Teamwork and Conducting Leadership

This 90-minute workshop/concert with a string quartet, underscores the inner workings of teamwork that any group needs to attain a high level of performance. Via music and conducting exercises, attendees experience a musical mirror of outside work environments and learn a deeper understanding of universal leadership themes:

Identifying Personal Leadership Methods
Balancing Different Leadership Styles
Effective Multitasking
Motivating Others
Managing Subordinates, Superiors and Peers
Building Trust and Respect
Increasing Team Awareness

The workshop “Teamwork and Conducting Leadership” is presented by Ignacio Alcover, Scott Morgan and ma)(4 String Quartet. It is a highly interactive and revealing workshop intended for no more than ten participants.

The Workshop

Part One: the concert

In Part One of the workshop, ma)(4 performs a selected piece of chamber music. The movement is then dissected with the following topics in mind:

  • Who leads and when?
  • Are chamber music dynamics democratic?
  • Are chamber music dynamics democratic?
  • Fluidity of leadership
  • Common sound and the voice of the group
  • Supporting roles and accompaniment

A listening exercise is introduced with different instruments (voices) of the quartet. One at a time instruments are added, as the composer did, building richness and depth from a single melody. Discussion revolves around fluidity, volume, pace, melody line, and how each aspect of music correlates to various leadership traits. The concert is repeated based on the observations of the attendees.

Part Two: the conductor

Part Two begins with the role of the conductor. Does the position require a strong leader, a large ego, a facilitator, a teacher, a tyrant, a psychologist? How are these traits balanced? What about the influence of intuition and improvisation? Examples from history show how different approaches to conducting parallel existing political structures.

Next, there is a short clinic on the basics of conducting in a series of group exercises. After which, comes the pièce de résistance of the workshop as each participant is invited to conduct the quartet on their own. The experience reveals through immediate and stunning accuracy a musical mirror of one’s leadership style. This section concludes with an open question and answer period with the full quartet.

Part 3: the debrief

Scott Morgan, a personal leadership and communicator instructor facilitates the debrief. On another day, or after a significant break if schedules are tight, the participants are lead in a round table discussion of the experience. Participants are asked probing questions as to how the experience of “Teamwork and Conducting Leadership” applies to their professional lives.

There is additional feedback from the instructor on the previous “conducting” exercises and on how to improve listening skills and better use them to communicate and to lead. A frank discussion of personal strengths and challenges and written follow-up assignments will be the last step of the Team Work and Conducting Leadership Seminar.