Summer 2019 at St. Joseph’s Seminary, Yonkers campus

Teaching Gregorian Chant to Children (Summer 2019 Intensive) 
July 22–26, 2019

IMG_9526This 5-day intensive course will present pedagogical techniques for teaching Gregorian chant to children and is ideal for Catholic schoolteachers, directors and teachers of religious education, directors of children’s choirs, and parents. Special emphasis will be placed on the Ward Method, a comprehensive music education method designed to teach sacred music to children. Other topics addressed will include resources for teachers, other teaching approaches, and the logistics of developing a sacred music program for children. 3 credits or audit.

To register, contact Associate Dean Dr. Donna Eschenauer at

Principles of Chant – July 31-August 3, 2019 (Summer 2019 Intensive)


Serving as an introduction to Gregorian chant, this course will cover neumatic notation, Gregorian modes, ear training and sight reading, vocal technique appropriate for singing chant, and Latin pronunciation. Special focus will be placed on rhythmic interpretation of the chant according to the classical Solesmes (Mocquereau) method. By the end of the class, students will have confidence singing from the Graduale Romanum, solfège, and psalm tones, and some experience in conducting (chironomy). Additional topics introduced in the class include the history of Gregorian chant, rehearsal techniques for teaching chant to children and adult choirs, and an introduction to chant resources in English and Spanish. 3 credits or audit.


Principles of Sacred Music – June 3–July 30 (hybrid course; online from June 3–July 28, in-person July 29 & 30)

stained-glass50Through a survey of the history of sacred music and reading of Church and papal legislation on sacred music, students gain an understanding of the principles which shape Western sacred music and the musical structure of the Roman rite. Special focus is placed on current documents which govern music in the Church. The course also features in-depth discussion of practical issues including the formation and management of sacred music programs in parishes, active participation, progressive solemnity, the use of instruments in the sacred liturgy, resources available for music directors and choristers, and other relevant topics. 3 credits or audit.


Spring 2019 at St. Joseph’s Seminary, Yonkers campus

MA8100 – Introduction to Music Reading, Music Theory, and Ear Training for Parish Musicians
Saturdays, 9:30-11:30, beginning Saturday, January 19th, 2019

Are you a church musician who would like to gain independence in reading and singing or playing music in your parish’s music program? Would you like to gain confidence in your ability to read music so that you can learn new music, and learn it more quickly? Are you looking for a program to help you perform with accuracy and musicality in your work in music ministry?


This spring, St. Joseph’s Seminary is offering the course you’ve been looking for!


Starting from an introduction to reading both modern and neumatic (square note) music notation, this course will introduce participants to music theory concepts that will aid them in reading, singing, and playing music in their parish music programs. Concepts covered will include major and minor scales, Gregorian modes, key signatures, intervals, rhythms and time signatures, triads, and seventh chords. Special emphasis will be given to ear training and musicianship exercises which embed theoretical concepts in practical musical examples. The only prerequisite to the course is the ability to match pitch when singing.


The course meets on Saturdays from 9:30 to 11:30—beginning January 19th and ending May 4th—at the Yonkers campus of St. Joseph’s Seminary and is taught by Dr. Jennifer Donelson, the director of sacred music at St. Joseph’s. The regular price for this non-credited course is $500, for first-time students at St. Joseph’s Seminary, the price is $250. The course is open to those with or without bachelors degrees.


Private Lessons in Chant Conducting (Chironomy)

d504f7df-ef69-4488-a5d9-fb6e7d0f75ebAre you interested in learning how to conduct Gregorian chant according to the classical Solesmes method? Have you learned some of the basics and are now looking to improve your developing conducting skills? Private lessons are available, either in-person or via Skype/FaceTime.

Learn more about tuition rates and scheduling availability by emailing Dr. Donelson at


Organist Training Program

Offered through the Archdiocese of New York’s Liturgy Office, the Organist Training Program seeks to provide the qualified keyboardist with the skills and training to successfully serve as an organist in a parish setting through a low-cost, goal-oriented, and flexible pedagogical structure. Lessons are taught by members of the archdiocesan Music Commission and other highly-qualified organists throughout the Archdiocese. More information is available here. 

Vocalist Training Program

The Vocalist Training Program seeks to provide the qualified singer with the skills and training to successfully serve as an cantor or chorister in a parish setting through a low-cost, goal-oriented, and flexible pedagogical structure. Lessons are taught by members of the archdiocesan Music Commission and other highly-qualified vocalists throughout the Archdiocese. More information will be available soon.

Third Season of the Metropolitan Catholic Chorale

IMG_1690The Metropolitan Catholic Chorale (MCC) is dedicated to singing the Catholic Church’s treasury of sacred music—Gregorian chant and sacred polyphony—in the context of the sacred liturgy in the New York metropolitan region, and to helping others discover, understand, and love the Church’s sacred music. In keeping with the purpose of sacred music, our aim is to glorify God and sanctify and edify those who hear us.

Auditions for the 2018–2019 season will be held on September 4.

More information is available here.

Gregorian Chant for Children Ages 4.5 to 14 – Ward Method Classes at Colm Cille Homeschool Co-Op

IMG_9526Classes meet at St. Catharine’s Church in Pelham, New York. Classes schedule for 2017–2018 TBA. For more information on the classes or for tuition rates, please email

The Ward Method is a comprehensive music education method, developed by Catholic convert Justine Ward in the 1920s, and used extensively in Catholic schools until the 1970s. The method has as its goals the education of the child in the beauty of the Church’s sacred music, and helping children participate well in the sacred liturgy through the singing of Gregorian chant. The method incorporates ear training so that children are able to both intelligently hear and sing written music at sight, as well as a thorough grounding in musical notation which lends itself to other musical studies. Each student learns to match pitch and sing with good vocal technique. Games which develop composition and improvisation skills are incorporated into each lesson, and students are trained in rhythm and musical dictation. The method is designed so that each activity takes 2-5 minutes and keeps young children engaged.