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Music 355

MUSC 355
CHORAL CONDUCTING

Catalog Entry

MUSC355. Choral Conducting

Three hours (3). 

Prerequisite: MUSC354 

Continuation of MUSC354 with emphasis on conducting techniques, score interpretation and rehearsal methods inherent to conducting vocal music. Instruction covers vocal techniques, literature, and diction. At least 4 hours of observation/participation in public school settings is required for Music Education majors.

 

Detailed Description of Content of Course

MUSC355 is an introduction to the art of choral conducting. The course will stress the development of fundamental skills and the application of practical solutions to problems found in everyday rehearsals. Throughout the course emphasis will be placed on each participant developing a personal methodology based upon creative problem solving. In this way, the successful participant will develop cognitive skills and habits which should be of use not only in choral rehearsals; but also in many other arenas of endeavor. This course provides a direct assessment of individual musicianship and ability to teach musicianship.

 

Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

Development of proficiency as a choral conductor demands the acquisition of myriad skills. Skills in rehearsal technique and vocal instruction, extensive knowledge of literature from both musical and related areas, history, the plastic arts and a fair bit of psychology are all necessary. This course is just a beginning in the journey towards this goal. In essence it is an apprenticeship. Time is divided between laboratory experience in conducting gestures/rehearsal techniques and lecture covering topics of vocal health, vocal techniques, diction, choral literature and the place of the vocal experience within the context of the educational system of the United States. As outlined below under Assessment Measures, the successful student must acquire both physical skills and knowledge of the subject matter to achieve the specified grades.

 

Goals and Objectives of the Course

At the conclusion of this course, the successful student will have the skills needed to choose, prepare, rehearse and perform choral literature in public school or church choir situations. Students will be able to choose the proper beat pattern and conducting gesture for a given musical situation. Students will be able to write a lesson plan for rehearsing literature noted above as well as be able to plan fundamental vocal exercises and warm-ups for beginning voice students.

 

Assessment Measures

Conducting:

 

    To qualify for the grade of C the student must successfully conduct:

 

        1. Bach Chorale + Concord

        2. Successfully detect errors in 3 examples of solo lines from each of the above pieces played 2 times.

        3. Successfully play one upon the piano from both pieces upon demand.

 

    * Failure to successfully complete the requirements for C, leaves the student with a maximum grade of D.

    * To qualify for the grade of B the students must, in addition to the above, successfully conduct;

 

          1. Silent Night + Humpty Dumpty.

          2. Successfully detect errors in 3 examples of 2 lines from each of the above pieces played 2 times.

          3. Successfully play 2 lines upon the piano from both pieces upon demand.

 

To qualify for the grade of A the student must, in addition to the above:

 

    1. Successfully conduct individually prepared excerpts from standard literature which presents various conducting problems.

    2. Successfully detect errors in 3 examples of 3 lines from each of the above pieces played 2 times.

    3. Successfully play 2 lines upon the piano from both pieces upon demand.

 

To earn the grades indicated above, written work must attain the minimum average for the desired grade. Written work will be based upon Diction quizzes, Mid-term and Final which will include material on diction, vocal production, rehearsal technique and literature.

 

    Written average minimum: 50=F 60=D 70=C 80=B 90=A

 

Other Course Information

Texts

  • Fowler, Charles, ed. Conscience of a Profession: Howard Swan. Chapel Hill, North Carolina: Hinshaw Music, Inc., 1987.
  • Diction, John Moriarty, E. C. Schirmer Music Company, Boston. 1975.
  • Keep Your Voice Healthy, second edition, Friedrich S.
  • Brodnitz, M.D., College Hill Press, Boston. 1988.
  • assorted handouts as well as excerpts of books and journal articles.

 

Approval and Subsequent Reviews

DATE ACTION REVIEWED BY
Revised April, 2009