Conducting Studies - College of Mount St. Joseph

Instrumental Conducting Class Syllabus Private Conducting Lessons

College of Mount St. Joseph Music Department - Fall, 1998
Glen Tuomaala, Adjunct Instructor

Instrumental conducting is the visual communication of the music. The goal of this class is to provide the necessary information and experience to be able to rehearse and conduct an instrumental ensemble in performance. With study and practice you will gain the necessary confidence to achieve this goal. The amount of effort you deposit for this endeavor will clearly reflect on your performance at the end of the course.

The better the musician you are, the better the conductor you will become. It is in your best interests to work to become a better conductor from both the practical and philosophical points of view. Beyond the motivational factor of receiving a grade for this course; at some time in your future, whether you like it or not, you will conduct a musical ensemble. In addition to this fate, as a musician, anything that you can discover about showing and creating music will assist you in becoming a better musician yourself. In addition to the skills you achieve in this class your own proficiency on the musical instrument of choice will be a deciding factor in your future progress as a conductor.

Our goal is to provide merely the first step. Becoming a good musician and conductor requires practice and experience. From this point on it will be your responsibility to watch other conductors, attend conducting symposiums and ask more and more questions to improve yourself and the musical ensemble you will eventually lead.

Excused absences are permitted for serious illness or death, serious illness or death in your immediate family, religious obligations, and auditions or job interviews. If you have a part-time job you should change your work hours to fit class and, as necessary, conducting evaluations.

One un-excused absence is allowed per semester, however there are no re-takes of tests or conducting evaluations. An additional un-excused absence will result in one lowered grade. There are no un-excused absences from guest conducting assignments or the conducting recital. Students are also required to attend the Chamber Arts Ensemble concert on Sunday, September 27 at 3pm for recital credit as well as credit for this class. You may notify Mr. Tuomaala of absences by calling 631-1770 or 956-9808 at least 24 hours in advance or speaking to me in person; accompanied by a written memo. Do not send messages through other students or leave a note on the office door (exceptions allowed in cases of emergency).


Come to each class with the following materials:
1. Notebook: a large 3 ring binder with all of your class notes, materials, hand-outs, notepaper, etc.
2. Pencil or pen
3. Musical scores and baton
4. Musical instrument. We will play in class on our own musical instruments and on as many secondary instruments as possible to fill out our instrumentation. Everyone participates and plays every day.

This schedule subject to change. Please consult Mr. Tuomaala at any time with questions or concerns.

Your grade will be based on several factors. Obviously, much of your grade will be based on your work outside of class. It is your responsibility to review new topics, practice new methods, and prepare all assignments outside of class time. Learning the music (both conducting or playing your musical instrument) during class rehearsal sessions will count negatively towards your final grade.

Your grade will also be affected by meeting or not meeting the following standards, which are based on your own best interests in gaining proficiency as a conductor and musician:
1. Attend all class sessions and conducting evaluations prepared to learn
2. Come to class prepared to learn with all educational materials and assignments completed

Notebook: possible 10 points each evaluation; 20 points total
Your notebook serves as an organized collection of all materials presented inside and outside of class. Use a large three ring binder. Cover page will contain class name, student name, teacher name, and complete table of contents including a list of handouts, class notes, tests, and conducting evaluations. Notebooks will be graded at the midterm and at the final for 10 points each.

Articles and Outlines: Possible 5 points per article
Articles will be assigned during most class sessions as a reading assignment to be completed between classes. An outline of each article will be composed (typed) by each student and included in the notebook. Please note all relevant information in each outline prior to the following class.

Dream Instrumentation Assignment: 20 points

Musical Terms Test Level I : 25 points, one point per term

Musical Terms Test Level II: 25 points; one point per term

Basic and Advanced Conducting Tests
These evaluation tools measure the competency of the onductor in the fundamental skills necessary to conduct a musical ensemble. Each conducting test is 15 points. There are no re-takes.

Score Analysis I: 20 points, due a minimum of one class session prior to the conducting evaluation I.
Score will be assigned by the instructor. Each student must complete this score analysis prior to taking the conducting evaluation I at Purcell Marian High School.

Conducting Evaluation I: Purcell Marian High School Cavalier Band Each student will conduct and rehearse the Purcell Marian High School Band for a minimum of 10 minutes on an assigned section of music. By appointment, Monday - Friday 8:15am to 9:50am

Score Analysis II: 20 points, due a minimum of one class session prior to the conducting evaluation. The score to be evaluated will be used in the conducting recital.

Conducting Evaluation II: Conducting Recital
Each student will conduct a short song or excerpt in recital at the College of Mount Saint Joseph Recital Hall. Attendance is mandatory and all students will perform when not conducting. Tentative conducting recital date is December 8th at 7p.m. Please check you schedules as soon as possible for any conflicts.

Score Analysis III: 30 points.
A major work of complex natural will be assigned for analysis (and discussion with the instructor as needed). To be completed and turned in place of a final exam; completed in the form of a term paper. Students may choose a topic area from the following list (or another composition as approved by the instructor) and compose a well organized and supportive paper on the selected musical composition including information about the style, form, and historical significance of the piece and composer.