Conducting in Band
Today in band, we focused on learning the visual cues often used to communicate between the conductor and ensemble members. Students learned to conduct in 2/4 and 4/4 meters.
Next, the students sang the songs we are learning in band while conducting. One of our trombone players even had the opportunity to come up and conduct the group! More students will have this opportunity in the future.
Here are the main points discussed today:
- When the conductor’s arms go up, so does your instrument.
- The conductor will give a “prep beat” used to communicate the tempo of the song. It also gives the wind players a chance to breathe. We should not say “1, 2, Ready, Go!” anymore.
- The downbeat is always the first note of a new measure.
- When the conductor cuts off, you stop playing and freeze…
Why learn to conduct? Simple.
- If you don’t know what the conductor is doing, the conductor doesn’t help you. Knowing what their job is DOES help you and it helps the band stay together.
- If you get lost, you can check which beat the conductor is on so that you can enter on the next downbeat.
As a band, we still need to improve sitting patiently while the conductor checks on the progress of each section. If we sit patiently, things move faster. The more we talk, the less we play. Talk less, play more.
Remember: We are a TEAM. The better you sound, the better WE sound.
Thanks for a fun rehearsal. Now go practice!