How to be a Conductor Part 2
There are all sorts of forms of education you’ll need to successfully become a music conductor, let’s start by talking about qualifications. The absolute base requirement for a conductor is having a Bachelor of Art’s degree (BA) in a musical subject, that being said many professionals will likely have gone on to attain a Masters (MA) degree too. There are plenty of options for students to take when it comes to music and many courses will even offer modules on conducting too to further help you learn import factors of the job ahead. Essentially, as with many other lines of work, the better qualified you are the better your chances at landing a job are, not only that but your qualifications will dictate your pay grade too.
Getting educated isn’t just about getting qualifications though, it’s about learning, being taught far more than you’ll be able to read in a couple of articles. You need to at least learn the foundations of the craft before you work in it, after all we need to know the rules before we can break them. And it isn’t just music you’ll need to learn about, there are certain skills you’ll need to add to your repertoire to effectively work this job. First off leadership skills are key, you’ll need to able to inspire your players and get their best possible performance from them. Then there is understanding group psychology and dynamics, you need to understand how well certain individuals work with others and make sure everyone is able to work together positively.
Education is important but experience is equally so, often we’ll just wait for opportunities or internships that we take at college or university, but you don’t have to do that, you can get working on your experience straight away. The more you have the better it looks after all. There are a few things you can do, starting by attending rehearsals, one of the best you can do as a prospective conductor is to sit in on rehearsals, think about it, you’ll be seeing exactly how an orchestra prepares for a performance and what a conductor does in order to make that happen. The next tip may seem rather obvious but nevertheless it’s crucial, listen to classical music. Lots of it. Check out the classics and listen to them performed by different orchestras and listen out for their differences. This will help you to start thinking about interpretation and hopefully give you some of your own ideas about how you might do so. The last tip here would be to practise at home, pretend that you’re the conductor when listening to the music and go through the motions. Do it in front of the mirror and see your own movements so you can improve them as you go.