Charisma Workshop FAQs

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sistene149Here are the answers that people have asked so far about the Conduct with Charisma workshop next November.

How does this workshop compare to the previous one? Is it a repeat, or is it a sequel? This session is aimed at the people who weren't able to come to the last one, and so will use the same outline structure and will assume no prior knowledge. It will inevitably develop somewhat differently, however, with a different set of participants - interactive events can never be exact repeats!

Is it just for choral directors? Can orchestral conductors come?
Orchestral conductors will certainly find it meaningful for their work. The practical examples will largely be focused on choral rather than instrumental conventions, but the two disciplines are close enough that transferring the insights won’t be hard. And quite a lot of the material will apply to both equally.

Is it just for musicians? Can business leaders come?
This is starting to be a bit of a stretch. The theory will be useful, but the practical examples assume shared experience in musical leadership, and may be difficult to understand without it. Whilst there is quite an established literature on what business can learn from conductors, a better way to access it would be to book a workshop dedicated to that subject and interest group. Feel free to get in touch to discuss possibilities!

Is lunch included?
Yes, and coffee on arrival. Please let me know when you book of any special dietary requirements.

How many people will be there?
The workshop is designed for a minimum of 5 and a maximum of 15 participants. It needs enough people to bring a variety of viewpoints and ideas to the discussions, but few enough that everybody can interact with each other.

What do I need to bring with me?
A notebook and pen will be useful. There will be some handouts for both exercises and information summary, but you’ll probably want to make notes from your own perspective too.

What if I need to cancel?
Cancellations before 10 November 2012 will be refunded minus a £10 admin fee. No refunds will be issued after 10 November.

Will there be another workshop if I can’t make this one?
Yes, I'll keep running them as long as there is demand for them. Please let me know if you are interested, so I can check dates with you when I schedule the next one.

What’s the deal with trying to teach charisma? Isn’t it something you just have or you don’t?
I knew somebody would ask that. That’s why one of my first blog posts on the subject looked at that question. Executive summary: it’s more learnable than some people would have you think, but the workshop isn’t offering some kind of magical transformation or personality make-over either. Read the whole article for more details.

What qualifies you to offer this workshop?
Charisma has been the main focus of my research since my book on choral conducting came out in 2009. If you spend much time researching conducting, you keep bumping up against the notion of charisma, but it’s usually one of those things that’s put in a little box marked ‘Magic: don’t think about too much’ – which isn’t helpful for those of us out there dealing with the practicalities of leading choirs.

It was also a practical question I was discussing with advanced performance students in my weekly Postgradute Performance Classes when I worked at the Birmingham Conservatoire. Witnessing and analysing several performances per week taught me so much about how the way a musical event is framed affects the emotional experience. (I hope my students learned something about this too :-)

So I’ve been pursuing the question of what charisma is, and how it works, through a combination of theoretical research and practical observation for some time now. Check out my blog for a taste of the aspects I have been exploring.

Of course, musicians are a creative bunch, and will no doubt dream up a range of other questions that nobody else has asked yet. Please feel free to get in touch either through the comments or by email/phone to ask them!

Hi Liz, very interested in your planned workshops on 'Charisma' but can't make the one coming up in January 2012. Hope there will be another one planned for later on in the year? Kind regards, Nova

Hi Nova,

Thanks for letting me know. I'll be very happy to run repeat events for those who are interested, so it's good to know there's a call for them!


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