Dr. Hilary Apfelstadt led a very informative and insightful workshop that dug into the characteristics of what a mentor and model are and how they correspond with leadership. She discussed the various types of leadership such as professional versus personal and trait versus behavioral theories. For me, learning about these different types of leaders helped me pinpoint what traits I have within myself and what I need to focus on as I move forward in the field of choral music. A part of Dr. Apfelstadt’s presentation that I found very interesting was her thoughts on leadership in action.
This section of her presentation was based upon teachable moments or moments when the choral conductor is an educator, musician, scholar, and leader all at the same time. She broke this section into three different subsections: preparation, presentation, and evaluation. A similar breakdown is listed below:
-Need to have:
-Score study completed
-Score markings completed
-A rehearsal prep completed that will allow the rehearsal to flow
-Posture/stance of your students and yourself – am I being a good example for what I want my students to do?
-Realize how you are speaking to your ensemble
-Make eye contact with your students
-Is my outfit concert appropriate?
-What is the tone of voice I am using while speaking to my students?
-Tempo of speech?
-In what range am I speaking?
-Do the students know what I set out for them to know?
Dr. Apfelstadt also brought to our attention issues that may appear to be gender specific. She went into greater detail about different skills that women are supposedly more superior in, but she explained that women and men have equal amounts of struggles, just in different areas.
To close her workshop, Dr. Apfelstadt left us with some advice that her parents gave her when she was younger: “mind over matter” and “have grace under pressure.” These two quotes can mean many different things to everyone, but what she intended for us to get out of it was to not give up and to stay calm. We are all in this field for a reason and we are all passionate about what we do. If your passion is true, you will always have a reason to keep going. One of those reasons should be to continue to bring music to the youth of today.
-Caitlin Walton (Junior, Special Events Coordinator)
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