Main Content
Music Leadership Certification Curriculum

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

  • 2015: Leadership of Congregational Singing
    David M. Glasgow, Credentialed Music Leader
    Amber Fetner, Credentialed Music Leader

    This course will develop strong, effective, and inspiring leadership of hymns/songs for congregationalsinging. Through the use of both practical and written assignments, candidates will use a wide range ofmusical styles and techniques to help them broaden and deepen the worship experience of the congregations they serve.

Syllabus: Leadership of Congregational Singing

  • 2015: Toward Multicultural Competence
    Beth Norton, Credentialed Music Leader
    Reverend Erica Baron

    Unitarian Universalism aspires to be a theologically diverse, multicultural, anti-racist and anti-oppressive religious movement. Music leaders must develop their own multicultural competence if they are to help guide the congregations they serve to be multicultural and to engage in anti-racist and anti-oppresive practices. Developinng one's multicultural competence is an ongoing, life-long process. This course is designed to provide a framework for understanding and engaging in this process. Using the Development Model of Intercultural Sensitivity (DMIS), participants will acquire a lens for understanding and exploring the development of intercultural competence. Readings and shared musical experiences will guide our reflection and discussion of multicultural competence and such issues as white privilege and cultural imsappropriation.

Syllabus: Toward Multicultural Competence


  • 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


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 Certification Program candidates and interested conference registrants, and a seminar for candidates only.

PDD 2015 will be held in Boston, MA on July 22. Our presenter this year is the Reverend Debra W. Haffner, President and CEO of the Religious Institute.  A certified sexuality educator, she is also the endorsed community minister at The Unitarian Church in Westport.   Her topic is Sexuality Issues for Music Directors. 

What is a sexually healthy religious professional? What roles does the musician play in ensuring a sexually healthy faith community? Join Rev. Debra Haffner for a lively, interactive day that covers:

  • Understanding personal values and history
  • Components of sexual identity
  • Life behaviors of a sexually healthy adult
  • Dealing with attraction and boundaries
  • Pastoral presence around sexuality issues
  • Sound practices for musicians and music programs

Like, Share, Print, or Explore

For more information contact

Find everything tagged: