A short pilot study was designed to examine whether choral conducting in a rehearsal context, and the gestures (those gestures determined by the teacher–conductor as being effective) used in teaching an undergraduate conducting class are related. This idea that these contexts are related is widely acknowledged and supported within both choral conducting literature, and more general educational literature (Apfelstadt, 1997; Decker & Kirk, 1992; Durrant, 2003; Green, 1981; Roe, 1983; Thomas, 1979; Wis, 2002) but as yet, has not been subject to systematic research. To this end, a pilot observation took place in October 2005 at the Musikhochschule, in Stuttgart, South West Germany. The researcher used digital video to capture the hand gestures that the choral conductor used in a rehearsal, and secondly, in teaching an undergraduate conducting class. The research focused on determining and validating the observed gestures by seeking agreement from a panel of judges on (a) literally what the observed gestures were and (b) an interpretation of what the gestures were trying to convey. The evidence base embraced field notes and observation; video data; structured interviews with the conductor; and independent rating of the observation data. The research 2 foci were (i) to establish an appropriate research methodology and (ii) to determine whether there was any interrelationship and correlation between the conductor’s ‘gestures of rehearsal’ and the gestures that the students displayed in the conducting classes, namely, the transference of the conductor-teacher’s rehearsal gestures.
"The relationship between gesture and sound:
A pilot study of choral conducting behaviour in two related settings,"
Visions of Research in Music Education: Vol. 8, Article 4.
Available at: https://opencommons.uconn.edu/vrme/vol8/iss1/4