Fermatas - 10/5/2007
Today went better than I expected. The coordination between left and right hand is still tough for me, but as my right hand pattern becomes more ingrained, I am able to pay more attention to my left hand and my breathing. I feel that the changes I've made in my pattern have been pretty successful. I was able to keep my pattern in a fairly small space, and use more of the horizontal plane.
The rolling stop fermata was definitely the hardest for me, as it seemed to be for the class. Matt and Andrew had some great insights into what works and what doesn't. I didn't notice that I was tending to "curl around" with both hands, which leads the choir to interpret a cut-off. It's very interesting to me how conducting gestures are interpreted by the choir. My assumption before this class was that large gestures were needed. It's fascinating to see that very subtle moves can be more effective. If I'm conducting a large pattern, and gesticulating grandly with my left hand, there is nowhere for me to go if I want to emphasize a certain part of the score. Also, it becomes much harder to keep control when the pattern is large.
One other really good lesson I took from today is the idea of setting myself up for what comes after the fermata. I need to be in a position with my hands such that I can begin the next beat clearly. I thought the two-handed horizontal move when the fermata is on beats 1&2 of a 4 pattern worked well.
Overall, I was very impressed by my classmates. Again, it was reassuring to see that many of us struggled with the same issues - mostly the rolling stop, and coming back into the next beat.