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Sacred Music Studies
Year 2 - October
The hymn for this month is a poem written by St. Therese, whose feast day is October 3.  And in God's perfect timing, this month her parents, Blesseds Louis and Zelie, will be canonized!
Month at-a-glance:

Hymn: My Song of Today

Gregorian chant: Two theory lessons

Extra Listening for Enjoyment: Ave Maria by Albert RoSewig

Learn More about Sacred Music: This month and the next two we will learn more about how to sing

Read on, and do as little, or as much as you'd like!
HYMN: My Song of Today

Text: St. Therese of Lisieux (January 2, 1873 September 30, 1897)
Tune: Nicola A. Montani (November 6, 1880 - January 11, 1948)

A Few Facts:
  • The life and work of Nicola Aloysius Montani is quite interesting, and deserves a look by anyone concerned about the state of liturgical music today. Following the directions in the 1903 Motu proprio of Pope Saint Pius X, Montani published the St. Gregory Hymnal to help restore Gregorian chant and rid the churches of operatic music and pianos (among other musical styles and instruments.)
  • He founded the Society of St. Gregory and the Guild of St. Gregory to help spread the message of the Motu Proprio. 
  • He was American born (New York), and worked primarily in the Philadelphia area.
  • Pope Pius XI named him a Knight Commander of the Order of St. Sylvester in recognition for his efforts in the area of liturgical music.

Easy Piano Arrangement PDF
My Song of Today Audio
(If you have trouble with the audio file above, you can also hear in on my website.


Oh! how I love Thee, Jesus! my soul aspires to Thee -
And yet for one day only my simple prayer I pray!
Come reign within my heart, smile tenderly on me,
Today, dear Lord, today.

Today, dear Lord, today.

But if I dare take thought of what the morrow brings -
It fills my fickle heart with dreary, dull dismay;
I crave, indeed, my God, the cross and suff'rings today.

Today, dear Lord, today.
But only for today! 
O sweetest Star of heaven! O Virgin, spotless, blest,
Shining with Jesus' light, guiding to Him our way!
Mother! beneath thy veil let my tired spirit rest,
For this, dear Lord, for this:
For this brief passing day!

New American Cursive Practice
(You can build your own copywork pages at
Gregorian Chant

For the next three months, you will take a close look at developing and improving your ability to sing in tune, and to sight-sing. This month, you will learn the first lessons of sight-singing. 

Suggested activities:
  1. Do the exercises called "Staff, ledger lines and pitch" (you can give yourself about 2 weeks to try these and practice them)
  2. Do the exercises called "Scale and stepwise movement" (another 2 weeks)
  3. Continue to practice reproducing notes by copying what you hear around you (the oven timer, a clock chime, your phone notifications, a train whistle, etc.) Music is everywhere! :-)
(Note: I'm planning to start Words with Wings, a 20-week course in Gregorian chant, in January.)
Did you miss last month's Newsletter and singing practice exercises?

Don't worry, click here to view the September Newsletter. Also, don't worry about "catching up."  These exercises are in preparation for using Words with Wings, but they aren't  required - just helpful!
Extra Listening for Enjoyment:
  • Ave Maria by Albert RoSewig - He was a German immigrant to Philadelphia who ended up on Montani's "black list" because of his operatic styled liturgical music. But give a listen - it's quite beautiful, and although I can see how it goes against Pope St. Pius X's exhortation to abolish the operatic style, it makes me wonder: what selections in today's hymnals would make the cut for Montani's "white list"? History is fascinating, and seems to be repeating itself...once again there is a call to restore Latin and Gregorian chant. (Thank you for doing your part by learning more about it!)
  • Chant Kyriale (CCWatershed) - did you know there are 18 different Gregorian Mass settings?

Learn More about Sacred Music:
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Connect on the Google+ Community

I started a Google+ community for these studies. This has great potential for being a place to: 1) discuss the music we are learning each month, and 2) share our learning experiences with others. I think it would be helpful if Q&A, interesting facts found, or other helpful information could be easily seen and discussed by all.  Think of it as an online study and support group. 

Let's enjoy this learning experience together!

If you are new to Google+,  here's a great tutorial on getting started. 
Sacred Music Studies Community
Sacred Music Studies Community
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