Summer and Online Graduate Sacred Music Study at St. Joseph's Seminary, Yonkers, NY
  • St. Joseph’s Seminary in Yonkers, New York will offer 4 graduate-level courses in sacred music during the summer 2019 session. Registration is now open. Questions? Contact Associate Dean Dr. Donna Eschenauer at

    Graduate-level study structured for busy schedules
    Hybrid (on-line and in-person) and 4- or 5-day courses

    A bachelor's degree is a prerequisite to taking the courses, but the degree need not be in music.

    Brochure available here.

    Principles of Sacred Music
    Hybrid: on-line June 3-July 28, in-person July 29 and 30 from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. - Fulfills 1 of 4 requirements for accreditation in the St. Cecilia Academy for Pastoral Musicians - 3 credits or audit

    Through a survey of the history of sacred music and reading of Church and papal legislation on sacred music, students gain an understanding of the principles which shape Western sacred music and the musical structure of the Roman rite. Special focus is placed on current documents which govern music in the Church. The course also features in-depth discussion of practical issues including the formation and management of sacred music programs in parishes, active participation, progressive solemnity, the use of instruments in the sacred liturgy, resources available for music directors and choristers, and other relevant topics.

    Principles of Chant
    July 31-August 3, 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. - Fulfills 1 of 4 requirements for accreditation in the St. Cecilia Academy for Pastoral Musicians - 3 credits or audit

    Serving as an introduction to Gregorian chant, this course will cover neumatic notation, Gregorian modes, ear training and sight reading, vocal technique appropriate for singing chant, and Latin pronunciation. Special focus will be placed on rhythmic interpretation of the chant according to the classical Solesmes (Mocquereau) method. By the end of the class, students will have confidence singing from the Graduale Romanum, solfège, and psalm tones, and some experience in conducting (chironomy). Additional topics introduced in the class include the history of Gregorian chant, rehearsal techniques for teaching chant to children and adult choirs, and an introduction to chant resources in English and Spanish.

    Teaching Gregorian Chant to Children
    July 22–26, 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. - 3 credits or audit

    This 5-day intensive course will present pedagogical techniques for teaching Gregorian chant to children and is ideal for Catholic schoolteachers, directors and teachers of religious education, directors of children’s choirs, and parents. Special emphasis will be placed on the Ward Method, a comprehensive music education method designed to teach sacred music to children. Other topics addressed will include resources for teachers, other teaching approaches, and the logistics of developing a sacred music program for children. 

    Introduction to the Organ for Pianists
    July 31-August 3, 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and 3:00-6:00 p.m. - 2 credits

    Learn about registration, organ technique, pedaling, hymn- and service-playing, and good repertoire. This course is designed for those who have studied piano and are looking for an opportunity to begin organ study.
    This course taught by a visiting faculty member.

    Courses are taught by Dr. Jennifer Donelson, associate professor and the director of sacred music at St. Joseph’s Seminary (Dunwoodie). Dr. Donelson is an internationally-recognized expert in Gregorian chant and Catholic sacred music. She is the President of the Society for Catholic Liturgy, serves on the board of the Church Music Association of America (CMAA), is the managing editor of the CMAA’s journal Sacred Music. She currently conducts the Schola Cantorum of St. Joseph’s Seminary, the Metropolitan Catholic Chorale, and teaches children using the Ward Method in Pelham, NY.

    50% tuition discount for first-time students or church musicians who provide a letter of support from their pastor.
    $50 - Registration Fee
    $1,500.00 - 3 graduate credits ($750 with 50% discount)
    $500.00 - audit ($250 with 50% discount)

    Inexpensive Room and Board Options Available

    A limited number of rooms are available at the seminary for participants. Linens are provided, and men and women stay on separate floors. Please note that rooms are not air-conditioned, and the bathrooms are in common, with one on each floor. $25 per night.

    Meals are available for purchase à-la-carte. Continental Breakfast - $6.00 Lunch - $12.00 Dinner - $14.00
    Please see the registration page for more details.

    The seminary is near to major NYC airports (LGA, JFK, EWR, and HPN). The closest Metro North stations are Bronxville, Mount Vernon West, and Fleetwood. A cab/Uber is advised from there.
  • Poster also available now.
    Thanked by 1chonak
  • Carol
    Posts: 854
    I attended a 2 hour workshop offered on Gregorian chant by Dr. Donelson and found it to be extremely useful! I am sure the weeklong course would be amazing! In 2 hours you could only touch the surface, but it was "illuminating."
    Thanked by 1Incardination