THE CONDUCTOR AND THE ENSEMBLE
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In my experience as a beginning conductor, I encountered some difficulties with self- emotional control and conflict with the ensemble members. When I was inexperienced, it was easy for me to be nervous and tense. Sometimes I lost the ability to control my temper and facial expression and couldn't communicate with the ensemble well enough. I was aware that the interaction between the conductor and the ensemble is a key element of efficient rehearsal and for successful music making. The conductor, as the one who stands in front of people, can affect the emotional involvement of the ensemble through his attitude and personality. That is why there exists a common perception regarding the power of the conductor. Because music has such an intimate relation with emotions, the emotional involvement is very important for music making. Music can display the human being's affection unreservedly and also arouse emotionality directly. Thus, if the conductor wants the ensemble members to be able to play the interpretation of the composer's intent, he needs to demonstrate it either through his own singing voice, description, or his conducting technique. If he is able to produce the correct emotional response from the ensemble, then they can perform with the "right" feeling for each particular piece. This dissertation discusses the practical psychological methods in rehearsal, and how the conductor can earn the respect and trust of the ensemble in order to bring out the maximum influence upon his ensemble, assuming he has excellent musicality and musicianship. If the conductor knows what is the quickest and best way to inspire his ensemble and really tries to create a "psychological bridge" to his ensemble, it will be a great help for efficient rehearsal. How do the ensemble members think? In Chinese proverb, "if you want someone follow you willingly, you need to know what is his favorite and dislike, then you can earn someone's heart." In order to investigate how ensemble members perceived their conductors and related to them, I conducted a survey of 153 students participating in performing ensembles at the University of Maryland between March 28th and April 1st, 2005. I created this survey by drawing questions from my research on this topic and refining them with input with from my adviser. The appendix A of the paper includes the results of the survey.