Chenaniah Summer Music Institute
Chenaniah, leader of the Levites, was instructor in charge of the music, because he was skillful (1 Chronicles 15:22).
A teacher must be one who KNOWS the lesson or truth to be taught.
—John Milton Gregory
It is more important who the singing master at Kisvárda is than who the director of the Opera House is, because a poor director will fail. [Often even a good one.] But a bad teacher may kill the love of music for thirty years in thirty classes of pupils.
How can we train up children to be as literate in music as they are in their native language? By having music teachers like Chenaniah, who knows and loves their subject and their students to the glory of God. Our goal is simple: to train up teachers who are equipped to train up students unto a high level of musical literacy in a Christian and Classical manner.
The primary and ultimate goal of the music curriculum is that the students are to be trained up and equipped to worship the Triune God, by grace through faith, with joyful and thankful hearts. A high emphasis will be placed on knowing and loving our rich, sacred music heritage so that we may be formed and informed by it so that we may stand on the shoulders of our fathers and build upon their foundation.
The purpose of learning a language is to achieve full literacy: the ability to read, write, speak, and comprehend with skill and understanding. As a language, the teaching and learning of Music is well suited to the structure of the Trivium: Grammar, Dialectic, and Rhetoric.
In over thirty years of studying and teaching music, I have seen no greater means of teaching music literacy than the Kodály Method, based on the teachings of Zoltán Kodály (1882-1967): Hungarian composer, ethnomusicologist, and music educator. His approach to music education is magnificently well-suited to the classical model of education, John Milton Gregory’s ‘Seven Laws of Teaching,’ and the enculturation paradigm of paideia. Kodály’s philosophy and efforts in the realm of music education drastically transformed the musical culture of Hungary and subsequently many other places throughout the world where his methodology was implemented.
In the span of one lifetime an entire nation matured from musical illiteracy to musical literacy. Kodály had a clear vision coupled with the requisite skills with which to implement his ideas and the support of the school leaders to put the plan into motion. Not only was he a visionary; he was an active educator. He was King David and Chenaniah rolled into one. Kodály understood, like many others throughout the ages, that to affect such a change one must begin with children. The wise builder starts with the foundation and builds upon it.
So, at CSMI, we aim to prepare and equip music teachers in such a way that would have a monumental long-term effect on worship and culture in our schools, churches, and communities.
• What if parents, schools, and churches were to train up their children to be musically literate?
• What if the average Christian sitting in the pew possessed a musical literacy greater than that of a typical state college music graduate?
• What if the Church were to have such a musical transformation?
• Can you imagine if the average congregant could readily sing and understand the motets of Palestrina, or the anthems of Tallis and Byrd, or the cantatas of Bach, or the oratorios of Handel?
• Can you imagine if the average congregant could write their own compositions?
• If this were the case, what might the compositions and performances of the highly skilled professional musicians be like? I am not sure that I can imagine it. But if it were to come to pass, it would certainly be more glorious, more perfected, more like the heavenly worship pictured in the book of Revelation.
If you have ever wondered “What if…” or thought “Can you imagine if…” and desire to be an agent of cultural change in the sphere of music, then come and join us at the Chenaniah Summer Music Institute.
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