We’re all different. But when it comes to the physical act of conducting, are you hot or cold? I always figured that the last thing a choir needs from me is a beat pattern. I mean, isn’t there something more pressing to communicate than that? Sadly, most amateur leaders I’ve seen are preoccupied with beating time; nice neat patterns, carefully cut in the air . . . one, two, three, four… as if the soul of the music was numerical!
But the soul of vocal music is bound up in words, and my earlier tips have dealt with just how important words are in the shape of a line and the meaning of the whole. Moreover, singers do not naturally reach for those words. They need to be SHOWN those words. They need to be COMPELLED to express those high points. They need to be made READY for those magical moments.
And that’s where a little flambé in your style comes in. Don’t be afraid of the heat! Your choir needs to be interested in what they’re doing. And you are the only one who can grab their interest, and channel their energy, and compel them into action. You do this with your face, your eyes, your stance, and your gestures. None of this can happen with a frozen body, coldly taking ‘the pulse’ of the piece while your patient dies! Fortunately, before death occurs, future tips will reveal some hot moves that will help warm you up… or at least begin to free you up.