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MLCP Professional Development Day 2018 poster
Music Leadership Certification Curriculum
The Music Leadership Certification Curriculum
Music Leadership

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. Candidates are strongly encouraged to share their feedback via the MLCP Course Evaluation form.

Core Courses

  • 2018: Leadership of Congregational Singing
    David M. Glasgow, Credentialed Music Leader
    Dr. Zanaida Robles

    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)
  • 2018: Music Leaders as Theologians: Embodying the Work of Change 
    Dr. Mark Hicks
    Rev. Nancy Palmer
    JonesThis course is designed to support the role and best practices of the music leader in a multiracial, multicultural, and theologically diverse Unitarian Universalist congregation. As a doorway for deepening the congregation’s commitment to the inherent worth and dignity of every congregant, the course supports music leaders in helping the congregation to explore, name, and integrate its values in service of compassion, justice, and inclusion. We will explore such questions as: What is the music leader’s role in communicating and embodying the core messages of Unitarian Universalism? How are music leaders called to enter into the current conversations and actions in our Unitarian Universalist movement around dismantling white-supremacy culture in our institutions? How can music leaders model participating in these conversations and actions with depth, curiosity, humility, and joy? Through this course, participants and facilitators will explore how music, as a key element in congregational life, sparks the reflection, growth, and community so necessary for these times. Syllabus: Music Leaders as Theologians (PDF)
  • 2019: Directing and Managing a Music Program
    In this course, we will survey the practical aspects of developing and managing a dynamic music ministry.  We will explore resources from the UU Musicians Network 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. (Program subject to change).
  • 2019: Music and Worship
    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. (Program subject to change).
  • 2020: Ethics and Care: The Ethics of Self-Care

This course will explore both how as religious professionals we live our shared Unitarian Universalist Principles by developing habits that lead us forward to be our best selves as ethical leaders; and the practical ethical aspects and professional considerations of being a church musician. In order to provide comprehensive consideration, pre-course assignments and reading are required for ample exploration of the topic at hand. (Program subject to change).

  • 2020: Leading a Choral Rehearsal: Tools & Techniques for Success

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.(Program subject to change).

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.​

2018: Collaborative Leadership - An Antidote to the Culture of White Supremacy 

presented by Aisha Hauser, Beth Norton, and Rev. Bill Sinkford 

Wednesday August 1, 2018 at the UUMN Conference in Portland, OR.

Registration Information 

Unitarian Universalism holds a unique place on the religious landscape in that we do not mandate a belief in either a deity, or heaven or hell. This is both freeing and a responsibility to offer an experience of faith that challenges us to engage with mystery and wonder. This happens most explicitly and most often during worship. During this historic time in our denomination, we have an opportunity to reflect on how we replicate the dominant culture and why it is important that we are intentional about not doing so. The past year has highlighted the ways in which our faith is centered around whiteness. Most of our readings, music and sermons are by white people. What would it look like to be intentional about changing our focus? What would it look like to “de-center whiteness” even in a predominantly white space? The workshop will model how to use collaboration as a way to bring into worship the voices of people of color, whether they are religious leaders, writers, theologians or musicians. Learning to de-center whiteness, in all spaces, enriches us all.

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