MUSC 4240: Advanced Instrumental Conducting at Utah State University, Thomas P. Rohrer, instructor
Utah State University
Department of Music
MUSC 4240: Advanced Band Conducting
The course covers techniques, procedures, materials, and philosophies appropriate to the motor skill of conducting and the pedagogy of rehearsal techniques with a band. Upon completion of the course, the student should be able to demonstrate techniques in music selection, score analysis, conducting gesture, instrument pedagogy, and rehearsal techniques to lead a wind and percussion ensemble in literature, grades I-IV. Further, this course is considered the culmination of the instrumental pedagogy in the music education sequence; thus, it is expected that students have taken all instrumental techniques courses or their equivalents. Finally, admission to the Secondary Teacher Education Program (STEP) is a requirement, and students are recommended to complete MUSC 3240 (Instrumental Methods) prior to this course.
Course. The course consists of lab-oriented playing sessions with periodic lectures and also includes in-class projects, quizzes, homework assignments, and active participation in classroom activities. The course is an organic process, the pace of which depends on insightful discussion and varied topics; thus, the course schedule is flexible, depending on the progress in successive classes, and the topics and assignments may not fall on the exact days scheduled. Variations in schedule and subsequent assignments will be communicated during appropriate class sessions.
*Instrumental Conducting Ensemble. In order to have the best ensemble for the lab sessions, students enrolled in MUSC 4240 for 2 credits will be supplemented by a 1 credit ensemble course (MUSC 4930-019). Students enrolled exclusively in the ensemble will be players in the ensemble while “conductors”—those enrolled in MUSC 4240—will also play when not conducting. There may be performance opportunities with the ensemble during student recital time (12:30 on Tuesday/Thurs). The I.C.E. will not meet on all days, based on needs of individual conductors.
If a student has a disability that will likely require some accommodation by the instructor, the student must contact the instructor and document the disability through the Disability Resource Center preferably during the first week of the course. Any request for special consideration relating to attendance, pedagogy, taking of examinations, etc., must be discussed with and approved by the instructor. In cooperation of the Disability Resource Center, course materials can be provided in alternative formats—large print, audio, diskette, or Braille.
Acts of Academic Dishonesty
Cheating includes intentionally: (1) using or attempting to use or providing others with any unauthorized assistance in taking quizzes, tests, examinations, or in any other academic exercise or activity; (2) depending upon the aid of sources beyond those authorized by the instructor in writing papers, preparing reports, solving problems, or carrying out other assignments; (3) substituting for another student, or permitting another student to substitute for oneself, in taking an examination or preparing academic work; (4) acquiring tests or other academic material belonging to a faculty member, staff member, or another student without express permission; (5) engaging in any form of research fraud.
(available at the university bookstore)
Evaluation Methods and Procedures
1. Daily Assignments. Daily grades are recorded for each class session. Students receive points for each class unless they are absent or assignments are not completed. These grades may include frequent unannounced and timed quizzes that cannot be made up. Students are expected to demonstrate a working knowledge from techniques classes, and daily grades will depend on basic competence on the instruments. Late students will not be permitted extra time.
2. Conducting. There will be many opportunities to demonstrate conducting/rehearsal techniques during in-class labs. Each student will receive percentage points (0-100%) for each podium visit (preparation and execution). Total points given will be the mean percentage of all visits times the total possible points.
*3. Notebook. Each student will organize and submit all class notes, handouts, and other materials in a notebook. It should include a table of contents that allows quick reference to any subject area. The content, neatness, organization, and spelling will be evaluated in the grading process.
4. Final Exam. A comprehensive final exam will be given during the final exam time.
5. Attendance. Given that this course is part of the teacher preparation sequence, a policy similar to—yet more lenient than—a typical school system is used. Whatever the academic grade of the student in the course, each absence AFTER THE THIRD—FOR ANY REASON—lowers a student’s grade one additional letter (minus 47 points [-23.5 for tardies]). One tardy lowers a student’s grade by 1/2 grade (2 tardies = 1 absence), and students arriving more than fifteen minutes late are considered absent. Students arriving late should report to the instructor after that class to ensure that they were not marked absent. According to university policy, university excused absences must be made in writing at least a week in advance. Deadlines are enforced.
* The content, neatness, organization, and spelling will be evaluated in the grading process, and typewritten submissions are considered neater than those that are handwritten; full credit cannot be expected unless typewritten.
Evidence of scholarly level of work appropriate for a college-level student. This includes correct spelling, well constructed sentences, and sincere effort in class participation and preparation. In addition, attendance/punctuality consistent with that of a responsible music educator is a minimum requirement.
Total possible score for the semester = 700 points
Factors That Can Sustain or Improve a Grade
Motivated class participation demonstrated by regular attendance and regular participation in class projects.
Preparing assignments before each class meeting.
Improvement as the semester progresses.
Factors That Can Lower a Grade
Unexcused absences: A grade of "zero" will be recorded for a daily and/or quiz grade on that day.
Further, an absent student cannot participate in class activities.
©2005, Thomas P. Rohrer
©2005 Thomas P. Rohrer
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