1st Edition

Expressive Conducting Movement and Performance Theory for Conductors

By Jerald Schwiebert, Dustin Barr Copyright 2018
    210 Pages
    by Routledge

    210 Pages
    by Routledge

    Expressive Conducting: Movement and Performance Theory for Conductors applies the insight of movement and performance theory to the practice of conducting, offering a groundbreaking new approach to conducting. Where traditional conducting pedagogies often place emphasis on training parts of the body in isolation, Expressive Conducting teaches conductors to understand their gestures as part of an interconnected system that incorporates the whole body. Rather than emphasizing learning specific patterns and gestures, this book enables student and professional conductors to develop a conducting technique that is centered around expressing the themes of the music.

    Drawing parallels to the worlds of acting, this text treats the body as the conductor’s instrument. Coaching notes derived from years of experience as a performance movement specialist offer readers approachable methods for eliminating communication barriers—both conscious and subconscious—to encourage optimal performance, highlighting acting theory, movement exercises and the significance of weight distribution. Unlike other conducting approaches, this text understands that conducting resonates throughout the entire body and is not conveyed by the hands or baton alone.

    With a comprehensive consideration of the conductor’s body and movements, featuring over 50 original illustrations, Expressive Conducting advances strategies for improving one’s conducting skills in rehearsal and performance. Jerald Schwiebert has developed a practical language for expressive conducting. Together, Schwiebert and Barr present a text that is suitable for conducting students, instructors, and professionals alike.

    Chapter 1 A Context for Expressive Conducting: Lessons from Drawing and Tai Chi

    Chapter 2 The Conductor’s Body

    Chapter 3 Moving with Availability

    Chapter 4 Performance Theory and Technique: Acting and Conducting

    Chapter 5 The Body Is Your Instrument: Maximizing Expression and Moving Weight

    Chapter 6 The Performance Sequence

    Chapter 7 Coaching Notes

    Chapter 8 Availability Exercises

    Chapter 9 A Language for Expressive Conducting


    Jerald Schwiebert is a performance coach and author, recently retired from the University of Michigan (emeritus) after more than twenty years on the faculty of the School of Music, Theatre and Dance. 

    Dustin Barr is Director of Bands and Assistant Professor of Music at California State University, Fullerton.