ANCA has put in place a program of mentors to encourage excellence in conducting and to provide support for those wishing to improve their skills and confidence.
Chapter committees have nominated suitable mentors who have agreed to be part of the program. These are experienced conductors who are willing to share their experience with a person wanting to develop as a conductor.
Current ANCA members (individual or a member of a choir) can get in touch with the office who will refer them to suitable mentors who are also ANCA Members.
Timeframe: This is negotiable between mentor and mentee for up to a six month period. Mentors need to be clear at the first communication as to how much time they have to offer the Mentee. Either Mentor or Mentee may terminate the mentorship at any time with a notice period of two weeks.
Gratis: The advice of the mentor is to be provided gratis. If the Mentee decides to undertake a period of regular and strategic study, and the mentor is engaged, then payment may be negotiated by the Mentor and Mentee. Alternatively, a mentor might recommend an instructor for the relevant course of study.
Areas Covered: It is planned that mentoring will be offered (depending on availability of Mentors) in various areas of interest including: conducting technique, arranging, repertoire selection, rehearsal planning, vocal technique and health as well as in various sectors of choral music: primary/children, secondary/youth, community, chamber, church, symphonic and university choirs (both auditioned and unauditioned). Other specialties could be included such as sacred music, liturgical music, working with an orchestra, work in editing a particular type of work or composer etc.
Note regarding Mentors:
• Mentors are requested to provide details of their areas of interest to appear on the website listing their qualifications, type of experience and expertise they hold.
• A Music Degree is essential and post-graduate qualifications are desirable as is international experience and/or training.
• Mentoring is informal with suitable time and place to be worked out between the parties. This can be face to face, email, phone, skype and the like. One-to-one mentoring is desirable but the mentor is free to have group sessions if that is agreed.
FAQ for Mentees:
How do I find a mentor?
Have a look at the list on the website and complete the online application form (see above). You will be put in touch with a mentor (depending on availability). Please note this matching process may take a few weeks.
I have just started conducting a school/church/community choir and have no experience in conducting. Will the mentor teach me conducting skills?
Some mentors may be willing to work with beginning conductors but the intent of the mentoring program is to further develop the skills and confidence of those with some experience already, rather than be a training program for new conductors. Mentors can recommend good training courses run around Australia each year, including our own.
Do I need any (formal) music qualifications?
No formal qualifications are required, but some experience in conducting is necessary.
Over what period of time do I work with the mentor?
Up to six months maximum.
Once the period comes to an end, what happens then? Can I choose a different mentor?
It is expected that the number of people available as mentors will exceed the people who would like to be mentored, if you need further assistance you can apply again in 12 months
I see someone on an interstate list that I would like to work with. Can I choose them as a mentor?
Yes, since mentoring can be conducted by phone/skype or you could arrange to go and visit them in their state.
I have had a couple of sessions but the mentor does not seem right for me. What do I do now?
Mentor arrangements can be terminated with 2 weeks’ notice or at any time by mutual agreement
Will the mentor work with my choir as well?
The aim of the program is to put conductors in touch with mentors conductors, but if you wish the mentor to work with your choir this would be a separate arrangement and would need to be suitably remunerated.