Jessica Cottis, Conducting Fellow at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, talks about the challenges of being a young female conductor in a role which is predominantly performed by men. She describes how she achieved early success as a concert pianist before moving into conducting due to an injury. Jessica also discusses a typical week and how she manages a potentially overwhelming workload. The clip also features music by Sir Edward Elgar.
Use this clip to educate students about being a conductor and the skills that are required. Teach students how to conduct a simple 4/4 beat. Ask them to learn a simple tune on the keyboards such as 'Twinkle Twinkle Little Star', and then get students to take it in turns to conduct each other. Ask the students to describe how it felt to be the conductor and how it felt to be the performer. Reinforce the importance of performance markings in a piece of music to help with expression.