The OCA’s Department of Liturgical Music will once again offer two introductory online courses for the benefit of church singers and conductors.
- “Basic Sight-Singing and Ear Training” (10 weeks) and
- “Basic Conducting Techniques” (12 weeks)
Both courses begin on Monday, January 31; the Sight-Singing class will conclude the week of April 4 (5th Week of Great Lent), while the Conducting class will conclude the week of May 9th, after Pascha (with a break for Holy Week and Bright Week).
Registration links and costs are as follows:
In the Fall of 2021, both classes filled up very quickly, with a number of prospective students placed on a waiting list. A total of 30 students enrolled in the Sight Singing class, while the Conducting Class had a total of 10 students. Students in both classes found that a significant investment of time—at least 3-4 hours per week—was needed in order to keep up with the course work.
Each class consists of pre-recorded lessons that students can watch asynchronously on their own time, one per week. Every lesson has a homework component, and then each student is expected to meet online with a course instructor for 20-30 minutes—to ask questions and to give the instructor an opportunity to monitor each student’s progress and offer assistance as necessary.
The positive feedback from students suggests that these courses are meeting the needs of church singers and choir directors in the parishes.
“I can now look at a Tone and pitch it and sing the melody… The tools I learned in the class will help me to continue to grow in my singing abilities.”
“Learning the structure of troparia, stichera, and canon [melodies] was very helpful.”
“[The sight-singing course] gave a very good foundation for sight singing. I can pick up a piece of music in any of the keys we learned and know how to sing it. Fabulous!”
“I liked being able to watch the [conducting] videos multiple times. I especially appreciated the Zoom interactive sessions. Thanks!”
“The [conducting] course content was perfect. Always challenging, yet fun! That is what made it so perfect!”
“[The conducting course] actually fulfilled goals I didn’t even know I should have—such as score analysis.”
“This past semester I was greatly helped by having five assistant instructors, who met one-on-one with the Sight-Singing and Ear Training students,” says Dr. Vladimir Morosan, who developed these classes for the OCA Music Department. “We had an outstanding and dedicated team,” Morosan continues, “including Deacon Anthony Stokes (Saint Maximus Orthodox Church, Denton, TX), Tabitha Lewis (Saint Tikhon’s Seminary, PA), Serge Liberovsky (Holy Virgin Mary Cathedral, Los Angeles), Jacob Mandell (Saint Michael’s Orthodox Church in Irvona, PA, and Nativity of the Theotokos Orthodox Church in Madera, PA), and Andrew Ritchey (Saint Symeon Orthodox Church, in Birmingham, AL). It allowed us to offer the course to an expanded number of students, while giving each of them individualized attention. In addition, I worked with Michael Hunner, the new music instructor at Saint Herman’s Seminary in Kodiak, AK, who will be passing what we have to offer on to his students at the seminary.” This team-teaching model will be continued this coming semester.