Jan Stulen has written a book about his experiences, collected during his many years of teaching, and his vision of the “conducting’’ phenomenon. The title of the book is “the Tao of conducting’’. Under Tao we understand “the (right) way’’. Stulen puts the relationship between certain principles of Chinese Taoism and conducting into context.
The vast majority of study books about conducting concentrate mainly on the physical technicalities of conducting. Stulen considers this as only one component of the overall complex of conductors education, which is learnable through training. Stulen leaves out the technical component for the most part and deals extensively with topics such as inner imagination, score study, interpretation, teaching methods, the psychology of rehearsing, verbal and visual communication, accompaniment etc.
Stulen believes that the various study areas within the training (symphonic, wind ensemble, chorus) have a broad common basis. The genres also overlap: wind orchestra’s play transcripts of symphonic music and in the oratorio literature both vocal and instrumental components come together. Stulen endeavors to integrate the various study disciplines to one general training with specializations. All the various elements can enrich and stimulate each other.
Ultimately, the principles of musical leadership are valid in all areas of the conducting profession. An English version is to be expected shortly.