Sunday, August 14, 2016

Conducting a great (pronunciation) class--according to Hazlewood!

If you haven't seen this phenomenal 2011TED talk by Charles Hazlewood--and you plan to be an even better (haptic pronunciation) teacher--this is definitely REQUIRED VIEWING! Hazlewood, one of the world's premier orchestra conductors, demonstrates beautifully both the "gestural" art of conducting and the central role of trust in the relationship between the conductor and the musicians. (The finale, from Haydn, alone is worth watching the talk for.)

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The parallel to what we do (or what we could do) is striking. One "problem" with pronunciation teaching is that it demands both serious risk taking on the part of the learner and the ability of the instructor to "conduct" the class in a atmosphere of genuine trust with strong musical overtones of rhythm and melody. Hazlewood's depiction of the "degrees of freedom" between the conductor and members of the orchestra is a fine analogy to what is foundational to any "great class". 


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