Best Time To Plan

I, like many conductors, reserve some time immediately before my rehearsals to plan the rehearsal. Over about 20 minutes, I have a two-step process for planning: first, I note my goals on scrap paper and write down any business I want to discuss; second I transfer that information to a plan in a spiral notebook – generally one page per hour of rehearsal, with specifics notated in 5, 10, or 15 minute blocks.

It works well for me, and helps me formulate my rehearsal and get in the right mindset for the upcoming work.

But I wonder whether it’s the best time to plan. For the next few months, I’m going to experiment with setting aside ten minutes for the first part my plan immediately after rehearsal. At that point, I know exactly where the ensemble stands and can see clearly the next steps. This will give me the added benefit of being able to provide goals to my singers that will support what we’ll be doing the subsequent rehearsal.

I’ll report back on my experiment and how it affects my rehearsal effectiveness. In the meantime, I’m curious: how -and when – do you plan your rehearsals?