The Teacher as Conductor

Subject MUSI90144 (2013)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2013.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject is not offered in 2013.

Time Commitment: Contact Hours: One lecture/workshop of 2 hours per week during the semester.
Total Time Commitment:

120 hours (including non-contact time)

Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge:

Successful completion of an Orchestration subject at undergraduate level.

Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support:


Melbourne Conservatorium of Music
T: +613 99053471 or +613 83444337

Melbourne Conservatorium of Music
VCA and MCM Student Centre

Subject Overview:

This subject introduces basic conducting skills including baton technique, rehearsal methods, score reading and preparation as they apply to wind, string, brass and choral music in both classical and popular styles. The role of conductor as teacher will be explored in depth. Also covered are basic instrumental and vocal ensemble problems and solutions.


On completion of this subject students should be able to:

  • demonstrate the basic mechanics of beat patterns, expressive facial and hand and body gestures;
  • rehearse and conduct an instrumental or vocal ensemble with confidence and conviction whilst understanding the principles to be followed in solving complex musical challenges;
  • demonstrate understanding and appreciation of the teaching and leadership skills needed to be a conductor; and
  • demonstrate an understanding of basic interpretive skills through body language,inflection, meter, dynamics and imagery.


Preparation of weekly conducting tasks and contribution to discussion of set readings (25%); two written accounts of rehearsal observations of 500 words each, due week 8 of semester (15% each); one practical test of 20 minutes duration (40%) during the end of semester examination period; one viva voce test of approximately 10 minutes (20%) during the end of semester examination period.
100% attendance is expected, less than 80% will result in a fail in the subject.

Prescribed Texts:

Green, E. (1981) The Modern Conductor. Prentice-Hall.
Farberman, H. (1997), The Art of Conducting Technique: A New Perspective. Warner Bros, Miami, Florida.
A reading package will be available on the LMS prior to the commencement of the subject.

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

On completion of this subject, students should be able to:

  • demonstrate skills in cooperation, communication and negotiation that allow for effective working of groups;
  • demonstrate the capacity for critical and independent thought and reflection;
  • demonstrate skills in evaluative thinking, and in the application of theoretical criteria to practical outcomes;
  • demonstrate analytical skills in the context of printed and aural materials; and
  • plan effectively to meet performance deadlines.

Related Course(s): Master of Music (Performance Teaching)

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