Do you think it possible for a conductor without an accredited college
degree to make it to the profession as a conductor? Would it be feasible for one to “apprentice” with a conductor such as yourself?
There are many stories of people who achieve great success without formal education. They are the rare exceptions. Formal education is of great importance and must not be underestimated.
I would say that without the study of harmony, counterpoint, form and analysis, orchestration, composition, different musical instruments, etc., it is far more difficult to be a conductor. Other studies that would directly relate to your success are languages, history, mathematics, and philosophy, not to mention an insight into psychology.
That said, as in the case of stage directors or impresarios, you can spend time with 10 different conductors and get 10 different stories as to how they arrived at the final goal. Outside of certain special programs run under grants, there are no real “apprenticeships” in the profession. But the jobs of chorus master, rehearsal pianist, and assistant conductor have all been part of the career ladder for various conductors.
There are other messages in our archives regarding conductor training, click here for the summary of subjects.
©2001 by Joseph Rescigno. The text here may be freely reproduced for non-commercial purposes as long as credit is given.
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