This course is for the serious musician: choir director, professional soloist, church cantor, professional instrumentalist, college music major, or enthusiast in sacred and ancient music. You will learn to read and sing with confidence from chant notation.
FALL 2023: Tuesday afternoons or evenings
Evenings Oct 17 - Nov 14, 6:00 - 7:30 pm, USA Central Time Zone
NEW afternoon course: Oct 24 - Nov 28 (no class Nov 21), 1:00 - 2:30 pm, USA Central Time Zone
International Time Zone: GMT - 5 thru Nov. 4; GMT - 6 after Nov. 4
"I just completed Level I of the Online Chant Course and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Angela Rocchio is a delightful and inspiring teacher. She created a learning environment where students of various backgrounds and abilities felt supported and encouraged. We learned history, solfege, modes, chant methods, teaching methods (which I’ll bring back to my choir) and explored the wellspring of information that is on her extensive resource page. I came to this course a curious novice and I’m leaving with the ability to read and sing chant notation along with the desire to learn more. Thank you, Angela! I’ll be back for Level II."
~ Lorraine N., recording artist and parish music director in New York
Lesson 1: Pitch and Rhythm
This lesson will cover the fundamentals of reading pitch on the four-line staff: do and fa clefs, solfege, movable "do", rules for following the correct sequence of pitches (including the “custos” or guide note), and sight reading for the "re" modes; and the pulse and duration of pitches (including horizontal episema, dotted notes, and bar lines).
Lesson 2: Neumes
This lesson will include a review of Lesson 1, and explore performance practice for the expressive neumes (groups of notes): quilisma, salicus, and liquescent; as well as the porrectus, the flatted seventh, the asterisk, and sight reading for the "mi" modes. This lesson will conclude the notation portion of the course.
Lesson 3: Chant Preparation
In this lesson we will investigate techniques to prepare one for the singing of chant. We will consider the pulse and the “ictus”, dynamics and phrasing, singing in “una voce”, and exercises for an ensemble. We will touch on ecclesiastical Latin pronunciation, and delve into the legato nature of chant, and the primacy of the text. Lesson will include a brief look at the neumatic signs which existed prior to the invention of the four line staff. Also, sight reading for the "fa" modes.
Lesson 4: Modes, and Chant Resources
Differentiation of the eight modes, psalm tones, sight reading the "sol" modes, ordinary vs. proper, antiphons, questions to consider when implementing chant in your church, overview of a number of chant resources both in English and Latin
Lesson 5: Chant and the Liturgy
We will take a deep dive into the “proper” of the Mass: the introit, gradual, tract/alleluia, offertory, and communion chants. We will discover the role of each of these chants in the Liturgy, and formulae unique to each kind of chant. We will learn why Gregorian chant has earned a special place in the musical treasury of the Catholic Church.
Lesson 6: Private One Hour Lesson
The instructor and student will focus on the singing technique and artistry of a chant chosen and prepared by the student. This lesson will also allow the student to touch upon any additional questions not covered during the course.
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).
You will receive private access to an exclusive student resources page with dozens of practice exercises, listening links, recommended apps, and articles for further study. You may be asked to print select materials from this page from time to time. You may choose to order a hard copy of the Parish Book of Chant, 2nd edition, published by the Church Music Association of America, as well.
A desktop computer, laptop, or tablet (the larger the screen the better) equipped with videocamera and microphone (no cell phones, please). Reliable access to high-speed internet is a must. Student is responsible for working technology.
Your seat will be secured once tuition is paid in full.
Ask your parish whether funding is available for continuing education.
Tuition may also be tax deductible for professional (compensated) musicians.