We come to each rehearsal with various objectives, numerous musical ideas, and a plan to achieve those goals. As we progress through the rehearsal, are we teaching at the students or are we teaching and working with them? How can we help them develop their musicianship, listen more critically, and to work together better in the context of our rehearsals?
The vocabulary of non-verbal communication skills at our disposal on the podium is a gold mine waiting to be discovered. The gestures we use in our teaching/conducting create another layer of meaning and understanding for our students. If you have noticed, thought about, and made decisions about the music, you will have things to say and gestures to use.
As teachers, we influence our students in many ways. Probably the most influential method is our direct communication with them, both verbal and nonverbal. Don’t forget that conducting is communication!
In our rehearsals, we strive to open the lines of communication between us and our students. Throughout the rehearsal process, we can work to help our students create musical ideas, share independent thoughts, and lead their peers.