Our church has a long historical of congregational singing, and musical involvement in the worship of God. The cantors who lead the people's singing at these services must be skilled liturgical singers themselves; in addition to knowing our plain chant, they must have some basic musical knowledge. Other members of the congregation, as well as clergy, can also benefit from knowing some basical musical skills.
What musical skills does a cantor need?
A cantor must be able to:
- recognize small differences in pitch, and maintain an even sense of pitch without going sharp or flat
- match the pitch of the clergy, so that the liturgy forms a prayerful sung dialog
- know the proper pitches to start the singing of each response or hymn; in general, this means being able to read music, as least to a limited degree
- sing clearly and expressively, so that they can be heard and understood
- sing in a manner which is easy for others to imitate and follow
How can I acquire these skills?
In the Metropolitan Cantor Institute's cantor education program, these skills are taught in the course, Introduction to Church Singing. Cantors and others can also use the material on this website, as well the the Theta Music Trainer, to acquire these basic skills. Mentors can be invaluable in the process of learning to sing well.
See the website articles on: