Are YOU or your children in a schola?


Parent of 5 girls 1 boy. I’d commit to any amount of time and any monetary help I could give. There is nothing where I live like this and little hope of a change in the near furure.


Private lessons can fall into both categories, depending on the purpose for taking them. Also, school musical ensembles are generally entirely teacher-led. In other words, the teacher is expected to be the expert of what needs to happen in order for the group to sound their best. The best teachers include their students in the process, but the majority don’t. On the other hand, informally-trained musicians are responsible for making those choices and developing those skills themselves, with a wide variety of outcomes. However, informally trained musicians must learn some techniques, whereas school-trained musicians frequently aren’t even given the chance to learn them and don’t continue to study once “turned loose” from the school ensemble.


I assume if my hypothetical children did not want to go they would be little monsters while present so it probably best if I keep them on a tight leash at home. At for myself…I will be honest I really have no interest in chanting so I probably would not go either. I don’t think a bunch of guilty sounding people would make a good choir.


Very true. It is unlikely for children uninterested in something to put forth their best effort or even their best behavior. Some things are best left to choice rather than force.


With the caveat that I am in my 60s, which means that children back in my day had very little options other than obeying their parents…

…I was very blessed, unbelievably so, to have a piano teacher who was the church music minister in her large Lutheran church. She was classically trained and had a degree in “Music,” not “Liturgical Music” or “Music Ministry.” But her focus in life was “liturgical music and music ministry.”

Before recitals, she would call all her students into a circle and we would pray that God would receive the glory for what we played.

And from the first year I studied with her (I was with her for 10 years until I graduated from high school), she got me involved with playing in churches. I had my first paying job at a little church–$5.00/week, which was big bucks back then! But even more important than the five-spot was the EXPERIENCE I gained week after week playing for a very friendly and appreciative congregation.

When I started taking organ lessons as an adult, I had (and currently still use) a teacher who is a church music minister in a liturgical church (Episcopal) and has much the same love for hymns that I have.

I would strongly suggest that Catholics who are considering involving their children or themselves in music lessons seek out a teacher who emphasizes glorifying God and serving in church with their music. I think it’s more likely that the children will stick with it if they have a reason for practicing and having lessons. A lot of children quit music lessons because that phase of their life (high school,) ends and they move on to other pursuits (job, military, futher education, marriage, etc.). But if they are “church-trained,” that part of their life, hopefully, will never end and their music will continue to be relevant and very-much needed.

I hope parents are reading this. We are so short of musicians in parishes.


I’ve been in a men’s Schola for 15 years since my buddy and I started it. We knew nothing of Latin pronunciation, nor how to read neumes. We now have 12 men, some cathedral-trained to sing, an amateur Gregorian scholar, four who are now well versed in music theory, three who taught themselves how to translate Latin, one who networks with local parishes to setup events, and another who fabricates worship aids for the people whenever we sing. We do funerals, weddings, Masses, Baptisms, ordinations, Vespers, Benediction, and are looking to record Compline for the local Catholic radio to broadcast. We sing both chant and sacred polyphony, accompanied or a cappella.

It can be done.


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