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Benefits of the MLC program
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 are usually offered at the Association of Unitarian Universalist Music Ministries (AUUMM) annual summer conference in a rotation of two courses offered each year. In addition, a Professional Development Day (PDD) is offered, usually preceding the conference.

The courses and the Professional Development Days are mandatory. 

Core Courses

  • 2019: Developing and Managing a Music Program with Catherine Massey, Credentialed Music Leader and Tony McDonald, instructors July 23, 2019 in Denver, CO

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. 2019 DAMAMP Syllabus (PDF) (Word)

  • 2019: Music and Worship, with Rev. Keith Arnold, Credentialed Music Leader and Rev. Wendy Williams July 23, 2019 in Denver, CO
    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. 2019 M&W Syllabus (PDF) (Word)
  • 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).
  • 2021: Leadership of Congregational Singing
    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. (program subject to change)
  • 2021: Music Leaders as Theologians (Multicultural Competence)

This 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? (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 AUUMN 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.​

2019: Tending to Structures that Matter, presented by Mr. Barb Greve, MDiv, MLCRE 

Whether the congregational structure is built of bricks or people or bytes, how it is structured matters. In our time together we’ll explore the myriad ways that covenanted faith communities organize themselves, make decisions, and influence lives. Worship, music, education, justice, and governance weave together into the fabric of our collective. As weavers of this fabric, religious professionals must know the tools available to ensure a fabric for the ages. Power dynamics, change theory, mission/vision, collaborative leadership, conflict management, and stewardship skills can all be tools in your toolbox by the end of this workshop.

All religious professionals are invited to participate in the Professional Development Day, which is sponsored by the UUA’s Music Leadership Certification Program. The session will be held at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Denver Tech Center North, the AUUMM conference hotel in Denver, CO.

Register using our online form.

Registration deadline is Wednesday, July 17th. The cost of the program is $75, payable by credit card at the time of registration. On-site registration will be available as space allows; the cost is $100, payable by check or cash only. 2019 PDD flyer (PDF)

For more information contact

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