For students with a strong interest in conducting, Oberlin offers a five-year program combining graduate studies in conducting with an undergraduate major in performance, composition, music education, electronic and computer music, or musicology; students receive both the B.Mus. and the M.M. degrees.
Graduate studies in conducting may have an instrumental or a choral emphasis. Students interested in this program should consult with the conducting department during their freshman year. Upon successful completion of an audition, students formally enter this program at the end of their junior year.
Instruction in conducting includes courses in choral and instrumental conducting at the beginning and advanced levels. Baton and rehearsal techniques, score preparation, and interpretation are stressed. Advanced courses cover every aspect of the conductor's craft: harmonic and formal analysis, rhythmic security, aural imagery, knowledge of the instruments and voices, technique and vocabulary of gesture, group management and psychology, rehearsal techniques, and programming. Participating in student ensembles and assisting in their preparation for public performance is an essential part of the conducting curriculum.