Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

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Teacher as Music Conductor


Bill Lowe,

The Big and Phat Jazz Orchestra
Boston, MA

"The real emphasis of jazz is that you don't really need a leader. And you do. The best leader disappears when the music is happening because he or she has demonstrated to the group that the leadership can take place anywhere. For example, the fourth trombone might have to be the leader in a particular part of the tune. Later on it'll be the lead trumpet. Later on it'll be the second saxaphone. It goes from person to person. The good conductor understands that's happening and encourages that to happen …"

Listen to an audio clip.

Music Conductor 1 Quicktime (.mov) audio (496K) or
Music Conductor 1 Real Audio (.ram)

"Sometimes the magic works. And sometimes it doesn't. When the magic doesn't work, when things fall apart, the good conductor is aware of that. And in a very forceful, but not arrogant way, in a very loving way, and in a very directive way, puts things back into perspective."

Listen to an audio clip.

Music Conductor 2 Quicktime (.mov) audio (300K) or
Music Conductor 2 Real Audio (.ram)

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"The jazz conductor tries to bring out the important parts of each voice."

Teacher on the Street


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