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Sound as Teacher | Growing the Conductor's Perceptual Mind | James Jordan

This book, among many other things, will attempt a drastic re-arrangement, of sorts, of the conductor’s perceptual apparatus. Listening is a complex act. Listening into sound, and even through sound, is a deeply personal, spiritual, and all-encompassing musical/life experience if we allow ourselves to fully enter into that experience. Sound can be our greatest teacher, life lesson sharer, truth teller, and human bonder unlike anything we can experience."

—James Jordan

In Sound as Teacher, James Jordan shares a new perceptual pedagogy for training conductors, which he discovered while teaching at the Choral Institute at Oxford, a program he co-directs with British composer James Whitbourn. This book focuses on imageries to guide conductors into a more multi-dimensional hearing process. The text outlines the framework of Jordan’s teaching at the Choral Institute at Oxford. Sound as Teacher focuses on various independent but related paradigms for hearing “into” sound. The principles presented in this book are useful to all conductors and teachers, regardless of the level of the ensemble. Among the principles discussed:

• Developing the ability to hear “into” sound for components beyond correct pitch and rhythm
• Hearing sound as a fluid medium
• Hearing into the spiritual content of sound
• Where one looks affects an ensemble’s sound
• How to connect with sound and people with the hands and body
• How to become aware of the neurological phenomenon of “feeling synesthesia”
• Visual imagery that immediately deepens a conductor’s ability to hear “into” sound
• Relationship between generosity and gesture

Chapter 1: Re-Engineering the Conductor's Perceptual Apparatus; Chapter 2: Creating Your Indwelling Sound; Chapter 3: Understanding Sacred Place; Chapter 4: Depth Perception: Boring Down; Chapter 5: Understanding Knitting; Chapter 6: Communicating through Breath: Sharing the Musical Idea; Chapter 7: Depthful Listening; Chapter 8: Sound as a Fluid Fantasy; Chapter 9: The Spiritual Void of the Rest; Chapter 10: Exhaling Ideas: Giving of Yourself to Others; Chapter 11: We Make Our Sock; Chapter 12: Looking Without Eyelids; Chapter 13: After-Image of Sound as Friend and Teacher; Chapter 14: Sound as Fluid Moving through Harmonic Space; Chapter 15: Looking into the Horizon of Sound; Chapter 16: Generosity; Chapter 17: The Imagery of Establishing a connection into Sound with Hands and Body; Chapter 18: The Musician and Conductor's Gift: Feeling Synesthesia; Chapter 19: We Belong to One Another; Chapter 20: A Final Perceptual Re-Adjustment