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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

  • 2016: Directing and Managing a Music Program
    Instructor - John Hubert, Director of Music at the First Universalist Church of Denver
    In this course, we will survey the practical aspects of developing and managing a dynamic music ministry.  We will explore resources from the UUMN and elsewhere, but our greatest resource will be each other. In addition to discussing the ‘nuts and bolts’ that make up our music programs, each participant will explore and discuss the culture that exists within his/her faith community. Programs tend to succeed when we understand who it is we are serving as music leaders. Instructor: John 
    Syllabus: DAMAMP (PDF)
  • 2016: Music and Worship
    Instructor - Mark Vogel, Music Director at First UU Church of Houston

    This course will develop the music professional’s ability to create transformational worship as part of a collaborative team. By the end of the class,the participant will have an increased understanding of the role and function of music in worship and how to access appropriate resources within a Unitarian Universalist setting.
    Syllabus: M & W (PDF)
  • 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 congregational singing. Through the use of both practical and written assignments, candidates will use a wide range of musical styles and techniques to help them broaden and deepen the worship experience of the congregations they serve.
    Syllabus: Leadership of Congregational Singing (PDF)
  • 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-oppressive practices. Developing 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 misappropriation.
    Syllabus: Toward Multicultural Competence (PDF)
  • 2014: Tools and Techniques for Leading a Successful Choral Rehearsal
    Led by Anne 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 (PDF)
  • 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 (PDF)

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 2016 will be held in Madison, WI on July 20. This year’s presenter is Jan Gartner. Jan has been serving the UUA as Professional Development Specialist for the past five years. On July 1, she is moving into the role of Compensation and Staffing Practices Manager. Jan’s presentation:

More Cowbell! Systems, Power, and Teams with a Musical Twist

The Music Professional occupies a unique place on the staff team. Looking through the lens of the musician, we’ll explore congregational systems, staff relations, power dynamics, and more. This lively, participatory experience will use musical metaphors to aid in integrating concepts.

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