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Class Overview

In this class, students will learn conducting techniques, including basic beat patterns for each time signature (simple, compound, and asymetrical), hand independence motions, and other hand signals. We will read full scores of band, orchestra, and choral music, and learn how to scan the page for the important musical details. Students will also learn about transposition in order to read the transposing musical instruments in a band score.

Students will sometimes conduct along with recordings, and other times will take turns conducting the other students in class.

Classes and Levels

This class is a fun, hands-on introduction to conducting techniques. Students may enroll in this class multiple years, as the music being conducted each year will be different.

Ages and Prerequisites

Because this class requires students to look at band, orchestra, or choral music scores, as well as read and understand the notation, students should be of high school age and have at least an intermediate level of proficiency on any instrument or voice.

Class Size

This class can hold unlimited students, but has a minimum enrollment of 7. If fewer than 7 students enroll for the class, the class may be cancelled.


Students are expected to complete assignments each week. Assignments may include practicing conducting patterns, reading ensemble scores, watching videos, or listening to recordings.


There is no required performance for this class. However, students who show an interest in conducting may have the opportunity to conduct a piece of music with one of the FAYM ensembles at the final concert. *This decision will be made by the ensemble directors near the end of the semester, and is not a guaranteed experience for all students.

Required Books and Materials

All class materials will be handed out at the first class, and the materials fee will be added to your account.

Each student will get a baton and a packet of scores and handouts to use in class. This entire packet of materials will likely range in price from $10-25.

Students should plan on bringing an instrument to class, whether their main instrument or a secondary instrument. Voice students are not required to bring an instrument, but may be encouraged to play a few notes on a keyboard to follow along.

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