Where and when does it happen?
The course takes place one day each fortnight during term time, from 11:15am to 5:15pm (with a break at 1:15).
The venue is Charlton House, a 400 year old Jacobean manor house and concert venue in Greenwich, London. See map & directions.
Who studies on the course?
The course is open to any musician wishing to develop their conducting, for working with professional, amateur or student orchestras or choirs.
Students are generally musicians with at least some conducting experience, wishing to develop and refine their conducting technique. However, since the course provides comprehensive technical training, previous conducting experience is not essential - good musicianship is much more important.
Past students of Denise include many professional conductors, film and concert composers, music college professors, ensemble and band leaders, and orchestral musicians.
Who observes the course?
"Having limited experience and wanting to expand my knowledge of conducting, I signed up to observe Denise Ham's classes at the London Conducting Academy. I have learnt so much already after the first term, benefitting from Denise's technical expertise and experience and being able to take part in technique sessions. The fantastic teaching combined with a friendly atmosphere have made the course enjoyable and worthwhile."
- Felicity, observer
Anyone interested in learning more about the art and technique of conducting can observe the course. Observers include music students, those interested in classical music, conductors, teachers and performing musicians.
Observing the course is a great way to learn how a conductor communicates aspects of music like phrasing, emotion, timing, character, density, structure, counterpoint and melody; the conductor's responsibilities and methods, from their own practise to rehearsal to concert; score-reading and learning technique; managing a rehearsal.
Observers are welcome to join in with the group technique work at the start of each session, or simply to watch.
What happens in each session?
Sessions begin with group technique work, which observers are welcome to join in with. The focus then usually moves onto a specific piece, and the eight enrolled students work in turn with the pianists or ensemble through sections of the work, with feedback from the teacher and players.
What should observers bring?
Up to eight students each year are accepted onto the course.
As part of our observers' programme, training is open for anyone interested to watch - whether a trained musician or not.
We are happy to offer a free day to new observers, to get a taste of the course.
All observer tickets are available as gifts.
Use within a calendar year of purchase.
ID required for student discount.
"After doing a number of weekend conducting workshops and week long masterclasses both in London and Budapest, I decided that I needed a conducting course that lasted much longer and was more progressive if i was to really improve my conducting technique. I could not have made a better decision than to put myself in the hands of Denise Ham and the other excellent tutors at the London Conducting Academy - within a matter of weeks my conducting had changed radically and I realised that by the end of the course I would emerge a much better conductor indeed.
Catching the early morning flights back and forth from Belfast to London has been absolutely worth it, as the marvellous repertoire has been varied and the tuition extremely informative. The atmosphere and class setting, not to mention the friendships made has made for a very memorable experience. My only regret is that a course like this didn’t exist when I first started conducting."
- Gary Shields M.A (Mus) - Ormeau Concert Band, Aughnaskeagh Silver Band, Lisburn Young Defenders and Roses Lane Ends temperance Flute Bands
Repertoire & tutors
September 2016 - July 2017
13/10 Schubert - Symphony no 5 in B flat (Denise Ham)
3/11 Dvorak - Symphony no 8 in G (Denise Ham)
17/11 Dvorak - Symphony no 8 in G (Denise Ham)
1/12 Puccini - Intermezzo from “Manon Lescaut”, Sì, mi chiamano Mimì’ from La Bohème, Act 1,‘Un bel dì’ from Madama Butterfly (Toby Purser)
12/1 Score-learning techniques (John Longstaff)
26/1 Mendelssohn - Overture & Incidental Music to a Midsummer Night’s Dream (Denise Ham)
9/2 Mendelssohn - Overture & Incidental Music to a Midsummer Night’s Dream (Denise Ham)
23/2 Strauss - Till Eulenspiegel (Christopher Seaman)
9/3 Tchaikovsky - Symphony no 6 in B minor “Pathetique” (Denise Ham)
23/3 Tchaikovsky - Symphony no 6 in B minor “Pathetique” (Denise Ham)
19/4 Beethoven - Symphony no 3 in E flat “Eroica” (Denise Ham)
4/5 Beethoven - Symphony no 3 in E flat “Eroica” (Denise Ham)
18/5 Beethoven - Symphony no 3 in E flat “Eroica” (Denise Ham)
8/6 Brahms - Violin Concerto (Denise Ham)
22/6 Stravinsky - Le Sacre du Printemps (Robert Houlihan)
6/7 Brahms - Violin Concerto (Denise Ham)
Soloist: Alexander Janiczek
Repertoire & tutors for September 2017 - July 2018
Denise Ham • Toby Purser • John Longstaff • Colin Metters • Mark Wigglesworth
Bartok - Dance Suite • Beethoven - Symphony no 8 in F • Britten - Four Sea Interludes • Debussy - L’apres-midi d’un faune • Dvorak - Cello Concerto (soloist: Thomas Carroll) • Mozart - Symphony no 35 in D “Haffner” • Smetana - Ma Vlast: Die Moldau • Strauss - Overture “Die Fledermaus” • Tchaikovsky - Serenade for strings • Wagner - Suite from “Die Meistersinger” - Prelude Act III, Dance of the Apprentices, Prelude Act I
Thursday 21 Sep (closed to observers)
Thursday 5 Oct (closed to observers)
Thursday 19 Oct
Thursday 9 Nov
Thursday 23 Nov
Thursday 7 Dec
Tuesday 9th Jan
Thursday 25 Jan
Thursday 8 Feb
Thursday 1 Mar
Thursday 15 Mar
Thursday 29 Mar
Thursday 19 April
Thursday 3 May
Thursday 17 May
Thursday 7 June
Thursday 21 June
Thursday 5 July
LONDON CONDUCTING ACADEMY is the professional conducting course from Greenwich Music School, led by Denise Ham.