CMAA Courses on the Ward Method in June, 2017

Have you wondered about the Ward Method?
Thought it might change the way you teach music with children? For the better?
Did you do the basic course and you want to take it further?

The Church Music Association of America (CMAA) is offering you a chance to find out about Ward and take your practice deeper this summer at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, June 26-30, 2017.

There will be two courses offered.

Ward Method I – That All May Sing will be taught by Scott Turkington. Participants will learn the basic principles and the practice of this method developed by Justine Ward in the early 20th century and how it can be used with our 21st century children. Its fundamental principle is that all children can learn to sing, not just those with natural gifts.

Ward Method II – Intermediate moves beyond the first year. Wilko Brouwers will share his expertise and experience with the method to pass on more advanced techniques. It will expand on the training in Ward Method I.

Both Scott Turkington and Wilko Brouwers are experienced and gifted teachers, not only of children, but of teachers as well.

The CMAA is convinced that this method has great value for developing future generations of singers, both those in the choirs and those in the pews. You can be part of that project.

You can learn more details about the courses and register at by following this link:
CMAA Summer Courses.

Help the past and the present build our musical future!

Wish you could play the organ as well as the piano? The answer may be here!

There is now available FREE OF CHARGE 30 video lessons designed to help the intermediate-level pianist learn the basics of organ service playing.

There are organs all over the country (maybe the world) that are silent for a lack of hands (and feet).

Some churches that just had a piano suddenly got a designated organ bequest.
Sometimes the pastor likes organ music and is thoroughly sick of the clavinova.

Could those hands (and feet) belong to you or someone you know?

Check it out at this link;
And remember – it’s free!

PS: Organs are very cool because they can be very loud. Well, that’s one reason I like them!

Musica Sacra Florida Chant Conference, May 19-20, 2017

Are you suffering from post-Paschal malaise? Would you like a little chant break that you’re not in charge of?


From Friday afternoon, May 19th through Saturday, May 20th, you can sing, learn, pray, and enjoy the company of like-minded friends new and old. We’ll be at St. Mark the Evangelist Church in Tampa.

The faculty will include Dr. Susan Treacy, Dr. Edward Schaefer, and Dr. Mary Jane Ballou (yes, that’s me!).

There will be an Extraordinary Form Mass on Friday evening, Lauds on Saturday morning, and an Ordinary Form Mass on Saturday afternoon with music provided by the conference participants.

Friday evening’s music will be sung by the Schola of the Epiphany of Our Lord Church in Tampa.

There will be a keynote address, two workshops, and three scholae – beginning/intermediate, advanced men, and advanced women.

You can learn all the details, see a preliminary schedule, marvel at the low cost, and nearby deal at the Holiday Inn Express by visiting 

Of course, you’ll be able to register there as well!  And we look forward to seeing you.

Just a Little More Easter (Actually, A Lot More) From Georgia

The Easter Vigil (Resurrection Matins and Divine Liturgy) is a marathon that makes the Roman Catholic vigil resemble a walk in the park.

The link below comes from Georgia (the country, not the state), where John Graham, a historical musicologist, lives and leads cultural tours.  Click on different bits on the videos from this monastic celebration. It’s really rough, “guy music,” at its Caucasian best. Enjoy it!

Christ is Risen!

Your Role in Promoting Our Musical Future

Preliminary design by Els Decker

Most of us agree that the training of future singers is of paramount importance for the continued revival of fine sacred music. The Ward Method is a proven system for developing young voices to sing with understanding and a beautiful tone.

Right now, the Church Music Association of America has commissioned a new songbook for use with the Ward Method. 
Any donations received by June 1, 2017 will be matched by a generous donor up to a total of $5,000. Every dollar you give will be doubled. No donation is too small. 
Why not head over to the CMAA website devoted to this project and learn more about “Now I Walk in Beauty”? And we hope you’ll be able to help. If you’ve already contributed, many thanks!

Winter Sacred Music 2017 in Birmingham, Alabama

What better way to start off the New Year than with great music, terrific directors, and good company?  January 2-6, 2017 is the time, Birmingham is the place.

You can find all of these if you attend the Winter Sacred Music 2017 conference in Birmingham, Alabama.  Scott Turkington and Nick Botkins will be leading classes in chant and polyphony (two each). The culmination of you and your companions’ efforts will be an Ordinary Form Mass for the Memorial of St. John Neumann on January 5th and an Extraordinary Mass for the Epiphany on January 6th, both at the splendid Gothic Revival Cathedral of St. Paul. In addition, Dr. William Mahrt will offer breakout lectures that will deepen your understanding of the history and role of our great patrimony.

Learn more and register now without delay at

Your skills will grow; your happiness will increase.

Musica Sacra Florida Conference May 20-21 in Tampa

Join Musica Sacra Florida for our 7th Chant Conference!  

We’ll be meeting at St. Mark the Evangelist Church in Tampa, Florida this year.  Over on the west coast of the state and easily accessible to one and all.  You can find all the details – and register – over at There are four different workshops, two Masses – one Extraordinary Form and one Ordinary Form.  Chant choirs at both beginning and advanced levels. Fellowship with other singers. A fantastic faculty (of which I am a modest member) and propers for the Friday evening Mass sung by the Florida Pro Musica Schola, directed by Larry Kent.

Beginner or advanced or somewhere in-between – all are invited to join us. It promises to be a wonderful little conference. So come on down, up, or across!