Beyond the Baton Conducting Workshop


Communicating Music Through Gestures
By Diane Wittry


Table of Contents


Section 1. The Body
            The Conducting Space
            Body Posture
            The Feet
            Grounding the Lower Body
            The Waist and Back
            Lifting the Ribcage and Opening the Chest
            The Head
            The Shoulders
            The Arms
            The Wrist and Fingers
            The Face and Eyes
            Overall Presence

Section 2. Motion and Gestures
            Impact and Release
            Gestures You Already Know           
                        The Downward Gesture
                        The Upward Gesture
                        Sideways Gestures
                        Motions Outward
                        Motions Inward
                        Circles, Arcs, Free Motion
            Preparatory Beats
            Developing the Left Hand

Section 3. Connecting with the Sound
            The Conducting Strike Zone
            The Table of Sound
            Placement of Your Arm and Hand
            Conducting with Your Hand
            Conveying Pulse
            The Baton
            Basic Conducting Patterns
            Baton Exercises
            Right and Left Hand Independence
Section 4. Applying and Combining Gestures
            Starting the Ensemble
            Controlling the Sound
                        Instrument Characteristics
                        The Left Hand
                        Accents and Syncopation
                        Cues and Cutoffs
                        Lifts , Rests, Holds, and Releases
                                    Lifts and Caesuras
                                    Rests and Recitatives

Section 5. Controlling Tempo and Volume
            Going Faster and Slower
                        Selecting the Tempo
                        Showing the Tempo
                        Tempo Relationships
                        Changing the Tempo
                                                Merged Beats
            Shaping Dynamics
                        Showing Dynamics
                                    Size, Weight, and Placement
                        Changing Dynamics
                                    Sudden Dynamic Changes
Section 6. Becoming Centered           
            The Breath
            Centering the Body           
            Finding Stillness
            Living in the Moment                       
            Tuning in to the Universe

Section 7. Making Music
         Communicating the Music
                        Conveying Emotions
                        Communicating Character
                        Guiding with a Light Touch
            Conducting Considerations           
                        Score Study
                        Rehearsal and Concert Preparation
                        Do's and Don'ts           
            Inspired Leadership
                        Building Trust
                        Establishing the Right Environment
                        Flexibility - the Secret to Success
                        Developing your Career
            Putting it all Together

         Outline of Body Relaxation Exercises
            Conducting Diagram Charts
            Useful Links and Resources
                        Baton Makers
                        Book Recommendations
                                    Conducting Books
                                    Music Repertoire
                                    Music Reference
                                    Non-profit Management
                                    Fundraising and Grants
                                    Marketing and Social Media
                        Music Organizations
                        Other Websites                       

Baton Basics Companion Website

We are pleased to announce the companion Website for Baton Basics - Communicating Music Through Gestures. This website features over 60 videos of the conducting exercises in the book. Each of these video examples is marked in the book with this symbol (INSERT SYMBOL). As you read through Baton Basics, you can refer to these videos for clarification of all of the exercises. I hope this will make everything easier to understand and give you a model that will enhance the learning process.



Baton Basics

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