The Workshop’s curriculum spans the spectrum from the practical considerations of hymn playing, organ registration, and liturgical improvisation to leading ‘contemporary’ music in a manner that is liturgically, symbolically and theologically sound, and from using choral music as a vehicle for discipleship formation to teaching, accompanying, and using chant in the parish.
The Workshop includes lectures, seminars and workshops, presented by Nashotah House faculty and expert musicians, on the essentials of liturgics, church history, and ritual theory—all designed to better equip church musicians to teach and lead the Church in worship. This is combined with daily small group masterclasses and one-on-one lessons and tutoring. Enrollment is limited to ensure that all participants receive personalized instruction, challenge, and encouragement as they work toward personal and professional growth.
The unique gift of the Church Musicians Workshop is that, interwoven into all of the theory and instruction, participants will actually be able to practice and hone their skills in real time, with immediate feedback, both in the context of masterclasses and at the 5 additional practice instruments made available for the week.
You’ll take away best practices, resources for planning services, and the confidence that can only be gained through practical experience. You’ll also come away refreshed by the fullness of the Anglican Choral Tradition and equipped to use that tradition in your context to teach the Faith.
Two Program Tracks
The Church Musicians Workshop is a not-for-credit enrichment/professional development opportunity for musicians, clergy, lay-leaders, seminarians, choir members, and curious laypeople, tailored to the interests and abilities of participants. Individual lessons in the area of your choice allow you to customize your experience even further.
Musician Track – This track is for those who are actively involved with leading the musical worship of the church, from those who are self-taught at the organ to those with DMAs in Organ Performance. Two one-on-one lessons and daily practical masterclasses are included. A variety of master class options allow participants to select the areas in which they hope to receive instruction. Specific options include:
- Liturgical Improvisation & Alternate Harmonizations
- Accompanying Chant
- Leading “contemporary music” for
- classical musicians**
- Arranging Anthems for small choirs
- “Basic Organ Skills Program” – controlling the organ, choosing registrations, effectively introducing and accompanying hymns and service music, and acquiring healthy keyboard and pedal technique.
- and many more.
Clergy and Lay Leader Track – This track is for anyone wanting to learn the how of why of using music in Anglican worship. Enjoy participation in all of the lectures, rehearsals, and seminars offered throughout the week, participate in sung worship three times daily, and share three meals daily, without the one-on-one focused instruction. This track includes coaching and practice on chanting the priest’s parts of the Eucharist and officiating for sung morning and evening prayer, individually tailored to each participant’s interests. Participants will not be assigned practice time in the various venues, or scheduled for one-on-one lessons.
This is a great option for priests and pastors who wish to learn more about the role, history, and practice of Church Music in Christian worship, regardless of musical experience!
**Note for non-keyboardists: We welcome those who lead music on instruments other than the organ or piano, and are excited to bring our historic practice and deep love of chant to the emerging face of Church Music. If you’re seeking to understand the rich musical tradition of Anglicanism – with the theory and theology behind it – and use that to inform contemporary practice, we’re excited! Note that our tutors are trained vocalists and pianists. Participants are welcome to bring the instrument of their choosing (guitar, harp, etc.) for their one-on-one lessons, with the goal being working to apply ideas such as chanting the psalms in your context, the participant being coached by the tutor at the piano. Tutors are very excited to collaborate and work through ideas, but may not be equipped to take your guitar and show you “how it’s done”.