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The Cantor School

The school was created out of concern for beauty, to ensure that cantors are well prepared and knowledge of their responsibilities.

The Cantor School offers two sequential levels of liturgical musical instruction

Founded in 2011, the Cantor School is three-year vocal liturgical course. The school is intended for beginning, intermediate and advanced vocalists who seek to improve their qualifications in the field of liturgical music.

The First Year

Students learn the basics of music, develop proper vocal technique, and learn the cantor’s role in the Church. Instruction emphasizes four-part song and Gregorian chant.

Introduction to Music Theory (24 hours)

Twenty-four hours are dedicated to each over the course of the year. Introduction to Music Theory – Music lessons are paramount for those who have not yet had a musical education. In this course, taught by Anna Kubik, students gain an organized overview of relevant music theory. Students learn to read music in both the bass and treble clefs, as well as rhythm, intervals, keys and pitch. Homework assignments allow students develop proficiency in the covered material.

Practical Cantor Skills – PUK (24 hours)

This topic combines sight reading and ear training, allowing students to apply their growing musical knowledge. Students learn to recognize intervals, and practice reading music following the direction of Tomasz Samulnik OP.

Vocal Technique and 4-Part Singing (12 hours + individual meetings)

Teachers lead students in an ensemble. Cantor School participants learn to sing as part of a 4-voice choir, focusing on diction and vocal sound. Choral Music – – Sławomir Witkowski introduces students to a rich repertoire of monophonic Gregorian and Dominican chants. Students apply choral notation. Gregorian psalm tones, hymns, antiphons, responses and reading are emphasized.

Śpiew gregoriański (24 godziny)

Zajęcia z chorału obejmują naukę bogatego repertuaru monodycznych śpiewów liturgicznych zarówno chorału gregoriańskiego jak i innych tradycji (np. chorał dominikański) oraz najcenniejszych polskich śpiewów tradycyjnych. Na tych zajęciach uczymy się notacji chorałowej, poznajemy w praktyce gregoriańskie tony psalmowe, śpiewamy m.in. hymny, antyfony, psalmy, responsoria, czytania.

Ear Training (24 hours)

These classes develop a student’s musical ear, a skill that is particularly applied to sight-reading through this course. Under the direction of Anita Pyrek, students learn the necessary skills of a cantor, including intonation, intervals and chords.

Impostacja (12 godzin + konsultacje indywidualne)

Podczas tych zajęć uczymy się ćwiczeń, mających na celu podniesienie kondycji wokalnej, czyli dłuższe i bardziej efektywne operowanie głosem. Poznajemy także zasady prawidłowej wymowy oraz pracujemy nad dykcją.

Nauka śpiewów (24 godziny)

Poszerzanie repertuaru; pieśni ze śpiewników Niepojęta Trójco i spoza nich oraz przygotowywanie śpiewów na egzamin końcowy. Prowadzenie o. Mirosław Piśniak OP i o. Wojciech Sznyk OP.

Requirements
for First Year Applicants

We invite individuals without musical education, who would like to learn the basic music theory pertinent to cantors to apply as first year students. During the audition, applicants will be asked to sing any liturgical song. They will also be asked to perform several vocal and musical exercises. The auditions give applicants the opportunity to demonstrate their liturgical musical potential.

Following the First Year of Instruction,
Students of the Cantor School:

  • Have basic musical proficiently.
  • Can lead collective song.
  • Have experience in a 4-part choir.
  • Know the guidelines given for liturgical music.
  • Have experience leading liturgical services such as the Liturgy of the Hours, the Rosary, and the Chaplet of Divine Mercy.

The Second Year

Students hone their choral skills and gain reliable knowledge of Gregorian chant and other traditional chants.

Vocal Technique and 4-Part Singing (24 hours)

This course focuses on correct sound production, expanding on individual vocal abilities. Instructors help students produce beautiful sounds, suitable to liturgical music.

Liturgy and Liturgical Music (24 hours)

What is the liturgy? What does a beautiful and worthy celebration look like? What is the role of music in the liturgy? Who is the cantor? What is his or her place in the Church? What rules govern liturgical music? What is the role of the choir? Why should we sing? How are Mass repertoires selected? This class addresses these and other pertinent questions. 

Leading a Choir (24 hours)

Dawid Kusz OP teaches this course, applying and furthering previously acquired skills. Students learn how to conduct a group while sampling liturgical works. Styles pertinent to cantors and choirs are emphasized. Students learn what distinguishes liturgical music from other musical performances.

Choral Ensemble (24 hours)

Sławomir Witkowski introduces students to a rich repertoire of monophonic Gregorian and Dominican chants, as well as Polish music. Students apply choral notation. Gregorian psalm tones, hymns, antiphons, responses and reading are emphasized.

Ear Training (24 hours)

Anita Pyrek further students musical listening skills, emphasizing interval recognition and musical dictations.

Impostacja (13,5 godziny)

Podczas tych zajęć uczymy się ćwiczeń, mających na celu podniesienie kondycji wokalnej, czyli dłuższe i bardziej efektywne operowanie głosem. Poznajemy także zasady prawidłowej wymowy oraz pracujemy nad dykcją. Zajęcia prowadzi Artur Zajt.

Formy liturgiczne i paraliturgiczne (13,5 godzin)

Uczestnik tych zajęć ma uzyskać wiedzę dotyczącą animowania śpiewu w czasie wybranych form modlitewnych np. liturgii godzin (jutrzni, nieszporów, komplety, wigilii), śpiewań nabożnych (zadusznych, adwentowych, pasyjnych, maryjnych), akatystów (do Ducha Świętego i Matki Bożej).

Requirements
for Second Year Applicants

We invite those who have musical knowledge (a formal musical education is not required) equivalent to the first level of the Cantor School to apply to the second year of studies. Individuals must demonstrate knowledge of musical skills, such as the ability to recognize intervals and triads.

During the audition, second year applicants who have not completed the first year of studies will be asked to sing any liturgical song and recognize (and tune) a few intervals from a tuning fork. The auditions give applicants the opportunity to demonstrate musical skill as well as a familiarity with intervals.

Following the Second Year of Instruction,
Students of the Cantor School:

  • Understand the role of the cantor and are able to fulfill the cantor’s responsibilities.
  • Can conduct a 4-part choir during Mass.
  • Can select an appropriate repertoire for the Mass.
  • Are familiar with Gregorian chant.
  • Are able to sing the entirely of the Liturgy of the Hours.
  • Are prepared to sing for the entirely of the Eucharistic Celebration, including the introit, psalm, readings, Gospel acclamation, the Offertory, Communion hymn, and parts of the Mass. They can do so both as part of a choir, and as a single voice.
  • Can conduct liturgical services such as the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, Litanies, and the Rosary.

Start to sing now!

The application opens each June, and closes September, or as spots are filled. There is a processing fee and the preliminary audition. If admitted, new students must pay tuition before classes began. All classes are in Polish.

Sign up now

Cantor School Instructors

Cantor School instructors are experts in the field of liturgical music. Each of our instructors have studied theory and have extensive musical experience; many are practices cantors from different musical backgrounds.

Marcin Wasilewski-Kruk
Director, vocalist
Anita Pyrek-Nąckiewicz
Conducting a choir
Artur Zajt
Voice projection
Sławomir Witkowski
Gregorian chant specialist
Anna Kubik
Music theory
Łucja Nowak
Conducting a choir
Tomasz Samulnik OP
Minister and musician
Fr. Wojciech Sznyk, OP
Vice President of the Foundation
  • Sign up rules

    If you want to join the Cantor School, let us know:

    • Fill out the application form on this page (the application opens each June, and closes September, or as spots are filled). There is a processing fee.
    • Audition with Cantor School instructors. If admitted, new students must pay tuition before classes began. Note: Classes will only take place if the class size for the year is adequate.
    • Classes begin in late September in Kraków’s Dominican Monastery. During the first day, instructors evaluate each student’s musical competencies. They also have conversations with students about their liturgical and musical experiences. This allows instructors to appropriately focus their lessons.
    • Students who have completed their first or second year of training through the Cantor School do not have to audition or pay the application fee. They will be admitted to the next year of studies if they submit an application and have successfully passed the exam for the previous year.

  • Preliminary audition

    The auditions give applicants the opportunity to demonstrate their liturgical musical potential.

  • Tuition Information

    Participants will find payment links in their acceptance emails (for a transfer, installment or an invoice). If you choose to set up an installment, chose between the options based on creditworthiness.

    If you have questions, please call the Foundation’s office at 12 444 12 52 at any point in the application or payment process.

„Kantor nie musi skupiać na sobie uwagi, ale ma służyć swoimi umiejętnościami tam, gdzie jest taka potrzeba i możliwość. W jednej parafii celem będzie podniesienie poziomu śpiewu na niedzielnej mszy świętej, w innej bardziej lub mniej regularna posługa podczas Liturgii godzin, jeszcze gdzie indziej zorganizowanie śpiewania pieśni nabożnych”

Wojciech Sznyk OP

Koordynator projektu

Zobacz nasze filmy

Na naszym kanale YouTube publikujemy informacje na temat zajęć, ale także praktyczne pomoce w posłudze kantorskiej.
Koniecznie zasubskrybujcie kanał lub śledźcie playlistę!

Zajęcia odbywają się
w Klasztorze Ojców Dominikanów
ul. Stolarska 12, Kraków

Kontakt z sekretariatem:
Fundacja Dominikański Ośrodek Liturgiczny
ul. Stolarska 6/30, 31-043 Kraków

tel. (+48) 12 430 19 34 wew. 8
e-mail: szkolakantorow@liturgia.dominikanie.pl