A number of Catholic classical schools are finding The Ward Method for teaching music theory, composition, and conducting an excellent enhancement to their curriculum and foundation for liturgical singing. The Ward Method was developed a century ago at Catholic University of America as a way to teach elementary students music theory through learning to sing, compose, and conduct. Gregorian chant is featured in a particular way in the four-book series designed for first through eighth grades.
The Ward Method courses make real a fundamental truth about singing -- it is deeply human, not a matter simply for those with special talents and interests. Anticipating Dorothy Sayers’ advice about the three stages of development, the Ward Method is progressive and takes advantage of what children can do themselves. Children find out they can learn to make music and like it. Ideally, the Method is taught in short (20 minute) daily increments to reinforce what younger children quickly learn but have trouble retaining. The Method is also very accessible to all teachers. The Ward training was designed for teaching sisters with no musical background to integrate into their daily classroom work.
The Centre for Ward Method Studies offers week-long summer training programs covering one of the four-book series. Arrangements can also be made to bring the training sessions on-site to the entire faculty. Contact: Amy Zuberbueler.