S2E5: Fostering Engagement with Questions, Conviction & Repetition

(00:00) Navigating Interpretation and Engagement in Conducting

In this chapter we discuss how conductors can engage with players and their musical ideas and suggestions, emphasizing the importance of asking questions to help the ensemble think for themselves and understand their role in the music. We also touch on the delicate balance of giving interpretive decision-making to the ensemble while still maintaining cohesion, suggesting the use of a range of questions to guide the ensemble towards a shared understanding of the music.

(17:21) Effective Rehearsal Strategies and Challenges

This chapter explores the dynamics of successful and unsuccessful rehearsals, focusing on the frustrations of changing ideas and spending too much time on one passage. We also discuss the importance of nonverbal communication and being aware of individual needs within a group setting. Additionally, we touch on the skill of knowing when to push and when to let go in a rehearsal, highlighting the conductor's role in leading a group practice session. Overall, this chapter provides valuable insights into the challenges faced by both conductors and players in creating a successful rehearsal environment.

(25:11) Improve Conducting and Empathy in Rehearsals

This chapter focuses on the middle period of rehearsing and how to effectively read the room as a conductor. We discuss the importance of observational skills and listening when working with unfamiliar musicians. The conversation then shifts to how reading the room can also benefit players, allowing them to better understand the conductor's needs and the needs of other sections.

S2E7: Memorable Performances - Balancing Stability vs. Risk Taking

How do you plan for and reveal that extra level of energy in the performance and connect meaningfully with the audience? What's required to balance stability vs. risk-taking onstage? How can we best use limited sound-check time to instil confidence while meeting everyone's needs and preserving energy?


S2E6: Final Rehearsals - Cultivating Confidence and Security

What's the goal of final rehearsals? How do we ensure preparedness while keeping the music fresh? How do we need to adapt our rehearsals to build confidence in groups that perform rarely vs. those that perform often? What's the value of practicing performing, rather than just rehearsing? We tackle all this and more in this episode focussed on final rehearsals and sound checks.


S2E5: Fostering Engagement with Questions, Conviction & Repetition

How do you know when to keep working at a passage or just move on? How do you balance your own interpretation vs. making space for the musicians' ideas? What's the role of non-verbal communication in effective rehearsals? What might we learn from taking more notice of what's going on in the room?