I stopped updating the website over a year ago because I didn't have time while I was studying for my certificate exam (passed in May---hurray!). After that I decided to keep things quiet here because I wanted to focus on making improvements to the curriculum without having to make changes to the website all of the time. During the fall months, while my kids were at school all day, most of my hours were spent working on curriculum. I tested out an online classroom platform, created instructional videos and audio recordings, and tested out a lot of new materials and methods. This fall I ran the first section of BYZB 101, the curriculum's online class. It was an 8 week class, but as the class progressed, the students and I realized it really needed to be a 16 week class, as the amount of content covered is equivalent to a 4 credit college class. I also started training two other chanters to use the curriculum. The first chanter actually taught a second section of BYZB 101 and has contributed recordings and will be doing more in the future (male students benefit from hearing a male vocal model). Based on my observations of student learning, as well as student feedback, I have been reworking the class outline and getting ready to add a lot more content and support materials.
The students and I were really happy with what they were able to learn through the class. One of my students had been chanting Kazan's music for years. She took my 6 hour intro class at the Sacred Music Institute in July and then took this class in October. We had a follow up lesson this week and she has the pitches and rhythms on parallage and melos down very well for the 1st and 2nd mode heirmologic stichera and now she's working on polishing them. It has been a joy to watch her progress.
Before my kids are off for the summer I'm hoping to update the website, finish all of the additions to the BYZB 101 class (which covers ear training, learning to read notation, and 1st and 2nd mode heirmologic hymns), and get most of the outline completed for BYZB 102 (which will tentatively cover 1st and 2nd mode sticheraric hymns, 4th mode Legetos, Pl 1 and Pl 2 Heirmologic). I'm planning to offer BYZB 101 in September of 2018 and possibly again in January of 2019. I'll start testing out BYZ 102 with current students when it is ready and then hopefully offer it more widely in January of 2019.
I'm still ordering many of the materials from a print on demand printer. A few things are ready for bulk printing now, and a lot more are really close. I think I'm getting pretty close to bulk printing and sales, but I've been thinking that for years, so it's hard to say!
For a long time now I have had an inward focus, but I think 2018 will be a year of change.
SAHM by day; ByzB curriculum developer by night. My career was in teaching: kindergarten, first grade, bilingual reading, Suzuki piano, and Music Mind Games. Now I paint icons and spend lots of time making materials on the computer. My greatest joy is directing my students in their learning. This blog documents the process and provides a space for my other ramblings as well.