I have a new material prototype up called the Martyrie & Fthores Cards. Dr. Nick Giannoukakis taught me the Fthores (modulations between modes within a hymn) over three years ago but my ear wasn't good enough at that point to do much with them. I knew this at the time so I didn't take the time to memorize them. I think I probably could have studied them a year ago but the whole high lead levels issue put me back quite a bit. I also felt like I should go in order in creating the materials and needed to get other materials done first.
But...the time has come, the time is now! I created prototypes a few months ago and taught myself the symbols in twenty minutes or so. It took me much longer to actually be able to chant the fthores with ease, but I am very happy with my progress in the past two months.
New Additions to the website
I have created a tab in the main menu called "Self Study". I am still working on adding content but basically I explain how to go about studying byzantine notation on your own; what materials to use, when and how to learn certain skills etc. While I don't recommend going this route I know that not all people can find teachers. I will continue adding to this page in the coming weeks.
I have shared part of one of the documents that I referred to in my last post on the Level 2 Repertoire page. The doc shows the order that I recommend teaching the Brief Stichera Verses from vespers. It is in table format so that teachers can keep track of what they cover each week.
I have started another weekly class with some homeschoolers, We had our first lesson last week via Google Hangouts. I think I was using too much band width so I couldn't see them for over half of the lesson but it worked out just fine. I will be doing extensive training with the mom over a three day period before the SMI and it's possible that she will take over teaching her children since she loves to teach as well. I will also be holding a one day workshop at Holy Cross Antiochian Church in Dorr, Mi at the end of June and will be teaching during the small group breakout sessions at the Sacred Music Institute this year. I'm really looking forward to playing some games and helping people accelerate their learning!
Trial by Fire
This weekend I led services since our protopsalti was out of town and our second in command recently became a dad. Instead of the 8-10 chanters that we usually have at matins it was myself, another chanter and the visiting seminarian. On top of it being the feast of Pentecost, we found out late Saturday night that we would be starting matins late and doing a typica service (picture me at 10:30 trying to find the text for a typica since I couldn't remember a single thing about it:) It all turned out fine but was a little stressful at first.
I was very thankful not to be chanting by myself. I have a really poor auditory memory and sometimes my mind blanks out for how some of the responses should sound. Luckily the other chanter that was there knows the services well and has a great memory for this. The seminarian provided a solid and much needed solo ison for us and did some of the free syling for Pentecost.
The last time I led was in the fall and it was also one of the major feasts. I had the pleasure of celebrating it twice as I was asked to lead a vesperal liturgy on Friday night at a nearby church. Then our church celebrated the feast on Saturday morning with matins and liturgy. I also chanted my first wedding that afternoon. I was fried after that weekend :) Despite this, I am happy to help out when needed. Maybe the next time it could be a nice, normal service and not a trial by fire!
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.