I’ve learnt a lot from Rob Poynton in a few meetings and Skype chats and from his book.

So when he raved to Mark and me about a workshop he’d attended, in which non-musicians explore what it’s like to conduct a choir, we paid attention. In fact, we encouraged Rob to get the workshop leader, Peter Hanke, over to London so we could have a go ourselves.

As result, on November 2nd, Peter and Rob are hosting Communication as a Performing Art. Here’s a bit of the blurb:

Conductors have to express themselves bodily, communicating with the singers only through gesture and movement, so the act of conducting provides a medium through which to observe oneself. How we express ourselves in this unfamiliar situation, untainted by rational thoughts, knowledge or words reveals insights about aspects of our selves and how we communicate that are hard to come by with conventional methods.

From what Rob told me, this is an amazing experience. It has had a profound impact on many people attending, in ways few of them expected.

So I’m willingly paying the £250 cost to be part of it. I’d encourage you to join us.

3 thoughts on “Conducting..

  1. IdeaFestival

    Business thought and Choir communication

    Like the idea of Joy as a Business Strategy and similarly comfortable at the intersection of business and the performing arts, here’s a thought: What can professional communicators learn from choral directors ?

  2. Brian SJ

    Conducting is NOT a performing art. Not even choral conducting. The performers are the ones making the noise. This has to be based on profound non-understanding of how to make music. There are enough bad conductors to provide critical mass for such nonsense but please don’t encourage it. If you want Joy, learn to sing.

  3. Johnnie Moore

    Hi Brian, thanks for bringing some energising controversy to this.

    First, it reminds me that there is an orchestra which doesn’t have a conductor, which certainly means we have to credit the players fully in that case. (I wrote about it h ref=””>here.

    Still, whether you like conductors or not, it seems to me we have to credit them with some part in the finished result. I assume you do, too, otherwise I’m not sure what criteria you have for labelling so many as bad. If there’s bad and good, there must be a difference.

    And they are, to my mind, self-evidently performing and it’s must be an art (unless you think it’s a science).

    As for the course, you’ve made your prediction and I suppose I’ve made mine!


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