PT49: “Keys to a Successful Rehearsal,” with Donald Schleicher

Today Conductor Donald Schleicher shares his Keys to a Successful Rehearsal: Creating a Positive Rehearsal Environment, how to use your conducting to encourage listening within the ensemble, and the question you should ask yourself before every rehearsal.

As we gathered for our first discussion with Maestro Schleicher at last month’s ICI workshop in Boulder (hosted by Silas Huff), we expected a general Q&A over many topics. How surprised were we when he pulled out his briefcase and read us a list of prepared presentations he’s made at workshops around the world! They included Score Study, The 12 Ingredients for a Great Conductor, Opera, Rehearsal Technique, Winds for the non-wind conductor, Percussion for the non-percussionist, and more. He brought examples of his form charts for the score study discussion, his maps of every scene in Cosi and Boheme for the opera discussion, and a bulleted list of topics for every other. And how grateful was I when he allowed me to record this presentation on rehearsal technique for a special Podium Time Episode! 

Keys to a Successful Rehearsal:

  1. Creating a Positive Rehearsal Environment:
  2. How culture affects the orchestra’s view on rehearsals
  3. 4 Key success factors
  4. The question to ask yourself before every rehearsal
  5. Conducting the Positive
  6. Teaching younger groups to watch
  7. Tend to the physical environment
  8. On Tuning
  9. Meet an orchestra by gesture, not talk
  10. A trick to get orchestras back from break at the right time.
  11. The best rehearsers are the best practicers on their instrument
  12. Why you should self-study after each rehearsal
  13. Give your gestures with trust
  14. How to use your conducting to encourage listening within the ensemble
  15. The eyes are not as true as the ears
  16. You must have the ultimate confidence in the dress rehearsal
  17. Your relationships with the musicians
  18. Treat every group one level higher than they are
  19. How to conduct orchestras with a wide range of experience

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