The course consists of a number of sessions spread over the academic year. Course Director Denise Ham leads a small class of participants, working on progressively challenging repertoire with pianists and ensemble. The sessions take place in London venues, within Zone 3, and normally run from 11:15am to 5:15pm.
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 accomplished musicians with at least some conducting experience and a level of familiarity with core orchestral repertoire, who are wishing to develop and refine their conducting technique. 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.
"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.
Sessions usually begin with group technique work, which observers are welcome to join in with. The focus then usually moves onto a specific piece, and participants work in turn with the pianists or ensemble through sections of the work, with feedback from the teacher and players.
We recommend bringing a score of the music. To find these, you could try a library, search imslp.org or buy from prestoclassical.co.uk or musicroom.com, or from your local music shop such as Chimes.