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Thomas J. West Music

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The Anatomy Of An Effective Music Ensemble Conductor

Posted on May 8, 2011 at 5:11 PM

music conductor


The ensemble director sets the tone for what will and will not be accepted behavoir every time they step in front of the group. There is an unspoken agreement between every person in the room on what kind of focus and work ethic is going to be accepted. Depending on the purpose of the music ensemble and the commitment level of the people involved, the atmosphere during the ensemble's meetings will vary widely.


It is not up to the ensemble director to be a disciplinarian or dictator, unless of course the members of the ensemble have diverse resasons for being involved. In most situations, ensemble members at least share an interest in music making and in doing their part to make some music happen. The accomplished music director understands his ensemble members' motivations, their personal limitations (both real and self-imposed), and the amount of time the ensemble has to exist together.


The number one thing that a music ensemble director can do to maximize the effectiveness of any ensemble is control the pacing of ensemble rehearsals by maintaining group focus. Effective music ensemble conductors insist on group focus at all times and will pull back in anyone in the room whose attention strays. Effective conductors will insist on verbal responses to questsions from every ensemble member when they are asked. Effective conductors will expect ensemble members to start and stop at the correct place in the music score the first time the instructions are given.


Over time, the effect ensemble director not only runs an effective rehearsal, but also helps the members of the ensemble redefine what their personal definition of focus and work ethic is. As a team, the ensemble moves toward a musical goal. As individuals, ensemble members become more effective human beings whose lives are enriched by their shared expereince.



This article (c) 2011 Thomas J. West. All content on ThomasJWestMusic dot com is licensed under a Creative Contributions Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 License. Please contact the author before publishing on or off-line.

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Categories: Music Education, Teacher Tips

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