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Choral Conducting for the Instrumentalist

I am a senior instrumental music education student taking a Choral Methods class and I am doing research on the different types of things choral conductors need to focus on that instrumentalsit do not use in rehearsal. For example, giving a pitch or vowel shape is not something I'm used to thinking about. What else should I be focused on in conducting a choral ensemble?
Replies (8): Threaded | Chronological
on May 20, 2012 11:23pm
Learning musicianship and musical literacy is a very different process for vocalists. Instrumentalists learn to read on an instrument, and the musical literacy is developed early on in tandem with the instrumental skills.  Singers learn to sight read on the basis of relative pitch, necessitating some kind of solmization system (usually movable do, and often with Curwen hand signals). It's a very different process than with instrumentalists, who press the right keys or valves and the right note will tend to come out whether they're hearing it or not. Choir students can go a lot further without reading music, so in spite of your best efforts to teach sight-reading, the fact that you could have some fairly advanced students who don't read music or know what key signatures mean is something that you'd almost never see in the instrumental classroom.
Also, I don't know if the issue of dealing with fundraising and boosters, etc., is being taught these days in Choral Methods (it ought to be). But it seems to be more of a challenge to get choral parents involved in boosters, volunteering for events, writing checks for uniforms and trips, etc. If only because of the fact that they've bought or rented an instrument, the instrumental parents just tend to be more invested and used to the idea of stepping up.
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