The art of conducting is not about waving your hands with eloquent gestures, but about responsibility. Conductors have a responsibility to understand the music, a responsibility to the musicians performing the music, and a responsibility to the audience listening to the music. Beyond all else, conductors have a responsibility to the composer. This brief guide will help conductors embody those responsibilities by avoiding common mistakes. Some of the advice will be more suited towards orchestral conducting, but others will focused on opera. There is a lot of over lap between orchestral conducting and operatic conducting, but there are also a number of differences. Most orchestral conducting involves the near exclusive leadership of the conductor, while pera conducting is split between accompanying the singers and leading the orchestra.