Is becoming a conductor right for me?

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What do conductors do?
Career Satisfaction
Are conductors happy with their careers?
What are conductors like?

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How to become a Conductor

Becoming a conductor can be a rewarding career for those who have a passion for music and enjoy working with musicians to create beautiful performances. Here are some steps you can take to become a conductor:

  • Formal Education: Most conductors have a Bachelor's or Master's degree in Music Theory and Composition or Music, with a focus on conducting. Look for programs that offer conducting courses and opportunities to work with ensembles.
  • Learn to Play an Instrument: While it's not required to be a virtuoso on an instrument, having a basic proficiency in an instrument, such as piano or violin, can help you better understand the music you'll be conducting.
  • Join a Choir or Orchestra: Joining a choir or orchestra as a performer can help you gain valuable experience and insight into the world of music performance. It will also give you an opportunity to observe conductors in action.
  • Study Conducting: Consider taking additional conducting courses or private lessons to further develop your skills. Attend workshops, seminars, and masterclasses to learn from experienced conductors.
  • Gain Experience: Look for opportunities to conduct smaller ensembles, such as community or church choirs, or student orchestras. This will give you practical experience in leading a group of musicians.
  • Network: Attend concerts and events to meet other musicians and conductors. Join professional organizations such as the Conductors Guild or the American Choral Directors Association to connect with others in your field.
  • Apply For Conducting Positions: Look for conducting positions in orchestras, choirs, and musical theater productions. Be prepared to submit a resume, recordings of your conducting, and references.

By joining one or more of the following associations, you can connect with other conductors in your field, access resources and professional development opportunities, and stay up-to-date on the latest trends and developments in conducting.

  • The Conductors Guild: This is a professional organization that supports conductors through professional development, networking, and advocacy. The Conductors Guild provides resources such as workshops, conferences, and mentorship opportunities.
  • American Choral Directors Association (ACDA): This organization is specifically for choral conductors and provides resources for choral conducting, including workshops, conferences, and publications.
  • National Association of Music Educators (NAfME): NAfME is a professional organization that supports music educators, including conductors. They offer resources, professional development opportunities, and advocacy for music education.
  • International Federation for Choral Music (IFCM): IFCM is a global organization that supports choral music and conductors. They provide resources, conferences, and workshops for choral conductors around the world.
  • Orchestra Conductor's Forum: This is a community of conductors who work with orchestras. The organization provides resources such as workshops, mentorship opportunities, and networking events.

Online Resources
There are several online resources available for music conductors that can be useful in enhancing their skills and knowledge. Here are some of them:

  • Conducting Masterclass: This website offers a wide range of resources for conductors, including videos of masterclasses, interviews with leading conductors, and articles on conducting technique and interpretation.
  • The Art of Conducting: This website provides online courses, lessons, and resources for conductors of all levels, including conducting technique, score analysis, rehearsal strategies, and repertoire selection.
  • Conductors Guild: This organization provides a community of support for conductors, including networking opportunities, professional development resources, and access to job postings.
  • The Conducting Mentor: This website offers personalized coaching and mentoring for conductors, including virtual conducting lessons, score study guidance, and career advice.
  • YouTube: There are several conductors who have uploaded their masterclasses, rehearsals, and performances on YouTube. Some notable channels include the Berliner Philharmoniker, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, and the London Symphony Orchestra.
  • IMSLP: This website provides access to thousands of public domain scores, which can be useful for conducting practice and score study.
  • Music Teachers National Association: This organization provides resources for music teachers, including resources for conducting technique and repertoire selection.