Seeking Lesson Plan Ideas for 2nd year parochial music teacher
  • AngelaR
    Posts: 259
    I am in the process of lesson planning for the new year, and am looking for ideas about how to make liturgical music more exciting for my students. I am particularly seeking to build a curriculum which focuses, in all its various aspects (rhythm, pitch, notation, harmony, history, etc.), around making the liturgy more beautiful. This curriculum needs to encourage a love for singing, maintain a respect for the interests of the students (which sometimes are limited to radio pop music), and at the same time prepare them slowly for entering into our more traditional sacred music heritage.

    I am not certified as a music teacher, but have just finished my first year of teaching music K-8 at a parochial school in Illinois. These children have not had a consistent music education, and most of them do not know even basics about reading music. I worked this year to implement an understanding of solfege (using Kodaly hand signs), and working with basic rhythms (e.g. Kodaly's ta, ta, ti-ti, ta, etc.). I introduced some basic rounds (many of them from Taize), which is all they are currently capable of singing in harmony. We do sing the Jubilate Deo Kyrie, Sanctus and Agnus Dei at the all school masses; however, the kids were largely resistant to Latin, and to learning more traditional church hymns from the Saint Michael Hymnal. In spite of it all, I had some great achievements: the junior high boys sang a mass for the feast of Saint Joseph (Adoro Te, and the Non Nobis Domine from Henry V -- complete with a trumpet intro), the eighth grade girls sang the Dona Nobis Pacem round for their confirmations at our cathedral, the Third Graders sang the When Jesus Wept round by Billings for Ash Wednesday, and the junior high boys for our Christmas Program performed Christmas carols on wine bottles filled with various levels of water, etc.

    My own musical background is centered on sacred polyphony and chant, and I run a diocesan chant school as well. I intend to learn more about the Ward and Kodaly methods of music education.

    In addition to comments, if anyone is willing to speak more at length on the phone, it would be most appreciated. You can email me at angelamanney@hotmail.com with your number.
  • miacoyne
    Posts: 1,805
    It sounds like you've done a great job. You did all this in one year? It's amazing. Could you tell us about 'diocesan chant school' ?
  • AngelaR
    Posts: 259
    There will be an article in the next CMAA newsletter about the Cathedral Chant School. It is a very exciting project. Please keep us in your prayers. :)
  • henry
    Posts: 203
    I would use the Ward Method. I've been using it for several years (self taught) and I think it's more useful than the material in the standard general music textbooks. It teaches sight singing (solfege), composition, rhythm, etc. I'm also in Illinois (Chicago). Wouldn't it be great if we could have the Ward Method taught here during a week or a few weekends?
  • AngelaR
    Posts: 259
    Henry, I think that is an EXCELLENT suggestion. I've been wondering how to get all the way to Houston or to D.C. to do those classes; to have them in Illinois would be so much easier. I wonder if there are other interested people here in Illinois? (And I'm wondering how you knew I'm in Illinois?) Perhaps we could bring someone in to teach us.
  • miacoyne
    Posts: 1,805
    "Cathedral Chant School. It is a very exciting project."

    It is truly exciting. Can't wait to read about it. I'll definitely pray for it.

    By the way, Henry and Angela, how many times you get to have music classes per week? And how long? (I studied Ward method long time ago with Dr. Marier at CUA in DC. I found it's a bit hard to use it , if you don't get to see the children often. I had to change the structure of the schedule.)
  • AngelaR
    Posts: 259
    For me, 2x a week for Pre-K thru 5; once a week for junior high.

    I just put up a page on Facebook for the Cathedral Chant School; not much information, but it will help people stay posted for major liturgies we will be doing. I hope to have a real webpage up in another few months. :) We started last November, sing once a month for our Latin Novus Ordo Mass, and sang the Te Deum and a truncated version of the Alleluia Iuravit Dominus at the priestly ordinations in May. Doors have been opening left and right; God is good.
  • henry
    Posts: 203
    In your originial post you mentioned that you teach in Illinois, that's how I knew. At the Colloquium last year, the woman who gave the Ward workshop said she would come to Chicago if we could find about 8 people, I believe. I think she said she could do it over several weekends, too. Now all we need are 6 more people! Any Chicagoans out there interested in learning the Ward Method?
  • miacoyne
    Posts: 1,805
    For me, 2x a week for Pre-K thru 5; once a week for junior high.

    That's what I had. It was my first job, and I was very enthusiastic, so I asked the principal whether I could see the lower grades 30 min. 3X,( Mon, Wed, Fridays), instead of 2X. 45 min a week. She said ok. After a year, I started a 'honor choir' after the school where only invited students are able to join (in some ways it's like a gifted and talented class. So parents who know about the GT program will understand. And I had the choir practice twice a week, Tuesdays and Thursdays, so they got music classes every day. It worked out pretty well. We got to sing at the National Shrine in DC. It's funny that's when I first met Scott Turkington. (I don't think he remembers this though.) He told us that he had to listen our singing before we can actually sing. We passed the audition ! They were very proud and the parents were very excited.)
  • brigid
    Posts: 6
    I have been in contact via email with Amy Zuberbueler of the Ward Center in San Antonio. www.wardcenter.org
    I met her at the Colloquium last year and talked with her about bring her to the Diocese of Rockford for training. Her email is: chironomy@aol.com.
    She told me she would not be able to schedule anything before Summer of 2010, but that if we had the minumum number of 8 and could provide classroom space the tuition (which I believe was $600 for the week per person) would cover everything, because I asked about housing and travel etc. for her. She strongly recommended the course at CU. If someone in Chicago wanted to persue this there would be some people from Rockford interested.