The Department of Liturgical Music of the Orthodox Church in America will inaugurate an on-line course in Basic Choral Conducting for beginners or for those who are currently conducting a choir but have not completed a formal conducting course.
Class sessions will be devoted to demonstrating basic conducting technique, beginning with elementary conducting patterns and concluding with an emphasis on conducting liturgical chant. This course will be offered on a trial basis to interested singers and beginning choir directors in the Diocese of New York-New Jersey during the last three months of 2012. The course will be offered nationwide in 2013.
Basic Choral Conducting is an asynchronous on-line course, meaning that the class sessions are not fixed at a set time period. Once the session is posted on the website, learners in the class can participate at a time of day that is convenient. Class meets at no particular time, is of no specific length, and the learners do not need to be on-line together at any particular time. However, it is expected that the learner will have completed all the readings and assignments and is proficient in the conducting exercises by Thursday of the week in which each session has been posted. The learner should plan on spending at least a half-hour to an hour per day practicing the conducting exercises assigned in each session.
The course will be taught by David Drillock, Professor Emeritus of Liturgical Music at Saint Vladimir’s Seminary and currently the chairperson of the Department of Liturgical Music. Dr. Mark Pearson, who designed the on-line course format, will provide technical support and program assistance. Dr. Pearson is Instructional Technologist and Designer at Earlham College where he manages all aspects of the college’s Moodle Learning Management System.
Each learner will be required to meet interactively with the instructor via Skype weekly for 20 minutes. These sessions will provide an opportunity for each individual learner to demonstrate his or her comprehension of each session and the ability to perform the conducting exercises correctly. At these interactive meetings, the learner will receive necessary feedback from the instructor, together with helpful suggestions for improvement. Such one-on-one real time Skype sessions will also enable the instructor to provide extra help and answer specific questions.