Te Kotahitanga
Manu Reo o Aotearoa

Hone your choral leadership skills online

Hone your choral leadership skills online


Choral directors and leaders of children’s singing can now hone their skills from the comfort of their own home in Zoom sessions with an ACD advisor.

We are continuing our successful series of Zoom sessions in November/December 2023, offering online Giving Direction workshops for directors of adult and secondary school choirs, led by Rowan Johnston, and online Singing Matters workshops for conductors working in primary and intermediate schools, led by Maria Winder.

Rowan   Johnston  Photo 2020   SquareRowan Johnston is a freelance choral conductor and clinician. He is an Associate Conductor for Voices NZ and is Co-Conductor of the Aotearoa NZ Academy Choir. Rowan was formerly Music Director of Auckland Youth Choir and Director of Choirs at Holy Trinity Cathedral, Auckland. He was previously HoD Music at Westlake Girls High School and Music Director of the acclaimed Choralation choir from Westlake Girls and Boys High Schools. Rowan recently moved to Wellington with his family and conducts the Wellington Youth Choir and several high school choirs.

Maria   WinderMaria Winder MNZM is a certified early childhood Kodály-inspired music practitioner and a registered primary school teacher. Maria formerly worked for Victoria University of Wellington, and subsequently The University of Auckland, as a district music advisor to primary schools. Maria co-authored Hear Our Voices, NZCF's choral resource for leaders of children's choirs. Maria was a founding trustee and director of music education for the NZ Ukulele Trust (2007-2021) and former board member of MENZA. She has adjudicated The Kids Sing several times and has also participated in The Kids Sing with her own school choirs.

The workshops are tailored to the needs of those taking part and consist of two 1-hour Zoom sessions. In the first session, the presenter works with a maximum of 5 choir leaders on a range of topics such as score preparation, rehearsal management, voice matching, blend etc. The second 1-hour Zoom is a personalised 1:1 session in which the participant can work on their gesture and/or other aspects of rehearsal technique.

Dates and times of these online workshops will be arranged according to the availability of the registrants and will most likely take place over two evenings (a week or two apart) or at weekends. Those taking part will be offered a menu of topics and will be asked to choose the areas they would most like to work on. For the second session, participants will have the opportunity to submit a video of their conducting in advance, or to conduct ‘live’ in the Zoom session so that they can receive feedback on their gesture – though this aspect is by no means compulsory (participants may choose to address other areas of choral direction in their personalised one-to-one session).

Fees (covering both sessions)
$70 ACD Members
$80 NZCF Personal Members
$100 Non Members
$50 Students

To register your interest, email emma.billings@nzcf.org.nz by MONDAY 20 NOVEMBER. Our NZCF Events Manager Emma Billings will be in touch to arrange dates. The workshops will take place in late November and early December 2023.

Feedback from previous online workshops:
"Rowan structured the sessions so well, communicating really clear and accessible ways for me to understand and assimilate conducting tools. I also appreciate the breadth if insight he offered on all aspects – posture, positioning of arms, ways to prepare the score, physical placement of vocal sections."

"I loved that it was one-on-one, but I also benefit from having small group sessions and hearing other directors and their successes/challenges. I think a mixture of individual and group sessions are great in general"

Back to News