Saturday, October 22, 2005

That All May Sing... the catchword attached to the Ward Method of Music Instruction, a progressive method of teaching elementary school children – through vocal instruction – music theory, composition and conducting. It is the method that was taught in Catholic schools throughout the country in response to Pope Pius X's encyclical of 1903 calling all Catholics and musicians to abandon secular influences in liturgy and turn, instead, to Gregorian Chant, which is the foundation of our liturgical tradition.

Rev. Thomas Schields, whose work in pedagoy inspired the method's beginnings, knew that "the real foundations of character are not to be found in the intellect, but in the emotions and the will properly enlightened through the intellect, and it is through music and art that the imagination and the emotions may be reached and effectively developed.”

With these principles in mind, Justine Ward went on to write the method that can be adapted to teaching children of all ages, including adults in the schola and in the congregation. Its principles are the very ones offering us vision and hope in days of rampant secularism and lack of reverence at Mass.

For a time the method seemed all but forgotten. Music and the method were stripped from the curricula of Catholic schools nationwide, and you know when. But now there is hope: the Ward method is seeing a resurgence - and is being taught in the United States and throughout the world:

In the United States:

International Centre for Ward Method Studies
The Catholic University of America, Washington D.C.
Rev. Robert A. Skeris, Ward Centre Director:

Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart, Bethesda, MD
Mrs. Nancy Fazio, Lower School Music Teacher

Ward Center of San Antonio, San Antonio, TX
Mrs. Amy Zuberbueler, Director

St. Veronica’s School, Herndon, VA
Rosemary Reninger, Music Specialist

Ward Center of Lewiston, ME
L/A Children’s Chorus
Dr. Brian Franck, Director

St. Vincent de Paul Academy, Kansas City, MO
Adrianna Kretzer, Music Teacher

International Centers:

Ward Centrum Nederland
Wilko Brouwers, Director

Ward Zentrum Koeln
Gisbert Brandt, Director

Schola Saint Gregoire
Academie Internationale de Musique Sacree, Le Mans
Prof. Claude Pateau, Director

Centro Ward de Lisboa - Julia d’Almendra
Prof. Dr. Idalete Giga, Directress

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