Words With Wings prerequisites
  • Howdy all,
    I will be teaching a group of kids Gregorian chant using Words With Wings. This will be my first time teaching chant to kids of a younger age. The kids that I will be teaching do not have any prior experience with solfege, and I am wondering how well they should know it before using the actual text. Any suggestions on teaching solfege to kids would be welcome, as would any recommendations on using Words With Wings.
  • Hi Daniel. I am an amateur at all this. i have a schola for last two and a half years for kids aged 6 to nine. I got words with wings but found it too advanced to use, though I can understand what they were trying to do. However I found it did not explain things enough to me to teach, so how could I pass it on to the kids? I turned to Ward music method, and even from the bit I could learn from the free books on musica sacra, which are older editions, I was able to get going. The kids went from no music education to being able to read chant in one year, one lesson per week. I have since bought the Ward method material from CUA, a more updated version, which is a bit clearer, and done a weeks training with them this summer. this gave me a whole new level, and I strongly reccommend it, scholarships are available, so just the cost of getting there and accommodation at cheap enough student rates.
    I am also using Ward methods successfully with adults. i acknowledge my experience is limited, but Mrs Ward developed the method with teachers like me in mind, who do not have huge musical training (though i working hard to develop it.
    I have developed an award system which i am putting up called Jubilate Deo Awards, you can get my beginner materials there.
    I like the very practical way Ward breaks down music ito parts and teaches a bit at a time Wilker Brouwers uses Ward method I know, so I think it is sort off the presumed background to using Words with wings.
    Hope it goes well for you, and let me know if I can help in any way. We will be praying for you!
  • WWW - As I recall, Arlene was available for a fee to come out to a harsh and get it rolling...woudl be a good investment for teachers and students.
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 8,171
    I don't think WWW requires any prior knowledge of solfege. You can listen to the practice audios on our site at http://musicasacra.com/wings/
  • Thank y'all for your help,
    I may get to use your awards system, Bonnie. The group I am teaching is well under way in the WWW curriculum. Now I am wondering what to do for the lessons involving chironomy (which I know nothing about). Any suggestions?
    I appreciate your input!
  • We also have several books at the website about chironomy... it is easier if you see it done, though...
  • Ward uses 'rhythmic gestures' as a rpreamble to teaching chironomy, you will find it in the Ward material. Basically it starts with helpng the children get a whole body movement in the rhythm and flow of a piece. As notation is being taught, arsis thesis is introduced, which brings them further along that path.
    Sorry to say t the moment this is an area I am weak on in my own ward lessons, but I see where she is going, and it might be useful to you.
  • AOZ
    Posts: 369
    Arlene here. If we had the book to do over, I would omit the chirinomy markings that begin in lesson 6, believe. It is not as if children are being asked to direct scholas. I think this small thing has been a bug stumbling block for a lot of people. Not that it is difficult, but it does presume a Ward background. My advice? Ignore the markings. Don't get hung up on them or even the notion that maybe you are now doing so ething incompletely. The whole point is to get the kids to feel the music. Feel the sway and the lift. If it helps them to use there arms as Birdie wings, go for it. If it helps them to hold on to flapping and fliwin Kleenex tissues, go for it. Again, forget the markings, relax, and just get physical.
    Thanked by 1janetgorbitz
  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 2,577
    Arlene was available for a fee to come out to a harsh and get it rolling

    FWIW, I've never found Arlene to be harsh.
  • lol @salieri. me neither. her online chant tutorial was a joy.
  • Though with regard to the kids leading scholas... i think it is smart to play the long game, and presume you are training not just this choir but the next generation of schola directors.
    Also when we learn to sing the priests parts as well as the responses with our kids, one of the girls tell me she needs to now it because she might have to teach a priest how to sing, or maybe her children will be priests.
  • AOZ
    Posts: 369
    At this early level, I disagree. We're talking about little kids here. Twelve lessons. These are simple foundations. If someone is going to have to teach a priest sonething or lead a Schola, let's hope that person bones up on a few things. The point of wings is to read a little and feel the music. Nothing more. Education for education's sake, as it were.
  • Have no idea how harsh came out of parish.

    I'd bet a few videos from Wilco would entrance all and quickly explain the concepts of the book, which I personally think is magnificent.
  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 2,577
    Have no idea how harsh came out of parish.

    My guess is auto corrugate fixed it.
  • ViolaViola
    Posts: 350
    Hello from windswept Scotland.
    We are thinking of starting a children's schola and the Ward materials sound excellent. Where do we get them, please?
  • You can download the ward books for free at the musicasacra.com website. See this page: http://musicasacra.com/literature/ If you want to order them printed, you can order them from lulu.com
    Thanked by 1Viola
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 8,171
    The Ward books we have for download are 1920s editions; can anyone comment on whether the later versions (published by the Ward center at CUA) have any significant changes?
  • Arlene,
    Thank you for your advice. I sang the excerpts to the kids "like a straight line" (without attention given to the dynamics and rise and fall of the chant), then I sang them with attention to these details. I had the kids note the difference, then explained how chant is really "words with wings", and, as such, it rises and falls like a swallow, it does not go in straight lines like an airplane. Finally, I just moved my hands with the music, and had the kids do the same. It worked great, and I would recommend the same process to anyone who is clueless about chironomy.
  • THe later cua books are much superior in layout, the material is much the same, but in terms of user friendliness they are worth the investment. Ted marier had an input there, and it is useful.

    Also check out jubilate deo awards, for free downloadable Ward based materials for young scholas.
    free ward materials at jubilate deo awards
  • AOZ
    Posts: 369
    Daniel, I'm glad you had a good experience!
  • ronkrisman
    Posts: 1,349
    If "autocorrect" made the change, why didn't it correct the "woudl" in the same sentence?