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Director Resources

Director Education

Director Education

Director education is paramount to the success of a barbershop chorus.  If you have yet to test your arm waving skills or you are a seasoned professional, there are many resources to help you improve.

Directing a Barbershop Chorus – Methods, Techniques, and Philosophies

Here is one of our finest Harmony University Instructors, taking the time to teach directing skills to a wide range of directors…from first timers who simply want to try “Keep The Whole World Singing” to a director who has been around the block but wants help with gesture and technique.  Don’t watch all 16!!  Watch 1, work with a group, watch the next one, work with your group.  If the level is too low skip ahead.

Larry Dodge 16 part tutorials: Outstanding in Front

Watch director Larry start at the most basic concepts in directing and advance to our most advanced.  The best way to use these?  Watch one, work with the concepts with your group, then watch the next one.  Don’t watch all 16… you will explode!

HU warm up series

Watch one of these 15 minute videos and get some ideas!  Better yet, set up a big screen or projector, and have your chorus try any of our HU warm ups!

Become A Director

Want to become a director?

Basic patterns in directing techniques

Two Beat Pattern Video Demo

Three Beat Pattern Video Demo

Four Beat Pattern Video Demo

How to get started?

Direct one Barberpole Cat per week.

Start with the simple tunes like “Heart of My Heart” (three pattern), “Down Our Way” (one pattern), the choruses of “Wait ’til the Sun Shines, Nellie” (two pattern) and “Honey – Little ‘Lize Medley” (four pattern). Then, begin testing your skills by moving on to more difficult songs with rubato (slightly speeding up or slowing down the tempo at the discretion of the director), such as “The Old Songs”, “My Wild Irish Rose”, and “Sweet and Lovely”.

Become one of the warm up leaders.

Become a section leader

Here are some materials that can help you on your way.

Barberpole Cat Songbook and learning materials
Improving Vocal Techniques through the Warm Up, Stock #4068
Effective Choral Warm Ups Video, Stock #4960


Leadership components

Building a team

Building relationships

The Music Leadership Team Manual, Stock #4042


Learn basics in music theory
Music Fundamentals, Stock #4034
Theory of Barbershop Harmony, Stock #4037
Barbershop Arranging Manual, Stock #4031

To be able to teach better singing, you must know the ins and outs of the instrument.
Basic Group Singing Techniques

To be able to teach better singing, you must be able to listen.
Sound for Ensemble Singing, Stock #4086

Director Certification

If you would like more information about director credentialing and other education opportunities, please send us an email at education@barbershop.org.

Directors College

New or experienced directors can learn from the best at HU

Get the full directing experience each summer at Harmony University in Nashville, TN.

Learn conducting techniques, get private lessons in conducting, and sing in a world class directors college chorus.

Learn more about Directors College

Looking For A Director

Are you looking for a director?

Here is a map of choruses also looking for directors:

Would you like to also place a request on this map for your chorus?

This is a resource for all Barbershop Harmony Society, Sweet Adeline International and Harmony Inc. choruses who are looking for directors.

Would you like to remove your posting?
Please send us a request for removal at webmaster@barbershop.org and we will remove your posting as soon as possible.

Other ways to post vacancies

Search for a director on the Directors Listserv site

Search for a director on the Barbershop Harmonet message boards

Email harmonizer@barbershop.org for possible information on available positions

Download ‘Guidelines for Conducting a Director Search’

Download a sample Music Director Contract


Pole Cat Directing Techniques

Pole Cat Directing Techniques

Below you will see four different directors directing four different songs. This forum is for open discussion on what you see that you like, what you see that can be improved, and ultimately, what level you would place each director in for Directors College (Level 1 (Beginning), Level 2 (Intermediate), or Level 3 (Advanced)). Click here for our criteria we use for Directors College placement. And comment here on this page (that way, you don’t need to have a YouTube account to be able to comment) so we can all follow the discussion. NOTE…best viewed using Internet Explorer or Firefox.

Sample One

Sample Two

Sample Three

Sample Four