The Metropolitan Cantor Institute will offer the following online courses in 2017:
Introduction to Liturgy – February 12 to April 7, 2017
An 8-week introduction to the liturgical services and traditions of the Byzantine Rite. The course will cover the liturgical day and week, fixed and moveable feasts, the Divine Liturgy and holy mysteries. This is an introductory course that establishes liturgical knowledge for further cantor education. (No singing component.) Tuition: $50.
Introduction to Church Singing – February 12 to April 7
An 8-week course that covers the fundamentals of plain chant: musical scales and notation, ear training, basic vocal technique, and the simplest chant melodies: singing on a single pitch, chanting to the usual psalm tone, and singing basic responses such as “Amen” and “Lord, have mercy.” Students will record their singing for review and feedback. Tuition: $75.
Introduction to the Divine Liturgy – April 24 to June 16
This course will present the Divine Liturgy of Saint John Chrysostom at an introductory level. Students will learn to lead the chants of the Divine Liturgy, including music sung at Communion and before and after Liturgy, Students will record their singing for review and feedback, and by the end of the course must demonstrate their ability to sing ONE version of each of the ordinary chants of the Divine Liturgy. Tuition: $75. Prerequisites: Introduction to Liturgy and Introduction to Church Singing, or equivalent.
Reading in Church – April 24 to May 19
This 4-week course will teach those with basic singing experience how to correctly chant the epistle and other readings at liturgical services. The course will also cover the role of Scripture in our services, and how to make regular Scripture study part of your own life, and is intended for both church readers and cantors. Students will record their singing for review and feedback. Tuition: $50. Prerequisites: none, but the Introduction to Church Singing course is recommended.
Introduction to the Typikon – May 22 to June 16
This 4-week course will provide practical instruction in the use of the church Typikon to set up services for Sundays, feast days, and ordinary weekdays. Primary focus will be on the hymns of the principal Divine Liturgy for each day. Tuition: $30. Prerequisite: Introduction to Liturgy, or equivalent.
Introduction to the Eight Tones – June 19 to August 11
This course will cover the singing of the Divine Liturgy hymns n the eight tones: the eight troparion melodies, four kontakion melodies, and the tones for prokeimon and Alleluia. Students will also learn to sing the Our Father in the eight samohlasen tones, and the Tone 6 irmos melody. This course is of fundamental important for church cantors; students should have completed the Introduction to Church Singing course (or equivalent experience) before taking this course. Students will record their singing for review and feedback. Tuition: $75. Prerequisite: Introduction to Church Singing.
The Liturgical Year – August 14 to October 6
Students will learn to lead the singing of the feast-day hymns of the Divine Liturgy for the fixed feasts of the liturgical year, from September 1 to August 31 (with the exception of Christmas and Theophany, which will be covered in a separate course). Emphasis will be placed on the various types of feasts, pre- and post-festive periods, and clear and precise singing of the music for each feast, as well as the theological and spiritual meaning of each. Students will record their singing for review and feedback. Tuition: $75. Prerequisite: Introduction the Divine Liturgy and Introduction to the Eight Tones.
Mastering the Eight Tones – August 14 to October 6
This course will teach the eight samohlasen tones used at Vespers and Matins, and help students achieve mastery of the troparion, kontakion, and prokeimenon melodies. Students will record their singing for review and feedback. Tuition: $75. Prerequisite: Introduction to the Eight Tones.
The Office of Vespers – October 16 to December 8
Students will learn the structure and music for the service of Vespers for Sundays and feast days, and how to lead the singing at these services, which are an essential part of the Byzantine Rite liturgical cycle. Students will record their singing for review and feedback. Tuition: $75. Prerequisite: Mastering the Eight Tones.
The Divine Liturgy – October 16 to December 8
Students will learn to lead the singing of the Divine Liturgies of St. John Chrysostom and Saint Basil. All melodies and variants in the green Divine Liturgies book will be covered. Students will record their singing for review and feedback. Tuition: $75. Prerequisite: Introduction to Church Singing and Introduction to the Divine Liturgy, or equivalent.
Courses on the Lenten and Paschal cycles, the holy Mysteries and the funeral services, and Christmas and Theophany will be offered in 2018.
About the courses
Each course starts on a Monday and ends on a Friday. All courses will require a computer, internet access, and speakers or headphones. For courses which require you to record your singing, you will can use a computer microphone or digital tape recorder.
These courses are intended for the education and formation of cantors for the Byzantine Catholic Church; others will be admitted on a space-available basis. Courses are graded on a pass/fail basis, and aim at understanding of our liturgy, mastery of our plain chant, and the ability to lead congregations in prayer. If you sign up for these courses, expect to work hard, learning with other cantors and those wanting to become cantors.
To register, fill out and submit the registration form with the appropriate tuition by February 9.