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Music: Church Music

Why Church Music?

Our Church Music programmes (Foundation Degree, BA ‘top-up’, and Graduate Diploma) are a unique partnership between our university and another organisation with enormous experience in church music: the Royal School of Church Music (RSCM). These courses are intended to support and develop the work of church musicians, and a key aspect of them is that you remain at home, and use your own church or place of worship as the basis for your study.

The University and the RSCM work together to give you the education, training and support to ensure you succeed: throughout the year, the RSCM’s extensive network of practising church musicians support and mentor you in your musical ‘home base’, while the University provides tuition at Residential Study Schools, giving the specialist knowledge and understanding that underpins all our work in music for worship.

Those Study Schools are an unforgettable opportunity to meet people with a common interest. Each one focusses on one particular module whilst offering more widely-applicable sessions in various aspects of practical church musicianship. And Canterbury comes into its own; while we use the superb University facilities extensively, we also spend time in the Cathedral. We do not forget that you are practising musicians, and many study days have ended with a sung Compline in the Cathedral Crypt.

You will have access to our Virtual Learning Environment, our ‘E-Library’ (including the Grove Online Dictionary of Music), and the Naxos CD library online. 

What will I study?

In each of the three years, a Project module offers you an opportunity to consolidate and develop your work in areas where you have particular interests and/or abilities by research (informed by practice where appropriate), while the Practical Church Musicianship modules allow you to develop your own specialist skills – whether as director, performer, or composer. Other modules are as follows:

Foundation Degree:

At Level 4 (1st-year undergraduate level), Ministry and Worship 1 considers contemporary patterns of Christian worship and the concept of ministry. Music and Liturgy 1 examines the aspects and contexts of music in a religious context and beyond. Church Music Management introduces the core knowledge required and/or relevant for the effective organisation of music in church contexts.

At Level 5 (2nd-year undergraduate level), Ministry and Worship 2 considers the relationship between context and culture, applying this to contemporary debates. Music and Liturgy 2 considers the nature of the worshipping community, and the wider mission of church music is discussed as students think about church music’s role both in the life of the church outside worship and in the wider community.

BA/Graduate Diploma:

At Level 6 (3rd-year undergraduate level), in Liturgical Musicianship, you gain the critical tools with which to evaluate repertoire for liturgical occasions.  

What can I do next?

The two-year Foundation Degree is intended to lead directly to the third-year, ‘top-up’ programme at Canterbury Christ Church to gain your BA degree. Whether or not you choose to do this, you will have gained the knowledge and expertise to develop your work in this richly rewarding field of music in Britain and abroad.

Our decision to offer the third-year, BA degree programme as a discrete, standalone Graduate Diploma is due partly to the impressive number of people who have expressed an interest in the Foundation Degree in Church Music but whose prior qualifications and (often considerable) experience mean that study at Levels 4 and 5 (the first two years of undergraduate study) is not really appropriate. Completion of this level of study would equip you for further, higher-level degree study (MA, MPhil, PhD), as well as providing you with the expertise and experience which would enable you to compete for employment alongside other graduates. 

Did you know?

We are a Church of England Foundation with a specialism in Church Music: the Cathedral is just across the road from the Canterbury Campus; the Organist of the Cathedral, Dr David Flood, is a Fellow of the University and a visiting lecturer in the Department, and the Programme Director is a Lay Clerk in the Cathedral Choir. Many undergraduates are active in the Chapel Choir in local church music groups around the area – often going on to lead those groups when they have graduated. 

Content and Structure

The actual degree course has a very simple structure: three, four or five ‘modules’ per year, adding up to 120 ‘credits’ per year. They are shown below, with a brief summary of what’s in each module:

1st Year (HE Level 4)

Ministry and Worship 1 [20 credits]

  • Content: The foundations of Christian ministry and worship; present traditions
  • Mode of Delivery: printed/online materials; supporting reading; Residential Study School
  • Assessment: one 2,000-word essay; Study School seminar presentation (10-15 minutes)

Music and Liturgy 1 [20 credits]

  • Content: introduction to chant, congregational song, choral polyphony, music with instruments and voices; special study of ONE form of liturgy and its music (to be chosen by student in consultation with tutor)
  • Mode of Delivery: printed/online materials; supporting reading; Residential Study School
  • Assessment: one 2,000-word essay; responses to set questions on music studied (2,000 words equivalence)

Church Music Management [20 credits]

  • Content: Core knowledge required and/or relevant for the effective use of music in church/youth group/band; legal issues of child protection, copyright, health and safety; good practice Case Studies with regard to e.g., recruitment and training, roles and responsibilities; working as a team
  • Mode of Delivery: printed/online materials; supporting reading; Residential Study School; advice and guidance by RSCM Mentors
  • Assessment: one 2,000-word essay; responses to set questions on Case Studies (2,000 words equivalence)

Project 1 [20 credits]

  • Content: the projects offer students an opportunity to consolidate and develop their work in areas where they have particular interests and/or abilities. They also enable them to demonstrate assimilation of the whole course, and the opportunity to relate their work more specifically to their regular work and local experience of music in worship
  • Mode of Delivery: online and electronic tutorial support by tutors at CCCU; supporting reading; advice and guidance by RSCM Mentors
  • Assessment: a Proposal (750 words); a single piece of work (3,250 words or equivalent) exploring students’ special interest

Practical Church Musicianship 1 [40 credits]

  • Content: development of the skills relevant to church music leadership, allowing specialisation in two or more of the following:
    • singer
    • voice trainer
    • choir trainer
    • music leader (cantor or instrumental)
    • keyboard/organ player (solo)
    • organ player (accompanying and leading
    • composer/arranger.
  • Mode of Delivery: advice and guidance by RSCM Mentors; supporting reading
  • Assessment: two practical assessment occasions (one of which may be at a Study School in front of CCCU staff); a Portfolio of evidence with Reflective Analytical Commentary (3000-word equivalence)

2nd Year (HE Level 5)

Ministry and Worship 2 [20 credits]

  • Content: basic theology of worship and ministry, with a pastoral emphasis, including consideration of the following:
    • aspects of pastoral, formal, ecumenical and civic worship and ministry;
    • distinctions of language, style and presentation of worship;
    • musical ministry – calling, leadership, giftedness, encouragement, spirituality in communal prayer
  • Mode of Delivery: printed/online materials; supporting reading; Residential Study School
  • Assessment: one 2,000-word essay; Study School seminar presentation (10-15 minutes)

Music and Liturgy 2 [20 credits]

  • Content: special studies of the Eucharist and ‘Services of the Word’, including consideration of the following:
    • Christian seasons and feasts;
    • availability and use of musical resources;
    • consideration of genres and repertories for selected styles and settings of worship
  • Mode of Delivery: printed/online materials; supporting reading; Residential Study School
  • Assessment: one 2,000-word essay; responses to set questions on music studied (2,000 words equivalence)

Project 2 [40 credits]

  • Content: see above, Project 1
  • Mode of Delivery: online and electronic tutorial support by tutors at CCCU; supporting reading; advice and guidance by RSCM Mentors
  • Assessment: a Proposal (1000 words); a single piece of work (7000 words or equivalent) exploring students’ special interest

Practical Church Musicianship 2 [40 credits]

  • Content: further development of the skills relevant to church music leadership, allowing specialisation in two or more of the areas named above. 
  • Mode of Delivery: advice and guidance by RSCM Mentors; supporting reading
  • Assessment: two practical assessment occasions (one of which may be at a Study School); a Portfolio of evidence with Reflective Analytical Commentary (3000-word equivalence)

3rd Year (HE Level 6)

Liturgical Musicianship [40 credits]

  • Content: special study and analysis of selected repertoire and exploration of the musical and extra-musical arguments for different repertoires for various liturgical and non-liturgical occasions.
  • Mode of Delivery: printed/online materials; supporting reading; Residential Study School
  • Assessment: a 2,400-word special study; responses to 4 questions on the music and liturgy studied under timed conditions; a seminar presentation on a service of the student’s choosing

Specialist Project [40 credits]

  • Content: informed by critical theory; you will employ suitably sophisticated procedures and levels of academic research to further refine your ability to present views and opinions in an academic fashion, and to deepen your knowledge in a specific area.
  • Mode of Delivery: online and electronic tutorial support by tutors at CCCU; supporting reading; advice and guidance by RSCM Mentors
  • Assessment: a Proposal (1,600 words); a single piece of work (6,400 words or equivalent) exploring students’ special interest

Advanced Practical Church Musicianship [40 credits]

  • Content: development to the highest possible standards of the skills relevant to church music leadership, allowing specialisation in two or more of the following:
    • singer
    • voice trainer
    • choir trainer
    • music leader (cantor or instrumental)
    • keyboard/organ player (solo)
    • organ player (accompanying and leading
    • composer/arranger
  • Mode of Delivery: advice and guidance by RSCM Mentors; supporting reading
  • Assessment: two practical assessment occasions (one of which may be at a Study School in front of CCCU staff); a Portfolio of evidence with Reflective Analytical Commentary (3,200-word equivalence) 

The Residential Study Schools in Canterbury

Each one of the study schools will be focused on one particular module and represent an unforgettable opportunity to meet new people with a common interest. It’s in these study schools that Canterbury will come into its own: whilst we’ll use the university facilities extensively (superb new library, housed in Augustine House, and brand-new rehearsal facilities, including seminar and ensemble rehearsal rooms, opening in 2012), we will also spend time in the Cathedral. We don’t forget that you are practising musicians, and many of the CCCU Study Days we have already run have ended with a sung Compline or Vespers in the Cathedral Crypt, along with an opportunity to watch an open rehearsal of the Cathedral Choir and attend the daily sung Evensong.

Canterbury Christ Church University has Sir Peter Maxwell Davies and Paul Patterson – two of the world’s leading living composers – as visiting professors, and we have every intention of bringing our Church Music students into contact with them. It’s worth noting, too, that CCCU is the leading provider of training for the lay ministry in our part of the world, and we will capitalise on this enormous depth of expertise in the study schools.

Learning and Teaching

Apart from the support from the RSCM’s extensive network of practising church musicians support and mentor you in their musical ‘home base’, and the University’s tuition at residential study schools, you will have access to our Virtual Learning Environment, our ‘E-Library’ (including the Grove Online Dictionary of Music), and the Naxos CD library online. 

Assessments

Whilst the practical component of many modules is important, most modules require an element of written work as part of the assessment strategy. This may take one of a number of forms, as follows:

  • essay/dissertation
  • seminar presentation and Viva
  • reflective commentary
  • portfolio

Tutorial Support

For the rest of the academic year (October-June), university tutors are only a phone call or an email away, and much of the study will be done using the university’s online resources. Along with all our students, you will have access to our Virtual Learning Environment – ‘Blackboard’ – and all the learning materials will be there. Along with all other CCCU Music students, you will also have access to our ‘E-Library’, which will include the Grove Online Dictionary of Music, and the Naxos CD library online.

Conclusion

Have a quick tour around the Music Department, and be convinced that our Church Music programmes are a wonderful way to deepen your knowledge and understanding of your work in sacred music. We think these courses have a lot to offer – whether you’re an experienced musician already, or a youngster who would quite like the opportunity to work towards a degree whilst staying where you are right now.

HOW TO APPLY  

Applications for a full-time place on the course should be made through UCAS. Applications for part-time places are not currently being accepted.

You will also need to complete a ‘Placement Agreement’ –select either PDF or Word copies – which ensures that your home church will support you in your studies. Please download the form and complete it, and return it to us, as requested on page 3.

Further Information

For further course information please contact the Programme Director, Chris Price: chris.price@canterbury.ac.uk

> Department of Music and Performing Arts

About the course

Foundation Degree and BA 'top-up'/Graduate Diploma

Length

2 years full-time
1 year full-time (BA/Graduate Diploma) 

UCAS Code

W342 Foundation
W303 BA

Typical entry requirements

Foundation Degree: 120 UCAS points or relevant experience

BA: Successful study at Levels 4 and 5

Graduate Diploma: BA in a related field and/or relevant, appropriate and sufficiently specialised experience

How to apply

UCAS - also see 'How to apply' below for Placement Proposal Forms

How will I be assessed?

Coursework, group projects, presentations

Fees

£6,000 per year

Telephone: +44 (0)1227 767700 Prospectus: +44 (0)1227 782900
© 2012 Canterbury Christ Church University

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