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Dive into Hildegard von Bingen's life history, musical works, and performance practice. The course is taught by Dr. Kathryn Summersett, and is delivered via Zoom.

SCHEDULE: Tuesday evenings, 6:00 - 7:30 pm, USA Central Time Zone

Spring 2022: May 24 - June 21 (early bird deadline May 10)

This course is closed.

Pro-Arte Saint Louis - Ave Generosa rehearsal 10-23-15Kathryn Summersett
00:00 / 05:37

Hildegard von Bingen (1098-1179) wears the crown as one of the most prolific medieval content creators. This Benedictine abbess was also a mystic, visionary, polymath, physician, naturalist, writer, and composer, as well as a diplomat and researcher of science. She has many firsts within Western literature, including the earliest specific written account of hops being used to preserve beer. More relevant to the Chant Academy, however, she composed the earliest surviving full-scale medieval music drama, Ordo Virtutum (Order of the Virtues).

Class 1: Hildegard History

In this class we will take a look at Hildegard's life story, and the broader historical context into which she fits. 

Class 2: Repertoire and Resources

We will explore Hildegard's musical works, and in what context they were performed. 

Class 3: Hildegard's Ordo Virtutum

This class will delve into Hildegard's music drama, the Ordo Virtutum.

Class 4: Theory and Performance Practice I

The final two group classes will focus on the historical performance practice of Hildegard's repertoire, and will include:

  • Metaphysical Theory behind Hildegard's singing practice

  • Medieval German-Latin Diction

  • Modal music theory

  • How to sing her repertoire expressively


Class 5: Theory and Performance Practice II

Class 6: Private One-Hour Lesson
In two private online lessons, the educator and student will work through one or more of Hildegard's chants together, with focus on artistry, singing technique, German Latin diction, and the proper use of any desired instrumentation. These lessons will also allow the student to touch upon any additional questions not covered during the course.

Class 7: Private One-Hour Lesson


Ability to sing on pitch, ability to distinguish between the semitone (half step) and the whole tone (whole step). Ability to read music in western notation, or to read pitch from chant notation. Commitment to practice exercises between lessons (15-30 minutes per day).


All materials will be provided by educator, and are included in the course. 

Technical Requirements

A desktop computer, laptop, or tablet (the larger the screen the better) equipped with videocamera (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. 



$300 USD

Students who are enrolled by the early registration deadline will qualify for a 20% discount.

Tuition must be received in full and before course begins to secure your spot. No refunds.