Justine Ward's Chironomy
  • I am very much interested in understanding more about Justine Ward's Chironomy. Is this explained in the books on the Musica Sacra's free book page? Or is this information only in a newer edition and which edition and where would I purchase? If I were to study Gregorian Chant Chironomy such as in the book Technique of Chironomy, would this be a step in the right direction? I've seen images of Ward's Chironomy and there is movement with the feet as well. This is not part of regular Chironomy, right? Thank you for your responses.
  • The Ward Method does an excellent job at inculcating rhythm through movement. It's a comprehensive curriculum that incorporates basic movements which grow into chironomic motions in relatively short order - this must be what you're thinking of?

    If you're looking to study chironomy, I'd recommend a couple of books. First, the Gregorian Chant Practicum book available from CUA Press. It and the other Ward materials are available here. (The ones on the CMAA site are earlier versions of her work and are not what we now know as the Ward Method.) This is where you'll see all the movements taught in the first 3 levels of the Ward Method blossom into full chironomy.

    The Technique of Gregorian Chironomy, which you mentioned, is available for free on the CMAA's website, and is pretty good, though it differs on some points from Marier's approach in the Practicum book. It won't have anything about the pre-chironomic movements of the Ward Method in it, though.

    If you're really looking to understand the Ward Method and chironomy, probably the best way is in-person instruction, in the same way as learning any conducting technique or music education method. I have a few handouts, too, that you might find helpful in your reading. Send me an email at Jennifer.Donelson@archny.org if you'd like them.
  • Thanks so much Jenny! So, that means that the Ward books on the CMAA website do not include all the pre-chironomic movements? Which edition of the books include the pre-chironomic movements? I went to your link and I couldn't find any of the Ward Method books on that page. I am very interested in learning the Ward Method and chironomy, but I do not have the time or resources available to travel to get instruction. My children are all very young. I have a bachelor's degree in music, so I think I should be able to pick up the basics of the Ward Method without too much trouble.
  • I just now realized that there is a pop down menu to click to find the Ward Method books! So, they are there on the CUA Press website.
  • jgirodjgirod
    Posts: 39
    Should I add that the Justine Ward method should not be learned just out of books (latin has the saying "doctus cum libro"), but you should attend a training to be sure you get everything right and benefit from the teacher making you progress, not only yourself but also the other trainees with maybe different impediments that your own future students may encounter.
    If you cannot travel, maybe there's a Justine Ward music instructor that could come to your town or teach not too far.
    (by the way I write Justine because there's another method in a different field that's also called Ward, so this disambiguate searches on the net!)