So, my generalised musings on this concept brought me, as such musings so often seem to do, to wonder about the dynamic between a director and their choir. Given that the conductor’s job is to bring a collection of individuals together so that they operate musically as a single, coordinated, entity, how do they leave those individuals with a sense of their own agency?
This is not a new question, either to this blog or my wider writings - it is in many ways the question that Mike Brewer and I addressed in the Cambridge Companion to Choral Music through the metaphor of the social contract. But it is always worth a fresh view, especially when you have a useful conceptual lens like locus of control to examine it through.
I am going to look through this lens at two different levels of magnification - first at the big picture of a director’s overall approach to decision making, then in finer detail at the specifics of what we do during the flow of rehearsal.