Conducting skills course

For many leisure-time music groups, it’s often the case that someone in the group with no formal training may step in and conduct a rehearsal as a one-off, and then suddenly find themselves permanently on the podium. Orchestras for All’s new online conducting skills development course can help to address this skills gap.

Making Music is delighted to be working in partnership with Orchestras For All (OFA) to help inspire ensemble leaders with the skills and confidence they need to work effectively with their group. We have been focusing on two particular aspects of ensemble leadership for leisure-time music groups.

  1. Conductors who are new to the podium and/or have received no formal training, who are looking to develop their skills and confidence;
  2. How conductors and leaders can help their groups to develop a sense of cohesiveness and team spirit, and encourage everyone involved to give and respond to feedback in an effective and co-operative way.

OFA has created the Conductors for Change online learning programme for conductors of instrumental groups who need support in the above areas. The course draws on the experiences of music leaders and teachers who work in or out of school, with young or leisure-time musicians.

Conductors of instrumental groups can access support and advice in a format that’s available 24/7, no matter where in the UK they are.

Conductors for Change course

The 10-module online course aims to give music leaders the tools, strategies and practical conducting techniques to set up a new instrumental ensemble, or develop an existing one.

The course has been developed with the support of a Paul Hamlyn Foundation Explore and Test grant, and has been designed as a comprehensive toolkit to enable music leaders to develop all the skills required to establish their own ensemble. 

The course covers: 

  • beginner to advanced conducting skills;
  • approaches to rehearsal leadership; and 
  • choosing repertoire and arranging parts
  • making rehearsals inclusive and accessible
  • learning by ear 
  • group composing

At each stage, the course helps the learner establish an inclusive leadership style that enables musicians of all musical backgrounds, instruments and skill levels to access and enjoy ensemble music-making.

Prices start at £25 for a single module. The introductory ‘Preparing to lead an ensemble’ module is free of charge, to give you a chance to test out what’s on offer before you pay. 

Find out more

We hope you find this Making Music resource useful. If you have any comments or suggestions about the guidance please contact us. Whilst every effort is made to ensure that the content of this guidance is accurate and up to date, Making Music do not warrant, nor accept any liability or responsibility for the completeness or accuracy of the content, or for any loss which may arise from reliance on the information contained in it.