Feedback and Self Analysis Exercise
Everyone’s approach to leadership will be different and it can be a difficult to work out exactly how to get better at it. Of course, your intuition is an important tool, as are the relationships you have with musicians who work with you. Try to get feedback on this topic from someone you trust, as well as finding out whether they liked your tempo for the finale or your bowing suggestions in the slow movement.
Self Analysis Exercise
(Allow at least 30 minutes for the first part of this activity, but revisit it several times)
Carry out a self-analysis exercise on your leadership attributes. Give yourself a score from 1-10 on each of the seven attributes in this section, then ask friends and colleagues who know your work to do the same. This will help you work out where the weaknesses might be. Give it six months or a year and repeat the exercise.
Finally, YouTube is a great place to explore this topic further.
There is an excellent Ted Talk by the conductor Itay Talgam:
Here, the very funny but also very astute TwoSet violin discuss conductors:
There is an excellent series of DVDs called in Rehearsal and Performance on the Euroarts label and much of that material is available online.
Leadership is a crucial part of being a conductor. There are many individuals who will have to deal with a conductor as s/he develops a career – agents, orchestra managers, orchestra leaders, union officials, rank and file instrumentalists. You will soon find more material on the psychology of conducting and video interviews with various professionals who deal with conductors in the Careers Office section of the ConductIT website.