The Curriculum for Music Leadership Credentialing

The curriculum through which candidates develop professional skill and knowledge in Music Skills and Resources, Unitarian Universalist (UU) Heritage and Values, and Leadership and Interpersonal Skills is delivered by the program through a series of six core courses and additional professional development opportunities. The courses will be offered at the Unitarian Universalist Musicians Network (UUMN) annual summer conference in a rotation of two courses offered each year. In addition, preceding the conference there will be a Professional Development Day (PDD) offered.

The courses and the Professional Development Days are mandatory.

Core Courses

  • 2014: Tools and Techniques for Leading a Successful Choral Rehearsal
    Led by Ann Watson Born and Donald Milton III, this class will focus on elements of leading a choral rehearsal including warm ups, teaching and introducing new music to singers, working with a variety of singers, score preparation, troubleshooting and polishing music, timing and pacing your rehearsal for success, and creating a positive atmosphere in rehearsals.

    Syllabus: Leading a Rehearsal
  • 2014: Ethics and Care
    This course will include detailed discussions of ethical behavior, moral decision-making, implications of the UUMN Code of Professional Practice, boundaries, self-care, and maintaining a personal spiritual practice. It will also explore case studies of ethical issues and values. Instructors are the Rev. Wendy Bartel and the Rev. Lynn Gardner.

    Syllabus: Ethics and Care
  • 2013: Integrating Music and Worship within UU Musical Heritage
    The skills developed in this course include creating music services, working with service leaders, exploring the use of instrumental and vocal music, movement, and silence in sacred space, selecting appropriate repertoire for UU congregations by using the UU hymnal and supplement and understanding the musical culture of the UU congregation, and working collaboratively with the Minister, DRE, and other service leaders.

    Syllabus: Creating Worship Collaboratively
  • 2013: Developing and Managing a Music Program
    The music committee, music program budget, staff skills, and collaborative relations with professional and lay leadership, knowing the culture and history of music in your congregation, and how to build an effective program will all be addressed.

    Syllabus: Growing Your Music Ministry
  • 2012: Leadership of Congregational Singing
    This course addresses techniques of leadership of congregational singing using a wide range of musical styles. Skills may include inviting and supporting the congregation in singing, giving clear upbeats, steady rhythm, basic ear training, simple improvisation, score reading, lining out a song, modeling good vocal production, leading rounds and simple harmonies, pitching a song for successful singing, hand motions, varied accompaniments, and conducting from the keyboard.

    Syllabus: Leadership of Congregational Singing 2012 (PDF, 3 pages)

    Readings and Resources
  • 2012: Rhythm, Pitch and Timbre—The Elements of Multicultural Competence for Musicians
    Using music as a bridge and a guide, this course introduces musicians to the basic elements necessary to uplift and sustain multiracial, multicultural congregations and communities. Through experiential-learning techniques, participants will consider their role in helping to create Unitarian Universalist communities of love and justice.

    Syllabus: Rhythm, Pitch and Timber 2012 (PDF, 11 Pages)

Professional Development Day

What does it mean to be a music leader in UU congregations? What skills and knowledge are needed beyond excellent musicianship and best practices in professional conduct? The annual Professional Development Day (PDD) is meant to help hone the skills that round out those necessary for an enriching and successful music ministry, and will address some aspect of the following UU professional development topics:

  • UU Theology and History
  • Congregational Structure
  • Interpersonal Leadership

PDD is currently offered the day before the UUMN conference begins. The course is divided into three sessions: two plenary sessions for Music Leadership Credentialing Program candidates and interested conference registrants, and a seminar for candidates only.

PDD 2014 will be held in San Diego, CA on July 16. Rev. Dr. Leon Dunkley’s topic is Music as Story: Gazing into Mystery, History, and Beyond.

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