Real time and virtual: tracking the professional development and reflections of choral conductors

Colin Durrant, Maria Varvarigou


Professional development in conducting is inconsistent across the U.K., leading to a lack of confidence amongst teachers. This paper outlines the continued tracking of the professional development of choral conductors in their skills, knowledge and perceptions of their own progress. The course Choral Conducting, Leadership and Communication takes place over some five months during the spring and summer terms at the Institute of Education, University of London. The students on the course are a mix of i) those on a one year postgraduate initial teacher education programme (PGCE), ii) full- or part-time students on an MA in Music Education Programme and iii) those serving teachers who take it as a non-award bearing CPD course. Students attend four one day practical conducting workshop seminars and are also required to study on-line in a virtual learning environment in the intervening periods. Here they reflect on practice during the face-to-face teaching sessions and in their own professional context through up-loaded video extracts. In addition they retrieve other appropriate study materials and are required to peer assess and form small support groups in discussion forums. This paper describes the progressive development of inclusion of a virtual learning environment (over the period of two years) and the outcomes of this innovative approach to teaching choral conducting which supports face to face teaching.

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Editor-in-Chief: Prof Norbert Pachler
UCL Institute of Education, University College London
ISSN 1746-9082

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