Group Learning Tracks

In addition to individual workshops, there are four opportunities for track-based group learning (GL) sessions. 

GL Session 1 (Tuesday, 9:00-10:30)
GL Session 2 (Tuesday, 1:00-2:30)
GL Session 3 (Wednesday, 9:00-10:30)
GL Session 4 (Wednesday, 1:00-2:30)

Group learning sessions are:

  • Four-session tracks, each track building on the previous one; or
  • Two-session tracks (repeated); or
  • Single-session tracks, each session an individual topic

Track 1: Choral – Calmus & Nancy Menk

This is a four-session track. The first and fourth sessions are led by Nancy Menk. The second and fourth sessions are led by Calmus.

Session1: Nancy Menk

This first session of the choral track will focus on getting familiar with the notes of the cantata “Jesu, Meine Freude,” which will then be explored more in depth with Calmus in sessions 2 & 3.

GL Session 1 (Tuesday, 9:00-10:30)

Sessions 2-3: Calmus will concentrate on church music from the Leipzig, Germany area with registrants participating as a choir. The group will sing and rehearse some examples of German sacred music from different times, concentrating on Bach’s motet “Jesu, meine Freude.“ Calmus will focus on correct pronunciation of the German language and will share interpretation, articulation, and sound issues.

GL Session 2 (Tuesday, 1:00-2:30)
GL Session 3 (Wednesday, 9:00-10:30)

Session 4: Nancy Menk

This is a chance to observe conductor Nancy Menk work with the LSM choir, as they prepare for their final performances.

GL Session 4 (Wednesday, 1:00-2:30)

Track 2: Composition/Arranging – Anne Krentz Organ

Each title covers two sessions.

Composing for the Assembly: Yes! You can do it!
Participants will be invited to compose short sung acclamations and responses for the assembly: Psalm refrains, Gospel Acclamations, and other brief sung responses for worship. Feedback will be given in a supportive and collaborative manner.

GL Session 1 (Tuesday, 9:00-10:30) and GL Session 2 (Tuesday, 1:00-2:30)

Arranging for Choirs and Instrumentalists: Working creatively with resources at hand
Your church has three high school students who play trombone, flute, and viola? The choir has four altos, a tenor, and two basses? Perfect! You can work with that. These sessions will offer ideas and suggestions, encouraging participants to create arrangements based on their local contexts.

GL Session 3 (Wednesday, 9:00-10:30) and GL Session 4 (Wednesday, 1:00-2:30)

Track 3: Keyboard

This is a three-session track. Each session covers one topic and each is led by a different individual.

Playing Various Styles at the Organ – Martin Jean

These sessions will focus on leadership from the keyboard and dealing with the various styles of hymnody and music we lead from the organ as service players.

GL Session 1 (Tuesday, 9:00-10:30)

Leading from the Piano – Omaldo Perez

This session will offer a more in-depth, hands-on exploration of the stylistic variety in our hymnody. There are no wrong answers in the creativity game, just stronger and weaker choices. Let’s exercise our judgment together: Hymns old and new will be treated and presented in different settings to spur on the participants’ own creativity. 

GL Session 2 (Tuesday, 1:00-2:30)

Thy Hymnal: The Magic Wand of Improvisation – Jeremy Bankson

We’ve all had that moment where we needed another 30-40 seconds of music, and sometimes even 3-4 minutes. If you can play a melody from the hymnal, then you have the tools to improvise and offer your own creative treatment to hymns. This will be a hands-on opportunity to learn basic skills of improvisation.

GL Session 3 (Wednesday, 9:00-10:30)

Track 4: Engaging Children and Youth in Music Ministry and Worship Linda Martin

This is a two-session track on Tuesday that is repeated on Wednesday.

Tools for Effective Rehearsals

We’ll be considering and discovering proper planning and rehearsal order, warm-ups for developing vocal technique and team-building, clear and confident conducting signals.

We will explore the use of pitched and non-pitched instruments in teaching music concepts such as rhythm and note reading and for creating new melodies and patterns. Any player, regardless of age or ability, can be successful in this all-inclusive approach to music making!

GL Session 1 (Tuesday, 9:00-10:30); or
GL Session 3 (Wednesday, 9:00-10:30)

Children and Youth in Worship

Whether or not you have a choir, come to explore creative ways for children and youth to lead, serve, actively participate, and feel welcome in worship. Choir members and non-members alike can learn and be prepared for worship. Come to discover some creative ways!

Gain ideas for finding and choosing worship music for young singers. Regardless of your budget size, there is a wealth of material from which to choose for your situation. You’ll leave this session with a list of tried-and-true anthems for young people as well as new ideas for introducing hymnody. Children are perfectly able to help teach a new hymn to the congregation!!

GL Session 2 (Tuesday, 1:00-2:30); or
GL Session 4 (Wednesday, 1:00-2:30)

Track 5: By and for Clergy – Pastors Lois Martin, John Morris, and Fred Niedner

This is a three-session track. Each session covers one topic and each is led by a different individual.

Supporting our Musicians – Pr. John Morris

What are the best ways for us to support the musicians among us? How do we advocate for them? How do we respect, value, and lift-up the gifts that they bring to our churches? Join me for a conversation about how we, as clergy, can sustain and care for the musicians (both paid and unpaid) in our congregations. I will share what has worked for me and will invite you to do the same.

GL Session 1 (Tuesday, 9:00-10:30)

Songs and Sermons in the Wilderness – Pr. Fred Niedner

What have we learned about ourselves, our communities, and our worship and preaching during these years of sojourn in the Pandemic Wilderness? How do we engage the ancient, visceral, and apparently natural language of the wilderness–murmuring, complaint, and demands that we go back? We’re sick and tired of Zoom and YouTube as Israel once became of manna, but what is our “bread of tomorrow?” (We’ll pool our wisdom and humility in this session, not get ready answers by whacking some rock.)

GL Session 2 (Tuesday, 1:00-2:30)

Spiritual Life in Retirement – Pr. Lois Martin

Spiritual practices and spiritual care do not have a retirement date. How does one continue a healthy spiritual life when retirement changes the daily schedule and the nurturing community which surrounded you may no longer be available? Called and ordained by God does not cease when minimum required distribution of your IRA 401/403 account begins.

GL Session 3 (Wednesday, 9:00-10:30)

Track 6: Leading Contemporary Worship – Clayton Faulkner

This is a four-session track. In addition, there is a contemporary music reading session during Workshop 2 (Tuesday, 2:40-3:30).

GL Session 1 (Tuesday, 9:00-10:30)
GL Session 2 (Tuesday, 1:00-2:30)
GL Session 3 (Wednesday, 9:00-10:30)
GL Session 4 (Wednesday, 1:00-2:30)

This four-session track will focus on band-led worship featuring vocalists, guitars, drums, keyboard, and other ensemble instruments. A range of topics will be covered including improving the flow of worship, tips for communicating to different instrumentalists, ideas to improve sound quality, and learning lesser-known songs for your assembly. The learning will be tailored to the needs of the group.

Track 7: Technology – David Sims & Doug Geston

This is a four-session track. Each session covers a different topic.

Finale for Worship – David Sims

Notation software such as Finale or Sibelius can be very useful for adding music graphics to bulletins, writing psalm settings, or arranging hymns. Come learn some of the tools and tricks for creating the best-looking graphics for your situation and learn how to set up templates with your settings for future use.

GL Session 1 (Tuesday, 9:00-10:30)

URLs for the RCL: Online resources for worship planning from Augsburg Fortress – David Sims

The website SundaysAndSeasons.com is so much more than an online version of the annual worship planning book. This in-depth look at the site—and its companion website PreludeMusicPlanner.org—will be useful for both new and experienced users. We’ll discuss the collaborative planning, hymn collections, advanced searching, and other new features that make these valuable resources for your whole worship planning team.

GL Session 2 (Tuesday, 1:00-2:30)

Bulletin Design and Formatting – David Sims

Most of us make weekly worship bulletins in Word, InDesign, Publisher, or other programs. We’ll discuss some basic principles of graphic design, formatting, and font choices that will help the visual look of your bulletins no matter what program you use, and we’ll look at some specific ideas for making formatting and templates easier for specific software.

GL Session 3 (Wednesday, 9:00-10:30)

Live Streaming Open Forum with Show & Tell – Doug Geston

The session will begin with an overview & demonstration of the LSM/ALCM streaming setup, and then open up for Q&A and group discussion. Attendees who have been doing streaming in their home congregations will also be able to offer their perspectives on what works and doesn’t work. This will be a great opportunity for idea exchange.

GL Session 4 (Wednesday, 1:00-2:30)