MUSGEN 2010 - Foundations of Conducting

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2018

This course provides students with an introduction to conducting techniques including all standard beat patterns; the initial development of expressive gestures and skills for reflection of musical character; use of the left hand; entries, releases, fermata, tempo and character changes); score reading, analysis and marking; developing appropriate aural skills; effective rehearsal techniques and planning; repertoire and resources, including set works; and an introduction to specific choral and instrumental techniques.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code MUSGEN 2010
    Course Foundations of Conducting
    Coordinating Unit Elder Conservatorium of Music
    Term Semester 2
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 2 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Incompatible GENMUS 2023, PERF 2023, PERF 2024
    Assumed Knowledge No prior conducting experience required, but students should have completed at least 24 units of level 1 undergraduate music courses or equivalent.
    Restrictions Priority is given to Bachelor of Music students, but is available to non-music students by audition
    Course Description This course provides students with an introduction to conducting techniques including all standard beat patterns; the initial development of expressive gestures and skills for reflection of musical character; use of the left hand; entries, releases, fermata, tempo and character changes); score reading, analysis and marking; developing appropriate aural skills; effective rehearsal techniques and planning; repertoire and resources, including set works; and an introduction to specific choral and instrumental techniques.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Associate Professor Carl Crossin OAM

    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    Accepting that this course is an introductory course in Conducting, after successful completion of this course, students will be able to...
    1. Exhibit a range of basic conducting and ensemble direction skills that, through accuracy, fluency, expressive awareness, confidence, and an appropriate use of relevant language and terminology, illustrate a developing ability to communicate an artistic concept to an ensemble through the use of appropriate language and gestures.
    2. Exhibit a range of effective rehearsal strategies which arise from independent, imaginative and creative approaches to problem solving (including the use of contemporary technologies) and an understanding of the leadership role of a conductor.
    3. Manifest a critical (though developing) understanding of appropriate performance standards and an ability to assess one’s own performances and those of fellow musicians.
    4. Exhibit developing skills in leadership, performance etiquette, confidence, communication and collegial interaction with an ensemble.
    5. Exhibit curiosity, self-awareness and problem-solving skills that will enable continuous learning and growth.

    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Deep discipline knowledge
    • informed and infused by cutting edge research, scaffolded throughout their program of studies
    • acquired from personal interaction with research active educators, from year 1
    • accredited or validated against national or international standards (for relevant programs)
    1, 2, 5
    Critical thinking and problem solving
    • steeped in research methods and rigor
    • based on empirical evidence and the scientific approach to knowledge development
    • demonstrated through appropriate and relevant assessment
    2, 3, 5
    Teamwork and communication skills
    • developed from, with, and via the SGDE
    • honed through assessment and practice throughout the program of studies
    • encouraged and valued in all aspects of learning
    1, 2, 3, 4, 5
    Career and leadership readiness
    • technology savvy
    • professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
    • forward thinking and well informed
    • tested and validated by work based experiences
    3, 5
    Intercultural and ethical competency
    • adept at operating in other cultures
    • comfortable with different nationalities and social contexts
    • able to determine and contribute to desirable social outcomes
    • demonstrated by study abroad or with an understanding of indigenous knowledges
    3, 4, 5
    Self-awareness and emotional intelligence
    • a capacity for self-reflection and a willingness to engage in self-appraisal
    • open to objective and constructive feedback from supervisors and peers
    • able to negotiate difficult social situations, defuse conflict and engage positively in purposeful debate
    1, 2, 3, 4, 5
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    All music used in this course will be provided by the lecturer.  Students will, however, be required to buy a good quality conducting baton and have a range of lead (2B, 3B or 4B) and coloured pencils for score marking.

    Recommended Resources
    A list of books, articles and online resources will be provided for students throughout the course.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes

    No information currently available.


    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    CONTACT 10 x 2 hour Workshop - (20 hours)

    Conducting technique – private practice for individual skill development (Up to 36 hours)
    Observation & Review - of experienced conductors & ensembles (Up to 12 hours)
    Repertoire Study – listening and preparation (Up to 26 hours)
    Required reading & assignment writing (Up to 36 hours)
    Examination preparation (Up to 12 hours)

    Learning Activities Summary

    Introduction and initial development of specific conducting skills and techniques for working with choral and instrumental ensembles including:

    Introduction to conducting techniques including:

    • stance and body language
    • all standard beating patterns with appropriate subdivisions
    • basic legato and marcato conducting styles
    • entries, releases, cues, fermata
    • initial development of expressive gestures
    • independent use of hands including expressive and functional use of the left hand
    • changes in metre, tempo and character changes
    • effective conducting with both the hands and a baton
    • introduction to score reading (orchestra, band and choir), analysis and score marking

     Introduction to effective rehearsal planning and management including:

    • rehearsal planning, preparation and time management
    • ensemble management – in and out of rehearsal
    • leadership issues
    • effective verbal communication
    • effective rehearsal techniques
    • introduction to specific choral and instrumental techniques

  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    • Minor Practical Assessment: (Weeks 4, 5 & 6): Students will be required to demonstrate satisfactory ‘work in progress’ with basic beat patterns and associated entries, fermata, releases, left hand usage, and expressive elements.
      (Weighting: 20%
    • Observation & Review Assignment:  Students will be required to organise, prepare for, observe and critically review 2 related rehearsals of an educational, community or professional ensemble and their conductor exhibiting a mature awareness, analysis and commentary of good practice.
      (Weighting: 20%)

    • Major Practical Assessment:  (End of semester):
      Students will be required to demonstrate at least satisfactory achievement with (a) the use of a baton, (b) all common beat patterns (including irregular metres) and associated entries, (c) fermata and releases, (d) left hand usage and (e) expressive elements.
      (Weighting: 50%)

    • Class Participation:
      (Weighting: 10%)
    Assessment Detail

    No information currently available.


    No information currently available.

    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy ( course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
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