Advanced vocal technique, interpretive skills, and performance skills for cantors in focused, one-on-one study.
You will learn to:
Expertly interpret the music and lyrics of the Psalms and other sacred songs.
Convey the emotional depth of the music and powerful message of the lyrics through strength and example.
Motivate and encourage the assembly to engage and participate fully in the Mass through song.
Confidently lead the faithful through your proclamation of the sacred text, making meaningful prayer possible.
Lessons taught by Michael Rocchio in studio or online.
"A summary of my experience as a student of Michael Rocchio:
My progress as a cantor hinged on a significant improvement in my vocal capability and my understanding of what I'll call 'intentionality'. Throughout my lessons, I improved my breath control and the vocal quality of my sound. In my mind, it became much more resonant. However, as a cantor, I needed to be more conscious of what I was singing as well as how I was singing it. I learned about how to prepare each psalm in a way that allowed the intention of the psalmist to come out and then proclaim it to the congregation. That is what I'm calling intentionality."
~ Michael A.
Hello. This is Michael Rocchio, with a very personal message to those singers whose responsibility is to touch the minds, hearts, and souls of the faithful through sacred song.
In my decades as a professional singer and teacher of singing, I have had the opportunity to work with and hear many hundreds of voices at every level of expertise, singing every genre of music, from antiquity to the most contemporary and avante garde. Occasionally, a singer would capture my attention, then hold my soul enraptured.
Why? Was it the beauty of their voice, or, their technical skill?
Perhaps initially. But much more, it was their ability to bring the music to life vocally and lyrically, revealing the emotional depth of the music, and the powerful message of the lyrics.
Have you ever experienced this? Most importantly, have you ever created that experience for others?
As a cantor, you are charged with bringing sacred text to life in song. It’s your responsibility to ensure those to whom you are delivering the message truly hear it. Frankly, most cantors, grind out notes and lyrics in a monotonous string of sound that does nothing but disturb air molecules.
For some reading this message, that may have been hard to hear. But, honestly ask yourself, “Does this describe me?” If not, let me know where I can come hear you. If so, please know it needn’t be that way.
If you want greater fulfillment in your ministry, the insights, knowledge and skills you will acquire in this focused, one-on-one study is the way to reach your true potential.
Ability to sing on pitch and to read music. Current involvement in a Roman Catholic parish music program, or intention to develop skills for the purpose of applying for a new position. Commitment to practicing between lessons (15-30 minutes per day). Experience singing solo in a group setting is recommended. An interview will be required after you submit your application.
You will receive online access to educational materials.
A desktop computer, laptop, or tablet (the larger the screen the better) equipped with videocamera and microphone (no cell phones, please). Internal computer sound systems are notoriously poor at reliably transmitting singing. Excellent external microphones are readily available and reasonably priced. Ask for recommendations. Reliable access to high-speed internet is a must. Students are responsible for having working technology.
To become an excellent cantor is to commit oneself to a process. There is no magic wand. With time, talent, and commitment, you will reach your full potential.
Lessons are offered on a quadrimester (four-month) basis. Tuition is remitted in full, or by automatically paid monthly subscription. Students agree to complete the full quadrimester. Tuition is non-refundable, or transferable. For details, visit www.michaelrocchio.pro.
Ask your parish whether funding is available for continuing education.
Tuition may also be tax deductible for professional (compensated) musicians.