Let’s all play pretending to be class orchestra conductors

Is an orchestra or choir conductor really necessary in an instrumental and choral group?

    School sections
    • Primary
    • Lower secondary school
    Educational subjects
    • Instrumental practice
    • Music and…

Let’s all play pretending to be class orchestra conductors

The activity-game "All Conductors" consisted in having all the students who expressed such desire to conduct the class orchestra, enabling them to experience the sonorities of the different musical instruments chosen, and at the same time to interiorize the concepts of forte, piano, near, distant, diminuendo, crescendo, a sound performed all together, and even silence all together. Once the students had become familiar with the gestures and sonorous production, the "conductor in turn" was encouraged to conduct the orchestra thinking of a theme. For this activity-game it was not necessary to perform written musical pieces, but it was possible to play even with sounds chosen freely, on the basis of the technical competences of each student.

Work tools

The work was conducted entirely in class: the space was organized in such a way that all the instruments at school were well exposed and visible, and at the students’ disposal. Moreover, the students brought from home other instruments of theirs, thus fostering even more the interest, participation and exploration of new musical instruments. Owing to this game, the musical activities, the climate of sharing materials, the respect of turns and the listening to the students’ ideas and proposals had all the same level of importance.

Educational purposes

The skills, goals and training objectives selected by the teacher for this experience are shown below.

    • Interpretation
    • Analysis
    • Comprehension
    • Execution
    • Improvisation
    • Composition
    Reading and Writing
    • Use of unconventional analogic music notation
    • Use of conventional analogic music notation
    • Learning to listen to oneself and to the others
    • Identify the constitutive elements of a simple piece of music
    • Listening, interpreting and describing pieces of music of different genres
    • Exploring, identifying and elaborating sound phenomena on the basis of quality, space and source
    • Exploring different expressive capacities of voice, musical objects and musical instruments
    • Producing timbre, melodic and rhythmic combinations applying basic schemes; executing them with the voice, the body and instruments (including IT tools).
    • Improvising freely and creatively gradually learning to master techniques and materials
    • Playing, alone or in group, simple vocal or instrumental pieces of music belonging to different genres and cultures, using also didactic instruments and self-made tools.
    Reading and Writing
    • Using analog and codified notation
Educational targets

The students learned how to:
- activate cooperation and socialization processes;
- acquire instruments of knowledge;
- enhance creativity and participation;
- develop the sense of belonging to a community;
- interact between different cultures;
- produce directly (exploration, composition, performance), with and on sonorous materials, in particular through ensemble music;
- develop and formulate personal, social and cultural meanings, with regard to facts, events, works of the present and of the past;
- play musical instruments;
- produce creatively;
- listen;
- understand and reflect critically;
- contribute to their psychophysical wellbeing, in the perspective to prevent unease, by answering needs, desires, questions;
- start reading and writing music through the experience of making music, producing it even through improvisation, understood as gesture and thought which is discovered the moment it occurs;
- compose at once;
- develop flexible, intuitive, creative thinking;
- participate in the patrimony of different musical cultures;
- use the specific competences of the subject to grasp meanings, ways of thinking, of living, and the values of the community to which they refer;
- express themselves and communicate through instruments and the specific techniques of their own language;
- become aware of their belonging to a cultural tradition and at the same time become familiar with, compare and respect the other cultural and religious traditions;
- establish interpersonal and group relations, based on shared practices and listening;
- develop an artistic sensitivity with regard to the interpretation of sonorous messages and pieces of art;
- increase their personal judgement and the level of aesthetic use of the cultural patrimony.


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