Discover the Ward Method! Free Online Info Session March 21, 2023

Developed in the early part of the 20th century for use as a Catholic school music curriculum, the Ward Method is a comprehensive music education system designed to promote the active participation of children in the sacred liturgy through the singing of Gregorian chant.

Starting from the premise that all children can sing, the method presents vocal technique, ear training, music reading, phrasing, rhythm, and improvisation in the form of short games and activities which progress from the known to the unknown.

At the heart of the method is the development of the musicianship and spiritual disposition needed for the singing of the Church’s Gregorian chant in the sacred liturgy.

Learning how to teach using the method is accessible to classroom teachers, parish music directors, and parents alike. The Ward method is an engaging methodology that can form the basis for any Catholic school curriculum, parish children’s choral program, or music class in a homeschool co-op. Some elements of the pedagogy are even useful for the instruction of adults in Gregorian chant.

Join Dr. Jennifer Donelson-Nowicka (William P. Mahrt Chair in Sacred Music, Program Director of the Catholic Institute of Sacred Music at St. Patrick’s Seminary in Menlo Park) as she presents a free online information session about the method.

Participants will discover answers to the following questions:

  • What is the goal of the Ward Method?
  • What are the basic principles of the Ward Method?
  • What are the elements in a lesson?
  • How can I use the pedagogical methodology in rehearsals with older students and adults to learn chant?

The information session will include a discussion of the method, demonstration videos, and an opportunity for questions and answers.

Participants will also find out more about the July 10 to 14 class of the Catholic Institute of Sacred Music, “Teaching Gregorian Chant to Children,” which focuses on fully equipping and training teachers to use Book 1 of the Ward Method, among other topics.

Spaces in the online information session are limited to 99 participants. The information session will be presented via Zoom.

Participants who RSVP will receive a link to login to Zoom for the live session.

Interview with Faculty Member Prof. Charles Weaver about the “Solesmes School” of Singing Chant

A member of the Institute’s faculty, Prof. Charles Weaver (Juilliard, CUNY) was recently interviewed on Square Notes: The Sacred Music Podcast about the topic of his upcoming summer course. Professor Weaver’s course will cover Mocquereau’s “classical Solesmes” approach to rhythm through a deep discussion of its philosophical and musical underpinnings. He will also work to contrast it with other styles of singing chant. The course, “Advanced Seminar in Gregorian Chant: Approaches to Gregorian Rhythm” will take place on the mornings of July 3 to 7. From the course description:

For students who have taken Introduction to Gregorian Chant or who sing Gregorian chant on a regular basis, this seminar explores complex issues in the study of rhythm. Beginning with the problematics of “authenticity,” oral transmission, and the relationship between notation and performance practice, this seminar will provide an overview of various approaches to rhythm in Gregorian chant, both historical and current, with an eye to developing the ability to sing chant according to several methods. Special emphasis will be placed on the approaches the writings of Doms André Mocquereau and Eugène Cardine. 1 credit or audit. Synchronous online or in-person 8 to 11:30 a.m. PDT.

To apply to this or another course click here.