture, and c) to hear what an ensemble is actually producing.

To recognize and correct inaccuracies in pitches and/or rhythms.



hear lectures, observe teacher modeling, read relevant text materials, work in small groups, engage in guided practice, interact with peers and teacher, peer-teach, self-assess, complete internet based conducting modules, complete listening assignments


Course Assignments & Responsibilities:

Reading assignments: Students will be responsible for reading the assigned portion of the text and/or any additional readings before the class lecture and be prepared to make informed comments in class.

Class teaching, conducting and participation: Each student will perform peer teaching, conducting, and participate as the “class” for each of the other students.

Video self-assessment: Each student will be video taped during their teaching/conducting session. The students will then review the tape on blackboard using the observation forms provided and evaluate their performance.

Two conducting lab sessions: During two Music Department Seminar times (Thursdays at 1:40PM) you will conduct a piece with a chorus comprised of all voice majors.

Guided Listening: You will be given eight listening assignments in which you will listen to performances and write your comments. The packets are housed in CAD 307 and you may use the playback system in that office.

Attendance Policy: Attendance is mandatory! Conducting is an acquired skill and the conducting student must be present in order to rehearse with constructive feedback. All absences will be figured into the attendance grade as stated above.


MUS 3030 Basic Conducting Course Calendar

Class Subject Reading Assignment / Music  
1 introduction/ brief history of conducting Assign unison melody, tennis ball exercise
2 preparatory exercises – a cappella unison melody pick out a song in 4
3 preparatory exercises –pick out a song in 4 Green: Ormandy “The Art of Conducting,” Preface, & ch.1
4 basic hand motion/ the 2, 3 & 4 patterns/ cues intro / pick out a song in 3 Green: ch. 2
5 Holiday / No Class  
6 3 &4 pattern exam, releases and cues  
7 Conducting Exam 1 in class 2, 3 & 4 patterns
8 6, 9, & 12 slow patterns 6, 9, & 12 slow
9 6, 9, & 12 slow & fastpatterns 6, 9, & 12 fast / read Green: ch. 4
10 The 2, & 1, 6, 9, & 12 patterns video performance self evaluation cue/ cutoff
11 The 2, & 1, 6, 9, & 12 patterns / The Fermata & Tenuto Introduce fermata / tenuto / Bach Chorale read Green: ch. 8 Choosing a baton
12 The 6, 9, & 12 patterns, subdivisions/The Fermata & Tenuto video performance self evaluation 6,9,12
13 The baton Green: ch. 3, Laudate –Mozart
  Conducting Lab 2 video performance self evaluation fermata & tenuto; Sleeth, Feed My Lambs
14 basic gestures of interpretation Green: ch. 5 (pp41-48) accents only
15 practice  
16 practice  
17 Developing the Left Hand Green: ch. 7 / Apple Apple
18 Fall break - no class  
19 score study / practice conducting  
20 score study / practice conducting A House Stands Neath - Brahms
21 Off-beat entrances  
  Conducting Lab 3 video performance self evaluation Accents; Left Hand Exam - Apple, Apple / Accent exam; Baton exam;
22 Off-beat entrances Green: pp 48-58 & ch. 9
23 Practice conducting  
24 Practice conducting  
25 Asymmetrical meters Fa una canzona - Vecchi
26 practice conducting  
  Thanksgiving Holiday  
27 Practice conducting  
28 video performance exam A House Stands Neath – Brahms,Fa una canzona - Vecchi

This course calendar is subject to change by the instructor.

ADA STATEMENT: Attention:  If you are a student with a disability (e.g. physical, learning, psychiatric, vision, hearing, etc.) and think that you might need special assistance or a special accommodation in this class or any other class, call the Disability Resource Center (DRC) at 425-4006 or come by the office, 102 Frist Hall.


If you find that personal problems, career indecision, study and time management difficulties, etc. are adversely affecting your successful progress at UTC, please contact the Counseling and Career Planning Center at 423.4438 or