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Title: Towards a model of effective choral conducting : implications for musical education, musical communication and curriculum development
Author: Durrant, Colin
ISNI:       0000 0001 2417 9066
Awarding Body: University of Surrey
Current Institution: University of Surrey
Date of Award: 1996
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A profile of musical competences of postgraduate music students indicates that conducting skills are generally weak and held in low esteem. Data collected from universities and colleges confirm that conducting (and specifically choral conducting) is not a significant part of undergraduate or postgraduate music or music education programmes across higher education in the UK. This contrasts with the situation in the USA. This study seeks to determine what is teachable in conducting, considering that many music graduates will conduct in some form or another in music careers. From the research literature and historical, biographical and anecdotal evidence, a theory is developed to establish what is needed for a conductor to be effective. This takes a philosophical approach, exploring the phenomenology of conducting and aspects of tacit knowing, craft knowledge and human compatible communication in relation to the conducting activity and the behaviour of the conductor in rehearsal and performance. Analyses of research activities seek to validate and nourish the theory. Firstly, interviews were held with a selection of choral conductors to find out what they do and what they think, in order to find common approaches and priorities in choral conducting. Secondly, an analysis is made of a questionnaire given to (i) participants in a choral conducting masterclass and (ii) students at the end of a postgraduate taught conducting module. Finally, participant and non-participant observations are made in universities, schools and the community in Utah, USA, where recognised effective choral conducting teaching is already in place. Analysis is made of how such programmes of study and subsequent choral practice relates to and supports the theory. While the thesis does not attempt to deal in depth with the psychology of conducting nor learning theories, implications for the learning of choral conducting (what can be learnt and how) and a framework for teaching and practice within higher education in the UK are then explored.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Literature