What makes the best …. Music Director?

What Makes The Best Music Director
Photo Credit: Jorge Franganillo via cc
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A good musician can play their instrument – well. They can interpret music and convey meaning to the audience to help them feel something during the listening. A good musician can even teach another musician how to do the same. A Music Director needs to have all of these skills and more. They need to be a leader and be able to guide others to their own level of excellence. A Music Director needs to know the show they are working on inside out and backwards, they need to be able to bring the music to life, while teaching those who may never have read music before how to convey what they are reading to an audience.
A Music Director is in the Director’s corner and has his/her back on the artistic decisions that affect the show. They know how to take that vision and translate it into the music and make it workable for the singers, dancers and the musicians. It’s not an easy task. It’s a lot of people with varying skills and levels of confidence. And a really great Musical Director – by the end of the show has made all of those involved feel like they’ve performed better than ever before.
Some Music Directors also assemble the band – most do, as a matter of fact. They source the parts for those musicians to play and sometimes even arrange or re-write those parts. Music Directors frequently deal with inadequate to illegible scores sent by publishing companies who seem to feel that music is less important and does not require any of their time or effort to make readable. It astonishes me the amount of times I’ve worked with a score that is rife with errors, typos, incorrect lyrics and musical “infractions”. While typos are bad, and really inexcusable from publishing companies, a typo in a music score has the potential to really derail any rehearsal – depending upon the level of confusion that the mistake can create. This can range from one note being out of place and deciphered by smart musicians in a matter of minutes, to entire songs having different lyrics and arriving in different keys for the instrumentalists who are playing or the vocalists who are singing the song! (And yet, the publishers still expect payment for these!?!). Here’s the deal, a really great Musical Director can solve all of these problems, or even head them off at the pass before the rest of the company even needs to deal with them.
It’s a big job – but somebody’s got to do it!
What makes the best …
Ceris Thomas is a creative person. She teaches by day – and finds as much creativity in her job as she can and by night, (and during every spare minute she has), she creates through directing/choreographing and performing plays, drawing, writing, podcasting and now, sewing puppets.
She likes to help others find and nurture their creativity and she loves finding out about other people’s path to their own creative projects. The Lovers, The Dreamers and You can be followed on twitter at@LoversDreamersU