' ... educating children in good liturgy?'

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johnquinn39
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' ... educating children in good liturgy?'

Post by johnquinn39 »

How do we do this?

It seems that children are only taught 'As I kneel ...', 'Take our bread ...' and some CCM titles.

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Nick Baty
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Re: ' ... educating children in good liturgy?'

Post by Nick Baty »

Good relationship between parish and school.
And, I suppose, educated musicians in the parish!

promusica
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Re: ' ... educating children in good liturgy?'

Post by promusica »

A few years ago we set up a schola programme in the school where I work. Both the bishop and parish priest were keen to support it and have been a great source encouragement. It started small, but we now have eighteen girls (it's a single-sex urban, Catholic school) who all study organ or voice, are introduced to all styles of music from Gregorian chant (I'm constantly amazed that they love this aspect of the course so much), to motets, to traditional hymnody, to contemporary music by living liturgical composers. Once they sign up, there's a small interview and audition - largely to see if their disposition is suitable - and they remain in the programme for the duration of their time in school. For more information, see http://musicatmercy.weebly.com/liturgical-music.html . I think the key is repertoire - if the music is "childish" it will not serve them as they become young adults - as well as adult mentors who are willing to put in the time and liturgical training.

alan29
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Re: ' ... educating children in good liturgy?'

Post by alan29 »

It can be done best in the parish. I see little point in liturgy education in our schools given that the overwhelming proportion of the pupils will be nominal catholics at best. At least in the parish there is a chance that the kids will understand and relate to worship of any kind.

helen rees
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Re: ' ... educating children in good liturgy?'

Post by helen rees »

I agree Alan. In our parish, young people from 5 - 18 lead the music once a month. They choose the music based on readings and have asked to learn a variety of music and hymns. Last week, there was a tantrum from two 8 year olds who wanted to sing Sweet Sacrament Divine rather than This is My Body. I have even had to learn Missa de Angelis to keep up with them. It helps that they all come to mass each week and hear their parents singing so its not just the school that influences their choices.

IncenseTom
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Re: ' ... educating children in good liturgy?'

Post by IncenseTom »

promusica wrote: I think the key is repertoire - if the music is "childish" it will not serve them as they become young adults.


Yes Yes Yes. I always find it odd that adults so often insist on forcing 'childish' liturgical music on children and are convinced that 'non-'childish' music is totally unaccessible to them. I always think the adults get more out of it than the kids.
So encouraging to hear stories of kids enjoying and learning some decent music.

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musicus
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Re: ' ... educating children in good liturgy?'

Post by musicus »

Indeed, IncenseTom. And how refreshing to note the breadth of genres in promusica's post.
musicus - moderator, Liturgy Matters
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promusica
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Re: ' ... educating children in good liturgy?'

Post by promusica »

Thanks very much, both of you. It's refreshing to work with kids who are so receptive. Like the storekeeper in the Gospel, we as church musicians must draw from the new and the old...

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Nick Baty
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Re: ' ... educating children in good liturgy?'

Post by Nick Baty »

We certainly must, Promusica. That way, hopefully, we choose that which is most suitable.

Our secondary school recently has its final Mass on present premises. They specifically asked for copies of the eucharistic acclamations sung in the parish and in two of the primaries. Methinks we're getting somewhere at last.

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contrabordun
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Re: ' ... educating children in good liturgy?'

Post by contrabordun »

IncenseTom wrote:
promusica wrote: I think the key is repertoire - if the music is "childish" it will not serve them as they become young adults.

Yes Yes Yes. I always find it odd that adults so often insist on forcing 'childish' liturgical music on children and are convinced that 'non-'childish' music is totally unaccessible to them. I always think the adults get more out of it than the kids.


Spot on. I am fortunate in that I can set my own working hours, and so, as of last September have been able to go into our parish primary school weekly to start a little after school choir. As ten of them have stayed the distance so far, I can only conclude that they are enjoying my fairly uncompromising diet (to date: Warlock/Adam Lay Ye Bounden, Telemann/Hosianna dem Sonne David Stainer/God So Loved The World; this term: Byrd/Ave Verum, Aichiner/Factus Est Repente and our very own Alan Smith/Like the Murmur of the Dove's Song).

It's down to being enthusiastic and positive about what you stand for in musical terms, communicating a love of it and hoping that nobody else tells them they're aren't supposed to enjoy it.
Paul Hodgetts

Alan
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Re: ' ... educating children in good liturgy?'

Post by Alan »

contrabordun wrote:...and our very own Alan Smith/Like the Murmur of the Dove's Song).

Very kind - but, alas, not me but my more prolific namesake. I have taken to putting 'Alan P Smith' in the copyright line.

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Nick Baty
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Re: ' ... educating children in good liturgy?'

Post by Nick Baty »

Not a problem I expected to have, given that there are few with my surname.
But, if you Google me, you'll see I was murdered in 2008!

quaeritor
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Re: ' ... educating children in good liturgy?'

Post by quaeritor »

Nick Baty wrote:Our secondary school recently has its final Mass on present premises. They specifically asked for copies of the eucharistic acclamations sung in the parish and in two of the primaries. Methinks we're getting somewhere at last.

Where's the "Smiley" for envy? - at a recent meeting the "RE Co-ordinator" of our primary school contributed: "We just concentrate on the hymns - we don't bother about the bits in between."

Am I wasting my time?

Q

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mcb
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Re: ' ... educating children in good liturgy?'

Post by mcb »

contrabordun wrote:...enjoying my fairly uncompromising diet (to date: Warlock/Adam Lay Ye Bounden, Telemann/Hosianna dem Sonne David Stainer/God So Loved The World; this term: Byrd/Ave Verum, Aichiner/Factus Est Repente and [...] Alan Smith/Like the Murmur of the Dove's Song).

That's brilliant, Paul. Do you have them reading the notes or singing from memory?

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contrabordun
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Re: ' ... educating children in good liturgy?'

Post by contrabordun »

They have the notes in front of them...but what comes out of their mouths is mostly memory recall. BTW, the results to date in terms of musical quality aren't too great and I struggle with keeping them on task, especially the youngest - I've no training or qualifications to teach either music or junior school children and it's hard to know how firm to be. Most of the improvements appear to happen between, rather than during, rehearsals. Something that was essentially inaudible at the end of one session will be mysteriously confident at the beginning of the next.

OTOH, I feel like the simple fact of its existence is a bit of an achievement. They do get enthusiastic about the music. "When are we going to sing Hosianna again" was one comment yesterday, from an 8 year old boy referring to a piece of Telemann that we'd sung in German. The Aichinger (http://www1.cpdl.org/wiki/images/b/b2/Aich-factus.pdf if you don't know it) is also going down well, possibly because the Tam-Quamadvenientis / U-bierantsedentes bits sound like something Harry Potter might have said.

One thing I've learned from a variety of attempts to involve children in the choir is that they will happily come to practices (in school and formerly evenings in church) for weeks on end without any apparent desire to sing at Mass on Sunday. I thought it would be the other way round, that rehearsal attendence would be poor but that people would come on Sunday. (That being the default mode for some adult choristors :twisted:). I finally twigged that they and their parents see 'choir' as another mid-week club , like Brownies or whatever, not as a chore to be undergone to qualify for Sunday choir membership. This circumstance actually creates several useful consequences (can recruit children who go to other (or no) churches, much less pressure on the amount of material to churn, singing at Mass becomes something we build to 2 or 3 times a term). Different of course from a situation with an established treble line of many years' standing where the elder children already know most of the repertoire - ours are all starting from scratch.

Also worth saying that without the publicly expressed support of the PP and HT, this would have got nowhere at all.
Paul Hodgetts

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