Over the weekend 23-25 October, I was a member of the teaching faculty for the Cardiff International Academy of Conducting. It was a pleasure to be working alongside my colleagues (and friends!) Jonathan Mann who is currently based in Bangkok and is the founder of CIAC, and Irina Walters who is from Moscow, has a passion for Russian Choral Music and a fantastic aural training method.
We welcomed sixteen conductors from around the world; Columbia to Scotland, Manchester to Huddersfield! It was great to see some of my students from Manchester, Huddersfield and a former player from Trafford Youth Orchestra taking part.
What can you do virtually when you are not physically conducting?
Well the hands only really do what the head and heart say. A conductor’s work takes place before the rehearsal - preparation is key. People don’t plan to fail, they fail to plan. So we took advantage of having the time to think about this. We had group discussions on:
Score Study: Head - Heart - Hands: how do you study? What do you look for?
Can I hear the score?- Brilliant aural sessions with Irina aimed at developing the inner ear of a conductor. I believe aural training in the UK is often neglected, shoved into the last 10 mins of an instrumental lesson. How can we really expect this to be developed and feel confident if we don’t dedicate more time to this?
The Conductor as Entrepreneur
The Conductor's role in community music making
Quick fix technique video analysis sessions
One thing that really struck me is how different our current music making situations are here in the UK compared to Columbia, Thailand and mainland Europe.....
Overall, it felt fantastic to be connected to a team of inspiring musicians all dedicated to their own development, thinking how to go into a new world as an all rounded enabler!
A special thanks to the participants, Irina and finally and a note (!) to Jonathan Mann who made it all happen.
Conductors for a new world!