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

Beauty and the New Evangelization: Understanding and Employing Sacred Art, Architecture, and Music

Mondays 7:00-9:30 p.m., Co-taught with Prof. Emily Sottile

The Church is the greatest patron of the arts the world has ever known. That’s no accident! The beautiful has the potential to lead those who engage with it to the good and the true. Literacy in the languages of sacred art, architecture, and music are practical skills for evangelization.

For more information or to register, contact Dr. Donelson at

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.

Fourth 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 2019–2020 season will be held on September 3.

More information is available here.

Gregorian Chant for Children Ages 4.5 to 14 – Immaculate Conception Children’s Schola Cantorum

IMG_9526Weekly classes are offered for children 4.5 to 9 and 10 to 14 on Wednesdays at Immaculate Conception Church in Sleepy Hollow New York. Instruction is given according to the Ward Method. For more information on the classes or for tuition rates, please email



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

Classes meet at St. Catharine’s Church in Pelham, New York. 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.

Cardinal Kung Academy at Trinity Catholic High School, Stamford, CT

Students receive instruction in singing Gregorian chant and polyphony, as well as in the history of Western music. For more informations, visit the website of the Cardinal Kung Academy, a Catholic Classical High School.


Offered on a Rotating Basis

Teaching Gregorian Chant to Children

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.


Principles of Chant 


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 

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.


MA8100 – Introduction to Music Reading, Music Theory, and Ear Training for Parish Musicians

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?


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.