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2011 Cumberland University International Saito Conducting Workshop

July 10 - 17  Cumberland University, Lebanon, Tennessee for first time Saito conductors

The following files are in PDF (Portable Document Format) and require the free
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Click on the name to download the sheet

Application - Registration form

Information sheet

Course fee and refund policy

Course information

To request information click here

Note - students can elect to receive university credit for an additional fee. 
Contact Dr. Kilian for details.


Students of the Saito Conducting method develop extraordinary technique which allows them to express their musical ideas with clarity and artistry. As a student in Germany and principal cellist of the NHK orchestra, Hideo Saito analyzed the gestures used by the most outstanding European conductors. The resulting method has developed during the past sixty years at the Toho Gakuen School of Music whose alumni include Seiji Ozawa and Kazuyoshi Akiyama.


The method uses compositions which are rich with conducting challenges. From the first lesson, students learn how the motion of their arm elicits sounds. Training of the arm begins with a swinging motion to improve precision and to indicate internal rhythms and subdivision. Students are taught to make "Into-point" and "From-point" motions to expand their technical and expressive capabilities. Training of the arm is always accomplished in a musical context. Demonstrations and descriptions facilitate and accelerate technical development.


The method provides a comprehensive study of all major aspects of conducting as a foundation for further study. Students are challenged to express their own interpretations and empowered to apply gestural concepts to new music. Students learn how to make a wide variety of gestures and how to choose those which will best express their ideas.


Students receive group and individual instruction from a team of instructors headed by Wayne Toews . The students follow a detailed course of study, based upon the Saito Conducting method textbook, and each is given a block of time to work with the teachers. Students also have the opportunity to observe during the lessons of other students. During the lessons, students conduct duo pianists who act as the "ensemble" and who respond accurately and sensitively to the conductor's gestures.

Saito conducting students learn by doing, by observing and by responding. The workshop is best suited to those musicians who have at least an undergraduate level of musical training especially in theory, ear training and style.

Video recordings will be made of the conducting sessions; each participant will receive a DVD of their work.

The workshop is designed to effectively and efficiently guide participants in their development.   Previous participants have experienced great joy in the acqisition of new skills and have received overwhelming positive feedback from their ensembles.   Participants flourish in a supportive learning environment.  Inevitably the workshops develop valuable and enduring collegial relationships to share ideas and resources. The workshop is designed for musicians who have excellent listening, music reading and interpretive abilities and who have a keen desire to develop or to improve their gestural skills. It is not necessary for the participants to have studied conducting. 

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Page revised August 13, 2011