On Teaching Conducting

Alan Hazeldine
Alan Hazeldine started his teaching career as a school teacher in Glasgow being promoted to the post of special assistant in Allan Glenn's School within his first two years. He also taught as a peripatetic brass teacher in other schools around Glasgow; trombone was his first orchestral instrument.

After his training as a conductor he was offered some hours of teaching at the Guildhall School of Music in addition to his work as Musical Director of the drama college. He started as a general musicianship teacher, taking small groups in a tutorial capacity, but is now in charge of all conducting training offered by the college. Under his direction a course has evolved whereby all second year students are given classes as a standard part of the second year of their B.Mus. course. They can go on, in third and fourth year, to take classes and individual lessons as an option; many do.

In addition to classes where the students are directly taught, Alan Hazeldine has developed a scheme whereby students have the opportunity to arrange and conduct their own concerts thus having the opportunity to 'learn' as well as being 'taught'. The students are given use of rehearsal space, use of the concert hall and parts material. They have to fix the individual players themselves and, with guidance, organize and run the the rehearsal schedule; this involves quite a steep learning curve indeed but many students do very well in this system and they learn much about human behavior as well as music - all essential to the emerging conductor.

The system would appear to be effective as one of the Alan Hazeldine's students was joint first prize winner in the recent Donatalla Flick International Conducting Competition in the Barbican with the London Symphony Orchestra whilst others have won the competition for the assistantship of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and the BBC conducting competition

Under the ausices of the British Council Alan Hazeldine was invited to give a series of classes at the the Bulgarian State Conservatoire which were given in conjunction with a concert he gave in Sofia at the same time. He was guest teacher at the International Workshop for Conductors and Practical Course for Conductors organised by Symphonic Workshops Ltd. These took place in the Czech Republic with the co-operation of the Bohuslav Martinu Philharmonic Orchestra. He expects to go back to the Czech Republic next year.

Alan Hazeldine also teaches privately, both conducting and piano, and has a studio in his apartment with two pianos and a video system which lets the students view their hands from different angles. This aids instruction very much indeed.