&ldquoAs Alsop faced the cellos and drew from them the most tremendously shaped phrases with every inflection of her baton, you were aware of being in the presence of greatness.&rdquo
28th August 2015
Marin’s Classic FM Conducting Masterclass

Ever wanted to learn the basic fundamentals of conducting? In an exclusive partnership with Classic FM Marin presents a series of video masterclasses on all aspects of conducting, from how to use the baton to that iconic big finish. These will be released over the course of the next few weeks, keep checking back for more… 

An introduction to conducting

What is conducting?

Marin takes us by the hand and starts at the top by asking a simple question… with a complex answer.

The baton and how to use it

Why do conductors use a baton? Why do some just use their hands? And what difference does it make to the music?


Beating time


Here’s the beat pattern Marin demonstrates:

How to conduct 4/4 beat pattern








Beating 3/4

Here’s the beat pattern Marin, Jonah and Mike use in the video:

How to conduct 3/4 beat pattern









And here’s that all-important beat pattern to help you follow along:

Conducting 2:4 Beat Pattern








1 beat per bar and how to conduct Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony

Beating 1 per bar doesn’t necessarily mean there’s only one beat per bar – it could mean that the music is in three or four, but it’s too fast for the conductor to show all those beats.

In this clip, Marin shows you how to conduct the famous On the beautiful Blue Danube and Beethoven‘s Fifth Symphony.









5 beats per bar

And here’s beat pattern to help you beat along:







Upbeats, the big finish and motivating musicians


For the orchestra the concert really begins on the upbeat. The upbeat has all the information about the tempo, about the quality, the emotion, the articulation, and the dynamic.

Big finish

How do you stop an orchestra from playing? The ending is the most important part of the piece. How do you save something for the last note?


How do you connect with the musicians on an emotional level to inspire them to express what the composer wants? How you walk out on the stage can determine how the first note will sound.


See more of Marin on the Classic FM website.