Adrian Casas Lupercio - conducting expert

What Not to Wear as a Conductor

What should a conductor wear?

In this video, Adrian talks about the best attire for a music conductor. These are useful tips for anyone interested in conducting.

Released on July 1, 2020

Share this page!
Post a Comment   |   Video problems? Contact Us!
DISCLAIMER: The views and the opinions expressed in this video are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Virtual Sheet Music and its employees.

Video Transcription


Hello, everyone. My name is Adrian Casas. I'm a violinist and conductor from Regina, Canada, and we are here today to talk about what to wear or not to wear on the conducting podium. Now, believe it or not, there is great debate on what is appropriate to wear on the podium. If you are an experienced conductor, this is something that is probably very natural for you, but beginner conductors tend to miss this part of the information until it's a problem. So today we're going to come up with a checklist that is inclusive and that you can adapt to any ensemble that you're working with.

First of all, let's talk about color. So if you follow my expert videos, or if you follow my Facebook page, you've probably noticed a very consistent color palette on my clothing choices. If you're a teacher within your teaching practice, you might end up conducting a small music ensemble or sometimes adventure to...

Hello everyone. My name is Adrian Casas. I'm a violinist and conductor from...

Hello everyone. My name is Adrian Casas. I am a violinist...

Hello, everyone.

Now, does that mean that you have to wear black clothes all the time? Probably not, but whatever you're wearing, remember that the point is for the musicians to follow the tip of the baton. So whatever you're wearing, make sure that the baton doesn't blend with the color of your shirt like this.

Now let's talk about size. So you might want to avoid anything to low cut or too revealing, and the only reason for this advice is functionality rather than modesty. So if you're conducting and you are worried too much about your clothes getting out of place, or if you're worried about your skirt getting too high, or you're just worried about your clothing in general, these will distract you from the rehearsal and get in the way of the dialogue between you and the musicians and the audience.

In the same spirit of functionality, you might want to avoid anything too tight. Remember that you want to not restrict your range of motion, that you want to be able to extend your arms or be able to lean forward without worrying about your clothes getting out of place.

And last but not least, let's talk about accessories. So avoid any large piece of jewelry or any shiny piece of jewelry. At some point you will probably be working with the stage lighting, so very bright reflectors, very shiny lights, and the last thing you want to do is to blind one of your musicians with the reflection of a big piece of jewelry. Along those lines, get rid of your watch. It does make noises and it's kind of distracting. It gets in the way, and it tends to be a little bit heavy when you're conducting. So just take it off and get rid of it altogether.

Now, all being said, that doesn't mean that you have to wear formal black clothing all the time. Make sure that your clothing choices reflect your identity and the identity of the group that you're working with. You might have to be mindful of the type of job that you're being hired to do. And during rehearsals, the clothing etiquette might be a little bit more relaxed. Usually I just wear whatever I would wear to the office, just a dress shirt and pants, or semi casual, semi formal type of clothing, but that's just me. For you, make sure that it reflects your identity, the identity of the group, and feel free to be you.

If the only way to connect with your group is creativity, then feel free to be creative. However, when in doubt, think of always functionality, clarity, and collaboration.

Thank you very much for watching, and stay safe.

If you're interested in this topic or any other topics about conducting, keep an eye on my page about conducting lessons.

Post a comment, question or special request:
You may: Login  or  
Otherwise, fill the form below to post your comment:
Add your name below:

Add your email below: (to receive replies, will not be displayed or shared)

For verification purposes, please enter the word MUSIC in the field below

Comments, Questions, Requests:

James Potter on July 1, 2020 @8:26 am PST
Quick question if I'm conducting a choir, should the choir members wear the same color shirts and dresses (in the case of looking professional).
Questions? Problems? Contact Us.
Norton Shopping Guarantee Seal