Waving the hands, as conductors frequently do, seemed largely for show.
The conductor appeared to me to be more dancing along with the music than actually leading the musicians in any meaningful way. It wasn't until
I married an amateur musician that I actually learned that the conductor could have an important influence on the way an orchestra sounds. But as Greta and I moved from place to place and she joined a variety of different ensembles, I got to hear her explain why some conductors were better than others.