May 08

Dr. Smedley’s Conducting Masterclass

Dr. Smedley Conducts us to Perfection!


On April 11, 2014 Dr. Smedley and the National Band Association was able to give a wonderful conducting masterclass focusing on rehearsal techniques.  There were five student conductors, two of those conductors are currently student teaching, who all gained much wisdom from this enlightening experience.  Here is some insight and knowledge gained from the student conductors themselves!

Andrew Rosenberger

The conducting and rehearsing masterclass hosted by the IU chapter of NBA was one of the most helpful things I have had the opportunity to experience. Not only was getting the chance to rehearse a full ensemble a new experience, but having the chance to be on the podium and having Dr. Smedley really show the intricacies of rehearsing an ensemble a great way to learn. I can definitely say I learned so much from that 90 minute masterclass, and most of the things I learned came from watching Dr. Smedley work with the other conductors. This is as close of a chance I will have to work with a band that resembles something like a high school setting. The only thing I regret is not getting more time to work with Dr. Smedley and the people playing in the ensemble!

Emily Rodeck

I found this spring’s conducting masterclass very valuable as a chance to identify my strengths and weaknesses in both conducting and rehearsing throughout the whole preparation process. I found where my score study and practice helped me while rehearsing with the ensemble. In a similar vein, I was also able to identify where I slipped up in my score study and preparation, and what I should work on improving in the future. It was also an excellent chance to refine my existing conducting vocabulary, and work on more varied gestures in a lab setting with a talented ensemble. I’m glad that I had the opportunity to participate in this masterclass!

Michael Ahearn

Conducting in the NBA master class was a completely different experience for me, because I have been student teaching all semester. It was difficult to come in and work with college students when I had been working with high school students all semester. However, this was one of the most beneficial things I did all semester. I was reminded that the use of facial expression is one of the best ways to get your musical ideas across, and how to use my words more effectively in rehearsal. I thought it was a great experience to just remind me of the basics of my conducting that I have forgotten since student teaching. Also, it really increases your awareness to work with an ensemble only one time. It causes you to really focus and try to make the most out of every second as opposed to having two months to work on a piece.

Raleigh Mostov

I’m so glad I had the opportunity to participate in this semester’s NBA Conducting Masterclass with Dr. Smedley. After already having conducting class with him, he knew where some of my faults were and helped me improve them, like having a bouncy wrist and getting my arms farther out. It was nice to have some individual attention and guidance from not only Dr. Smedley, but my peers in he audience. I received great feedback and constructive criticism, which is always appreciated! The ensemble sounded lovely and it was awesome to see how quickly they adjusted to my instruction. Thank you NBA for this great masterclass!


Sharla Stearn

I had a wonderful time working with Dr. Smedley in the NBA conducting masterclass. It was great way to get critiqued and get fresh ideas during my student teaching this semester. I learned that I need to make sure that students not only comprehend the analogies that I make, but also know how they relate to the music. The students can not be expected to read my mind! I thought this conducting masterclass was very helpful to take during my student teaching. This is because when music education majors go out to student teach, we focus less on conducting technique and more on teaching strategies. It was nice to revisit my conducting technique and be reminded of basic conducting fundamentals. I highly recommend every music education student to go to this masterclass. Not only is it good to take at the beginning of your college career, but also at the end.