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Online Catalogue |  Conducting



Why not sign-up NOW?

In October, 2008, I directed a weekend course on conducting for The Schools Music Association. Those on the course were conductors of school, youth, adult and church choirs. Some had no conducting experience at all. The content of the course included:-

- Conducting gestures
- Appropriate beats for different time signatures
- Communicating with gestures and not with words
- Using warm ups and cool downs
- Rehearsal techniques
- Vocal techniques for the choir
- Vowels, consonants and diphthongs

- Diction
- Correcting choir faults
- Aiming for a better sound
- Baton technique
- How to prepare the music
- Tips on motivating your choir
- Working with your accompanist

At the end, many course members said that they would like to know more, not only about conducting, but about singing and choir work in general. After discussion, I decided to form a club which I have called Up BEAT. This takes the form mainly of electronic newsletters - about four a year. Now this service is absolutely free.

If you are interested in this please send to me your e-mail address and I will send you immediately Newsletters Nos 3 - 37. [Nos. 1 & 2 were mainly about setting up the club and what it would cover so you would not have missed anything.] Topics covered in Nos 3 - 37 include:-

- Physical warm ups - aims and reasons
- Vocal warm ups - aims and reasons
- Cool downs
- Breathing
- Posture
- Flat Singing
- Sharp singing
- A short guide to vowel sounds
- Diphthongs and Triphthongs
- Consonants
- Tone colour
- Word painting
- Some pitfalls and exercises to do with vowels
- Studying the music you are to conduct
- Making the most of teaching tracks
- Text and words
- Handling dynamics
- Exercises to help with hand independence
- Copyright, especially with regard to arranging
- Sending compositions to publishers
- Conductors mouthing the words - Yes or No?
- Working with a choir and orchestra
- Phrasing and the musical line
- Posture for the conductor
- The Preparatory Beat
- Reviews of CDs, DVDs and Books

You will also be sent a document on Rehearsal Strategies and the complete chapter of Berlioz's views on conducting.

Up Beat is for those who direct choirs/orchestra/ensembles and at present there are just over 800 members. So if you would like to join just contact me at

Douglas Coombes

Online Catalogue |  Conducting

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