The Instrumentalist

Articles April 2020

Director, Check Your Stance



FONT SIZE: +  -

A humorous look at conducting quirks and a strong argument for recording video of your rehearsals.


From the December 1976 issue.

    “Oh wad some power the giftie gie us, to see oursels as others see us.” So spake the Scottish bard Robert Burns. Many directors would surely make some changes in their conducting mannerisms and techniques if they could see themselves in action as their audiences see them. Devoid of aesthetics, their deportment may actually detract from the performance of the group.

    In my case, a photo of me conducting a small elementary school orchestra from a fairly high podium led to a change. Because I am a little over six feet tall and have added a few pounds to my fighting weight of younger years, the photo showed me towering over those little kids like King Kong. I no longer use a podium, and I try to shrink a little.

    So, directors, see if you fit into any of the categories depicted below.

Toy Soldier

    Strictly mechanical. Does it run on a battery, or is it wound up before each performance?



Exhibitionist

    Exaggerates all cues, all dynamics. Strictly on an ego trip. Convinced that the audience came only to watch him.



Traffic Director

    Tries to cue every section on every note played. Point, jab, point, jab. Players find it funny at first.



Jumping Jack

    Great fascination for the audience members, who can anticipate each graceful, leaping bound.



Big Bird

    Both arms flapping continuously in perfect symmetry. May become airborne at any time.



    Note: All the foregoing depictions are the result of observing directors within my school district only. With this statement you can be safely assured that I am not describing your conducting style but rather just the mannerisms of a few misguided unfortunates. And, of course, my own directing techniques are impeccable.

 

Dwight G. Kier


     Dwight G. Kier taught in Longmont, Colorado. The illustrations are by Frances Jones Hartman, who accompanied Kier’s students at contests and concerts.

email

Back To Top^
Subscriber Login
   
Username   
   
Password   
   
  

Already a subscriber but don't have login details? Register Here

Not a subsriber and want full access? Subscribe Here


    Ads
  • GPG
  • George Mason University School of Music
  • Schilke
  • World Projects
  • college of saint rose
  zaimberi.comonline credit
 
Copyright © 2020 The Instrumentalist Publishing Co. All rights reserved. None of the content may be duplicated or reprinted without advanced written permission. The statements of writers and advertisers are not necessarilty those of the magazine, which reserves the right to refuse to print an advertisement. The Instrumentalist, ISSN-0020-4331, is published ten times per year by The Instrumentalist Publishing Co., 1838 Techny Court, Northbrook, IL 60062. Site Design & Development
by Design Extensions