Modern education is right to put a lot of emphasis on literacy. “Literacy” begins with the skill of recognizing and sounding out words. It extends to perceiving the meaning of words in sentences, and being able to create meaning by speaking to one another in words. Literate people write words as lists and reminders. They assemble words and can even abbreviate words in drafting texts and emails. All of these skills are implied in our idea of total literacy. But in training young children, we understand that a lot of preparation is needed to launch them on a literate path. They must learn the alphabet, phonics, and phonograms. As children learn the language, they first hear it spoken by a parent and imitate what they hear, articulating the sounds and sense of the language back to others. Hearing and imitating are basic to literacy. But they are not taught so much as experienced in everyday play and activity.
Music is similar to language. Its grammar–consisting not of letters and words–consists of pitches, rhythms, and meter. Its syntax consists of basic sounds and symbols. Music’s syntax melds into even greater structures–songs and sonatas and symphonies–which are the paragraphs and essays and novels of music. Musical training is like learning to read: a continuum that begins with hearing spoken words, connecting sound to symbol, interpreting symbols in context, then codifying meaning in our own hand. Even so, musical training begins with hearing sounds, continues with interpreting its written symbols, and matures when students are able to hear sounds in relationship to other sounds across time both in listening and playing.
Schola Cantorum is a music education program sponsored by the Conservatory of Music at New Saint Andrews College which teaches these skills. We begin with children who are four and five years old–about the age that they are beginning to read words at an elementary level. We teach them simple songs and games that engage their bodies and imaginations the same way that stories and rhymes hook them in their growth in language literacy. As they develop, we introduce them to musical symbols representing those they have experienced in singing and play. They learn to write these symbols by hand and interpret musical sounds by writing down what they hear. As growth continues, we teach them an awareness of harmony in which they hear their own part in partnership with others. In the end, not all of the children will become concert pianists or violinists, but they will have learned to read music on their own, begun to understand how music works, become fascinated by harmony, and have both blessed others and received blessing in performing music together.
This fall, consider enrolling your child in Schola Cantorum classes at New Saint Andrews College. All Schola Cantorum classes meet on Wednesday afternoons and will begin September 9, 2020. Classes are now open for children ages 4 through 9th grade.
All classes will be held at Trinity Reformed Church, 101 E. Palouse River Dr, Moscow, ID 83843.
Visit our registration page or look below for class times:
Questions? Email [email protected].
Singing School (preK through high school)
In all levels of music, we seek to train up and equip the students to worship the Triune God with joyful and thankful hearts. Additionally the Bible requires skillful worship. For us this is an imperative that our students read music, understand how music works, and are proficient singers and players.
Our curriculum is designed to foster musical skill in three ways:
All Schola Cantorum classes meet on Wednesday afternoons and will begin September 9, 2020. Classes are now open for children ages 4 through 9th grade.
TUITION FEE : $130 (covers the entire school year)
Description: We will begin to build a repertoire of tunes in the children’s heads and learn to coordinate their voices to sing those tunes. Students will begin to feel the pulse of music, and also begin to respond to music physically, emotionally and even spiritually. As their skill improves, the children will learn about concepts of fast and slow, and high and low–the foundations of rhythm and melody.
For this class, parents are encouraged, though not required, to be present.
Description: The goal for these children will be to review the objectives from previous grades and add to their repertoire of songs. Students will begin learning rhythm syllables, solfége, and hand signs. As they progress, students will focus on staff notation and completing the pentatonic scale.
Description: The goal for these children will be to add to their rhythmic and melodic skills, build repertoire, and develop their maturing singing voices. The students will extend the pentatonic scale, and incorporate ‘fa’ into the scale, their first non-pentatonic pitch.
Description: In this grade students will incorporate ‘ti’ into the scale, going beyond the simple tone sets of the pentatonic scale and will begin to encounter the minor scale. They will master new rhythmic concepts, encounter new musical vocabulary, discover a greater array of conventions in musical notation, will begin to perform music in parts, and will improve their singing technique.
Description: Students will continue to build on their previous musical knowledge with a view towards becoming fully “musically literate,” that is, able to read and sing music at sight. Choral singing will be emphasized and there will be several public concerts.
The Training Choir is for students in grades seven through nine. It serves as a transition from Kodaly classroom instruction to skills necessary in choral rehearsal and performance. It aims to prepare students to enter into advanced choral ensembles.