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Course Overview Modules Entry Requirements How to Apply
Course Overview Modules Entry Requirements How to Apply

Empower the Vision of the Orchestra

NAFA’s Specialist Diploma in Orchestral Conducting offers training and professional opportunities for conductors working with orchestras, symphonic wind bands, or other instrumental ensembles in various professional contexts.

Over two semesters, you will be brought through the modules of Principles of Conducting, Orchestral Repertoire and Analysis, Score Reading and Musicianship Skills, and Instrumentation of the Orchestra. This will refine your conducting techniques, broaden your repertoire of music knowledge and enhance your ensemble leadership skills.

Upon graduation, you will be well-equipped to curate opportunities for group performances—whether for orchestras, symphonic wind bands, or other instrumental ensembles in various professional contexts.

This is an opportunity for you to develop as a conductor and overall, gain the courage to take and lead the stage!


Refine Your Conducting Techniques

You will learn to improve your fundamental conducting skills in the first semester, before diving deep to refine your techniques in the second semester.

Develop Your Artistic Expression as a Conductor

The curriculum develops your technical competence and stylistic understanding, so you can refine your artistic expression and adeptly integrate musical ideas to communicate the creative aspects of music-making.

Experience the Life of a Conductor Firsthand

A practice-led and industry-focused curriculum allows you to apply your knowledge in authentic professional environments, such as using podium time to lead the NAFA Orchestra in rehearsals.

Course Modules

The curriculum is built around four key modules: Principles of Conducting, Orchestral Repertoire and Analysis, Score Reading and Musicianship Skills, and Instrumentation of the Orchestra.

Learn more about what’s in store for you!

Principles of Conducting 1
The Principles of Conducting focuses on fundamental conducting techniques including baton techniques and gestural awareness, score preparation, rehearsal strategies, and various approaches to conducting. All participants will have the opportunity to participate or observe the NAFA orchestra rehearsals where they will acquire first-hand experience working with a standard orchestra and the conductor. Students will be granted podium time in orchestra rehearsals during the course of study in which conducting an orchestra is part of the assessment process.

Orchestral Repertoire and Analysis 1
This module provides an overview of the development of standard orchestral repertoire. Relevant performance practice and stylistic issues will be discussed.

Orchestral Score Reading and Musicianship 1
Students will develop score reading skills and musicianship skills on the keyboard, topics will include transposition, sight-reading, harmonic analysis, meter changes, figure bass, and instrumental balance in standard orchestral scores.

Instrumentation 1
All students will attend a semester of instrumentation classes to enhance their understanding of standard orchestral instruments and various orchestration techniques.

Principles of Conducting 2
The Principles of Conducting focuses on advanced conducting techniques, rehearsal strategies, and various approaches to conducting. All participants will have the opportunity to participate or observe the NAFA orchestra rehearsals where they will acquire first-hand experience working with a standard orchestra and the conductor. Students will be granted podium time in orchestra rehearsals during the course of study in which conducting an orchestra is part of the assessment process.

Orchestral Repertoire and Analysis 2
This module continues to survey the standard orchestral repertoire. Relevant issues in performance practice and stylistic interpretation will be discussed.

Orchestral Score Reading and Musicianship 2
Students will continue to develop score reading skills and musicianship skills on the keyboard, topics will include transposition, sight-reading, harmonic analysis, meter changes, figure bass, and instrumental balance in standard orchestral scores.

Instrumentation 2
Students will continue to study the standard orchestral instruments and orchestration techniques.

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entry requirements

Applications are selected by merit. Acceptance is based on your educational qualifications, language proficiency and performance at an audition.

Find out more!

Relevant Diploma or Degree from recognised institution in Music, or equivalent qualification. Individuals with 3 years of relevant working experience in the music industry but possessing other diploma/degree qualifications shall be considered on case-by-case basis.
Minimum of GCE ‘O’ Level Grade D7 in English Language, or TOEFL iBT 40, or TOEFL 400, or IELTS Band 4, or SAT score of 450 (Evidence-Based Reading and Writing component) or Duolingo score of 55.
Audition (15-20 mins)
The audition comprises the following:
  • Sight-sing
  • Aural test
  • Short interview with the audition panel about your knowledge of repertoire and how this course will be of value to you.

How to Apply

Take the leap! Your journey as a conductor begins here.

Apply online
Apply online.

Print out the Application Acknowledgement for your reference and submit copies* of the following documents

Print out the Application Acknowledgement and submit all necessary documents as listed below to the Student Admissions Office, NAFA Campus 1, for verification within five working days from the date of your online application:
  1. Certified true copies of academic certificates and transcripts from relevant Diploma or Degree from recognised institution in Music, or equivalent qualifications.
    Individuals with 3 years of relevant working experience in the music industry but possessed other diploma or degree qualifications shall be considered on a case-by-case basis.
  2. English qualification (minimum Grade D7 at GCE ‘O’ Level/TOEFL 400/TOEFL iBT 40/IELTS Academic Band 4, or SAT score of 450 (Evidence-Based Reading and Writing component), other equivalent qualifications)
  3. NRIC for Singapore Citizens or Singapore Permanent Residents (SPR) and a valid pass for international applicants to stay in Singapore
  4. Curriculum Vitae
  5. After verification of documents, proceed to make payment of the Application Fee at the cashier counter in NAFA. If you choose to pay the Application Fee via online payment, you will be required to upload the above document during application.

Receive a test advisory

You will receive a test advisory on the details of the audition from the Student Admissions Office upon verification of the submitted documents and payment of the Application Fee.

Attend an audition

You will need to attend the audition at NAFA with the required materials as indicated on the test advisory.

Receive a letter by post/email

You will receive a letter via post on the outcome of your application within 4-6 weeks following your audition.

The Academy reserves the right to alter the rules and regulations, course contents, class schedule and fee structure without prior notice.