MCI Classes - the Cantor Education Roadmap


The page lists the online classes that are part of the Metropolitan Cantor Institute's cantor education curriculum. Classes generally last 4-8 weeks, but students can complete work early or on their own schedule, as long as the entire course is completed within 90 days.

Basic Course

These classes cover the basics of liturgy and chant. While it is possible to experienced cantors to test out of these courses, we recommend that they be taken anyway, since they provide the basis for later classes. Students can begin the basic course in January and July.

Class Length Prerequisites
When offered
Introduction to Liturgy 8 weeks none
Any time
Introduction to the Typikon 4 weeks Introduction to Liturgy
Any time
Introduction to Church Singing 8 weeks none (some singing experience recommended) Jan-Feb July-Aug
Reading in Church 4 weeks Introduction to Church Singing (recommended) Mar-Apr Sept-Oct
Introduction to the Divine Liturgy 8 weeks Introduction to Liturgy and Introduction to Church Singing Mar-Apr Sept-Oct
Introduction to the Eight Tones 8 weeks Introduction to Church Singing May-June Nov-Dec

Once all classes are completed satisfactorily, the student receives a completion badge for the basic course, indicating that they have the necessary skills to serve as an assistant cantor, and occasionally lead the singing at the Sunday Divine Liturgy.

Intermediate Course

The intermediate course builds on the topics presented in the basic course. Students can begin the intermediate course in January and July.

Class Length Prerequisites
When offered
The Liturgical Year 8 weeks Completion of the Basic Course Jan-Feb July-Aug
The Divine Liturgy 8 weeks Completion of the Basic Course Mar-Apr Sept-Oct
The Office of Vespers 8 weeks Completion of the Basic Course May-June Nov-Dec
Mastering the Eight Tones 8 weeks Completion of the Basic Course May-June Nov-Dec

Once all classes are completed satisfactorily, the student receives a completion badge for the intermediate course, indicating that they have the necessary skills to lead the singing at Vespers and the Divine Liturgy on ordinary Sundays and feast-days.

Advanced Course

The remaining classes can be started once the intermediate course is completed, and may be taken in any order:

Class Length Prerequisites When offered
The Great Fast and Holy Week 8 weeks Completion of the Intermediate Course January-February
From Pascha to All Saints 8 weeks Completion of the Intermediate Course March-April
Services for the Living 8 weeks Completion of the Intermediate Course May-June
Hierarchical Services and Reader Services 8 weeks Completion of the Intermediate Course July-August
Services for the Departed 8 weeks Completion of the Intermediate Course September-October
Services of Christmas and Theophany 4 weeks Completion of the Intermediate Course November

Once all classes have been completed satisfactorily, the student receives a Certification of Graduation from the Metropolitan Cantor Institute, and may request an in-person examination for cantor certification.

Master classes

These course may be offered in the future. They are NOT required for cantor certification.