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This version of the article reflects changes made in the paperback edition [9780190674625].

Updated on 11 December 2019. The previous version of this content can be found here.
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date: 23 January 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This article, which considers the role of the ensemble conductor in schools to determine to what extent that model leads to independent musicianship, begins by examining the characteristics of modern school conductors, including who they are, how they got there, and what they do. One of the shortcomings of the traditional approach to ensemble rehearsals where the conductor (and only the conductor) identifies the problem and then applies a solution is that there is often a lack of transfer when a similar situation comes up in the future. Conductors must look for ways to involve their students in the rehearsal process and provide opportunities for them to exercise their budding musicianship and enrich their musical understanding. Rehearsals can be a context in which students actively engage rather than simply follow directions—something that happens because of them rather than something that happens to them. Within this framework, the role of the conductor expands to become the role of the collaborator—an expert and professionally trained collaborator, to be sure, but one who works with rather than simply works on younger and less-experienced musicians.

Keywords: musical conductor, music ensembles, school conductors, musicianship

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