Junior High Band
Conducting Tips


A conductor must become adept at communicating tempo, style, dynamics, and phrasing with his baton, his eyes, his body and especially his hands. A conductor who beats the time pattern with both hands or has his head buried in the score limits the amount of help he can give his students.

It is not necessary to conduct without a score, but one should know the score well enough to look up before important entrances to prepare the students to come in and to play correctly. (Those important entrances happen often.) Students are often asked to watch the conductor. Conductors should also be looking at the students. When eye contact is made students usually play more confidently.

Not only is the conductor leading the band he is also directing the listening of the audience. He does that by facing or pointing to those who are playing the melody. He can also prepare the audience for sudden changes by preparing himself physically and conducting confidently.

Video Disclaimer

The attached videos are not perfect examples of how each tune should be played. They are recordings of junior high students, some of whom have had their instruments for only a few months. Also, they are not professional recordings. They were taken by band parents using home equipment and naturally focusing on their own children.

I include them for two reasons: (1) To give you an idea of what the arrangements are like, and (2) To illustrate the kind of performance you can expect from your junior high students.