eBook: The Learning Conductor


THE LEARNING CONDUCTOR -­‐ eBook by Thomas Caplin

What does it take to transform choral music from pleasant to magical? In his book The Learning Conductor Thomas Caplin examines the complex interaction between conductor and choir with a combination of professional expertise and dynamic involvement. Caplin’s comprehensive analysis brings to our awareness the many aspects involved in leading a choir, and offers singers and conductors alike revelatory new ways in which to create fantastic musical experiences together

You will find: Text, music, sound, video

From the book:

The entire process -­‐ learning to become a sincere and complete conductor is a long, yet exciting journey in which each new discovery, each new experience, is a learning process towards a new stage. The learning processes/development you undergo on such a journey must have its consequences for your choral work. it is an extensive process for the choir, too; it is therefore important to make sure you have your singers with you all the way on the journey.

Your luggage consists of four items: trust, time, adaptation and patience. Imagine a child learning to walk: To begin with his father holds both his hands, then just the one, and then he holds his hand close to the child -­‐ and finally he lets go altogether.

«The best leader is he who has the discernment to choose the right people to do what he himself would do, and the self-­‐restraint to resist interfering while they do it.» Theodore Roosevelt


Download Excerpt of The Learning Conductor

The book has a great deal of knowledge which is beneficial for students and conductors (both beginner and more advanced). A great advantage is that the interactiveness of the book allows the reader to understand concepts very easily through online interaction, making it both easier to understand and more contextual to our modern and technological society. In actual fact, it makes reading the book more of an activity and essentially makes it more fun. In the South African environment, especially currently, this is truly important as students can access the work anywhere and not be limited by non access to university resources. Several hapters in the book can be used for specific workshops offered by choral instructors from basic conducting to more thought provoking questions about what this actually is that we as choral conductors do. I Truly believe their is great value in this book and that its approach is fresh and well suited for an every changing choral leadership environment

Michael Barrett

Director of Choral Activities, University of Pretoria


About the author

 I received my education as a singer, conductor and choral pedagogue at the Royal Academy of Music in Copenhagen and at the Royal Academy of Music in Stockholm. Since 1989 I have been working at the Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences and today as professor in choral conducting and management I enjoy teaching musical leadership, mainly students in the music teacher training program.

For three decades I have had the privilege of sharing my thoughts and philosophies about choral leadership internationally as clinician, guest conductor and lecturer, with emphasis on the psychological/pedagogical aspects of choral leadership, coupled with the traditional perspectives of choral conducting. My encounters with young novices as well as established choral conductors around the world, have all given me the belief that the things my co-­‐authors and I talk about, meet a growing demand to a change in how we look upon the leadership of a choir. I do believe there is a real change – and hopefully this material will help those who pursue a holistic and democratic way leading the choir, in building an ever growing consciousness about it, through your own learning processes.

The many assignments as adjudicator in international choir competitions have also give me a strong incentive that this is important.

This book was first introduced to the Norwegian market in 1993, followed up by a Swedish edition in 2000. Revising it and translating it into English has been a long and useful process for me, and I now hope it will find its way to colleagues -­‐ and future colleagues -­‐ outside Scandinavia.

I hope you will find it useful for your purpose, whether you are the experienced conductor who should read the book from the back to front, or you are the curious novice beginning at the beginning of the book. Regardless, what it all boils down to is that leadership of a choir never is about you – it’s always about how you can help your singers into human and musical growth.

Thomas (www.thomascaplin.com)

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