Additional Hints


The following points were omitted from the earlier discussions in order to avoid giving too many instructions at once. Study them carefully.

  • Some conductors make the mistake of giving a slow downbeat and then flick their hands up too quickly. This habit, described by Brock McEltheran as the "hot stove" technique [Conducting Technique for Beginners and Professionals, Oxford University Press, New York, 1989], risks having the band play slightly behind the beat. Keep the hand constantly moving. It should only stop briefly at the very top of the beat.
  • Keep your shoulders relaxed. If you tense up your shoulders, players may subconsciously imitate you.
  • Facial expressions can be an important means of communicating with the ensemble. However, it is probably better to avoid making wild grimaces during intense musical moments.
  • Do not sing or tap your foot when conducting. Such habits can ruin a performance.
  • Conductors often demand that players look up at the conductor. However, it is also true to say that conductors should make eye contact with the performers as much as possible. This is important to maintain rapport with the group.
  • Avoid all frills and exaggerated gestures. A conscious effort to establish a distinctive style also risks appearing artificial. Let your personality emerge naturally


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