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Choral Conducting Today

Curate, Create, Communicate, Connect


This fortnightly course is intended for conductors and choir leaders at all stages of their development.

Using a "mind, body, spirit, voice" approach, conductors will develop a range of competencies to ensure success when leading choirs of all ages, abilities and types (school, community, youth, church). The various sessions will address topics such as conductor as animateur, score study and how it prepares us, the relationship of gesture to sound, reflective practice for conductors, and how to be a vocal model.

To facilitate "learning by doing", participants will act as choir-in-residence for the course duration, and the course content will be designed specifically to meet participants' needs.


6 x sessions with 5 reflective weeks in-between

1st session: Sunday 25th September 2.00 – 5.00 PM

2nd session: Sunday 9th October: 2.00 – 5.00 PM

3rd session: Sunday 23th October: 2.00 – 5.00 PM

no session on Sunday 6th of November (due to Mid-Term closure)

4th session: Sunday 13th November: 2.00 – 5.00 PM

5th session: Sunday 20th November: 2.00 – 5.00 PM

6th session: Sunday 4th December: 2.00 – 5.00 PM

(The above sessions are 2.5 hours each plus break times)

Learning Outcomes

Participants will learn:

  • to curate and create a path for successful communication and connection through conducting gesture
  • the foundational importance of breath
  • how to study and mark a score to aid embodiment
  • to create lesson plans, warm-ups and gestures directly related to the score
  • to build non-verbal communication skills that allows participants to be the conductor and listener their singers so richly deserve 


Ability: No pre-requisite but currently engaged with a choir (either online or in person) or willing to organise a group of singers to work with

Age: 18 +

Tech: PC or laptop, internet (to access course content on Moodle)


Mary Amond O’Brien is a passionate and highly motivated choral music facilitator, animateur and conductor who strongly believes in the innate singing ability of all children, young people and adults. Currently Choral Director of RTÉ Cór na nÓg & Cór Mary also works with non-auditioned singers and choirs notably Aspiro (Carlow) ’97-2020, who alongside demonstrating the power of group singing to connect, excite, challenge and transform singers and their audiences continuously achieved high standards of performance amid evolving membership.


Following a degree in music education (Trinity College Dublin and DIT Conservatory of Music) and a master’s degree in choral conducting (Royal Irish Academy of Music), Lynsey Callaghan undertook a PhD in medieval musicology in Trinity College Dublin, Ireland. Lynsey is the Head of Programmes and Research at the Royal Irish Academy of Music. Lynsey is passionate about providing opportunities for excellence in youth choral music.

She is the Director of the Belfast Philharmonic Youth and Chamber Choirs. In October 2017, Lynsey founded Dublin Youth Choir. Dublin Youth Choir aims to fill the regional gap in incremental choral music education in Dublin. As both the Belfast Philharmonic Youth and Chamber Choirs and Dublin Youth Choir share a philosophy of music education that is inspired by Kodály, the development of musicianship is at the heart of the work of both organisations. The Belfast Philharmonic Youth and Chamber Choirs and Dublin Youth Choir have joined together for a number of projects as the Cross Border Youth Choir.

Since developing her pedagogical and musicianship skills at the Kodály Institute in Hungary, Lynsey has worked as a musicianship tutor for the National Youth Choirs of Great Britain, Irish Youth Choir, Ulster Youth Choir and Youth Choir Kenya. She was conductor of the Ulster Youth Junior Choir in 2018. Lynsey is Music Director of Tallaght Choral Society. She has also worked as chorus master for Chamber Choir Ireland, Ireland’s flagship professional choir.

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