This book is a practical manual for anyone who stands on a podium helping an ensemble make music. The four main chapters address the major obligations of the conductor: (1) bringing the musical tones to life in the most beautiful, most moving way possible; (2) freeing the mind to fully absorb all the tones; (3) freeing the body of unnecessary tension; and (4) effectively using the freed mind and body to influence the sounds. Each chapter begins with a summary of the underlying principles, presents real-life applications, and offers exercises for developing skills. Video demonstrations of the exercises as well as downloadable scores and parts are available on a companion website. The parts, in multiple transpositions, allow for hands-on experience where standard instrumental complements are unavailable. Markand Thakar is music director of the Baltimore Chamber Orchestra and a member of the graduate conducting faculty at the Peabody Conservatory. A protege of the legendary Sergiu Celibidache and former assistant conductor of the New York Philharmonic, Thakar leads annual conductor-training programs that draw students from around the world. He is author of Looking for the "Harp" Quartet: An Investigation into Musical Beauty (University of Rochester Press, 2011) and Counterpoint: Fundamentals of Music Making (Yale University Press, 1990).