Directors Academy

The BABS Board is committed to providing opportunities for our Music Directors to develop their skills, with Directors Academy being the main vehicle to achieve this.

Directors Academy is open to all Front Line BABS Directors. Our main event is a weekend, not to be missed, where you can join your fellow front line BABS directors for an exclusive weekend of developing skills, networking, friendship and song.


Rehearsal Pacing
A good director, section leader, or chorus leader will maximize the short time they have with their singers. This session will focus on techniques directors can use to keep singers continually interested in the rehearsal process.

Tuning and Overtones
A standing-room-only Harmony University favorite, this is a 3-part class developed by Dr. Jay Dougherty to demonstrate proper tuning techniques, and how to implement them into your rehearsals.

Conducting Practicum Masterclass (Optional Saturday evening)
Conductors at all experience levels can use a bit of a refresher. This is your chance to get in front of singers while Jay will help you refine your conducting gesture and effecitiveness with non-verbal communication.

Collaborative Instruction
The most successful choruses do not rely soley on the frontline director. This session will discuss various ways in which other chorus members can be utilised in the instruction process, making rehearsal not only more effective, but more enjoyable for everyone!

Group Session
Jay will host a Q&A with chorus directors to address their individual needs and questions for 30 minutes. Following that, Jay will meet with the auxiliary leaders and section leaders to discuss how they can better use their talents and authority to help the chorus. The group not meeting with Jay will meet with Simon Arnott.

Make The Music Come Alive
Beyond notes, words, and rhythms, what musical elements are the most important? What does "artistry" mean to you? This session will dive into the many musical parts of an arrangement, and help attendees understand how to better bring a song to life.

Musical Illusions and Paradoxes
You've heard of optical illusions, but what about audio illusions? This fun and relaxing post-lunch session will trick your mind with audio examples that seem impossible in a demonstration of how our brain makes sense out of chaos when it comes to sound. The attendee will be enlightened to different aspects of sound that they weren't previously aware of.

Never Do Warm Ups
What do we do with our “warm up” time? Do our singers actually need to warm up? How should the time be used? What are the exact goals of the vocaleases you’re choosing to use? Learn how to better utilise “warm up” time by actively engaging with singers to achieve more unity and vocal health.

Please note there will be no academy song this year due to the short notice change of educator. For the conducting masterclass, it is likely we will use Heart of My Heart as that tends to be well known across most of the organisations represented by the attendees.