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Books on Music ministry

Date: Tue, 2 Apr 1996 10:14:50 -0500 (EST)
From: Steven Burton
Subject: Compilation of Book Suggestions for Training Music Committees

Several days ago I requested help in locating book titles that
might be useful for helping educate music committees and administrative
boards as to the goals, methods, mayhem and madness of a vital and
balanced music ministry in the church.

There were quite a few responses and I share them here with the
lists. No attempt has been made to verify or supplement the information
given to me. No one book stood out by being recommended repeatedly. Those
that were named twice (the maximum) are marked (x2).

Faithsong x2
Thomas L. Are
The Westminster Press

Art Needs No Justification
Hans Rookmaaker
Out of Print. Permission has been granted by the author's widow for copies
of the work to be made available by the follwoing for $6.50 to cover
Mark Nabholz
First Presbyterian Chruch
642 Telfair St.
Augusta, GA 30901

Books by Elaine Rendler
Oregon Catholic Press
Hassalo St.
Portland, OR

Jubilate II: Church Music in Worship and Renewal (x2)
Donald P. Hustad
Hope Publishing

Music in Churches: Nourishing Your Congregation's Musical Life
The Alban Institute, 1994

Discipling Music Ministry
Calvin Johansson
Hendrickson Publishing
ISBN )-943575-52-4

Reaching Out Without Dumbing Down
Marva Dawn

Managing the Non-Profit Organization
Peter F. Drucker

A Primer for Church Worship
Hoyt Hickman

The Company of Strangers
Parker Palmer

With Glad and Generous Hearts
William Willimon

Transparent Worship
David Owen

The Handbook of the Christian Year
Hoyt Hickman

Geoffrey Wainwright

Trouble at the Table: Gathering the Tribes for Worship
Carl Doran and Thomas Troeger

Preface to the German Mass
Vol 52, [Martin] Luther's Works

Music and Ministry
Calvin Johansson
Hendrickson, 1994

The Church Musician
Paul Westermeyer
Harper and Row, 1988

The Psalms

Thanks to everyone who took their time to respond. I hope this list will
be helpful to others.

Steve Burton
Director of Music Ministries
Sandy Springs Christian Church
301 Johnson Ferry Rd., NW
Atlanta, GA 30328
phone: 404 256-2582
fax: 404 252-6839

Date: Tue, 9 Sep 1997 15:30:13 -0400
From: rhouseh(a) (Richard Householder)
Subject: Compilation (long) Resource books for children's church choir


This list has again helped me out by providing numerous answers to my question.

The question was:

>I am wondering if there are books, articles, etc. that deal specifically with
>children's choirs in a church context.

The responses had some recurring answers that showed the wide-spread
popularity of Choristers Guild and the books by Helen Kemp. But there were
other useful suggestions as well, and I share the compilation with you

I want to thank all those who took the time to reply.

If memory serves, this same question was asked fairly recently. Check the
Archives section of ChoralNet. The indexes of the past several months
should point to those discussions and a previous compilation.

Best wishes.
Monica Hubbard

Monica J. Hubbard, Director, Women's Choral Activities (626)395-6260 Vox
California Institute of Technology MC 2-58 (626)795-8731 Fax
Pasadena, CA 91125-0001 mhubbard(a)

I suggest having her become a member of Choristers Guild. It is an
organization that deals specifically with children's choirs in a
church setting. A $50.00 membership will put her on the mailing list
for 10 magazines a year plus many free choral pieces. They are based
in Dallas Texas. Also, Royal Sc hool of Church music in Croydon,
England is another source.
Linda Noah, Artistic Director
Oregon Repertory Singers Children's Choir
Portland, Oregon

Shirley McCrae's Directing the Children's Choir is specifically for church
choirs. It uses a lot of Orff things but has many practical pointers and
organizational materials too. I am not sure of the spelling of the author's
name as my copy is at school and I don't know the publisher. hopefully
someone else will recommend it and have the information for you. If not,
writ eme back and I can look it up for you.

Janice Smith
9 Island Avenue
Orono, ME 04473
fax: 207-866-7111

"Children Sing His Praise" ed. Rotermund published by Concordia Publishing
House is a fine book on the subject.

Best wishes!

Tom Remenschneider

>From Craig Scott Symons:

I would point you (and your colleague) towards the Choristers Guild
Homepage on the WWW.....the address is:

It's a great place to begin. I would also recommend the book by Helen Kemp
about Children's Choirs. Mostly to do with churches, but it speaks to
community groups as well.


Check out Teaching Kids to Sing by Kenneth Phillips published by
Schirmer Books- excellent resource-
-Ken Pendergrass-Olympic Boys Choir

Compiler's Note: I forgot to mention in my post that I use this book in a
course I teach. I recommend it highly for developing good vocal technique
in children and adolescents.

Put your friend in touch with the Royal School of Church Music.
"World headquarters" are in England, but there is an American branch
at: RSCM in America, St. Paul's Church, 1361 W. Market St., Akron,
OH 44313. They have excellent materials on choral training for
children, and sponsor several week-length summer choir courses for
young singers which are also excellent learning and observation
opportunities for directors.

I would also recommend in the strongest terms the book "Immediately
Practical Tips for Choir Directors" by John Bertalot, published by
Augsburg. It has a wealth of very practical advice from a fine
church musician and trainer of children's choirs.

Best wishes,
Jack Burnam
Immanuel Church
Wilmington, Delaware

By all means, direct your friend to the publications of the Chorister's
Guild and in specific, those of Helen Kemp. Her work with children is
superb. One of her excellent publications is Of Primary Importance. She
also has made a video for Augsburg which is very helpful in dealing with
skill achievment for children.

Gary Fisher
Etobicoke, ON

I am a children's choir director at our parochial school. Our choirs serve
primarily for leadership within the church. The best book I can recommend
is "Children Sing His Praise", edited by Donald Rotermund, from Concordia
Publishing House. As I am at home now, I can't give you an item number,
but I do know it is in print and available. It is a compilation of
chapters by various authors, all very good. CPH's number is 800-325-3040.
They also have a couple good video tapes by Helen Kemp on children's
choirs. CPH also has some good repertoire for children's voices. If you'd
like more information, feel free to contact me.

Kevin Hildebrand
St. Luke Lutheran Church & School
Clinton Township, MI

I'd like to suggest some resources I have used for a number of years
now. First, I use Orff and Kodaly techniques to some extent, and
there's a package of materials called "Using Orff and Kodaly In The
Church" by Betsy Woodward and Julia Broyles. It's excellent and
published by Genevox. Second, Children Sing His Praise, ed. by Donald
Rotermund, published by Concordia is a thorough text which covers
philosophy, history, training voices, repertoire, rehearsals, using
instruments with them, etc. Third, Chorister's Guild is a must for
directors to belong to, since its monthly journal has such helpful
articles to persons who work with preschoolers through high school.
They also publish a children's choir curriculum. Fourth, Cokesbury, the
United Methodist publishing house, publishes a children's choir
curriculum which is very good, based on solid teaching principles. Hope
this helps. Susan Onderdonk St. George's Episcopal Church
Fredericksburg, Virginia stgeoepi(a)

I would strongly urge your friend to join Choristers Guild. Not only do
they publish many children's books, cantatas, etc. they also have a wonderful
journal that comes out monthly filled with real-life ideas on working with
kids in churches. It is an ecumenical organization headquartered in Dallas,
TX. the address is below.

Choristers Guild
2834 W. Kingsley road
Garland, TX 75041

Hope this helps!

Judith Higbee
Church of the Saviour
Cleveland, OH


I would suggest two:
1. Of Primary Importance-Helen Kemp(publ-Chroisters Guild--she should
alos join the Guild, based in Garland TX)
2. Hearts and Hands and voice-Sue Ellen Page(publ-HT FitzSimons)--This
book is an incredibly wonderful resource which packages much information
in a easy-to-use format. Both of these will help her immensely.
Gregory Pysh
Minister of Music
First Presbyterian
Midland, TX

The Choristers Guild is a wonderful resource. Membership is $40 per year.
This provides music for choirs and handbells, teaching ideas, study plans
and curriculums. The address is:

Choristers Guild
2834 W. Kingsley Rd
Garland, TX 75041
Fax: 214/840-3113

Ouida Taylor
Richland College

Be sure to suggest "5 Wheels to Successful Sight Singing" by John
Bertalot, Augsburg Fortress Press.

John is organist/choirmaster at Trinity Episcopal, Princeton. In
addition to lots of practical stuff, it talks about the subject of
teaching children sight singing which, unfortunately, too many people
neglect in favor of teaching by rote.


I have 3 good references:

Helen Kemp on Junior Choirs Pub. Lorenz Pub Co.
Teaching Kids to Sing by Kenneth Phillips Pub. -Schirmer Books
Teaching the Elementary School Chorus by Linda Swears Parker Publishing

Hope this helps
Carol Schoch
Escola Graduada de Sao Paulo

I recommend the two you mention, plus one by Shirley W. McRae, called
"Directing the Children's Choir, A Comprehensive Resource". This really is a
general text on the children's choir, but there is also a whole chapter on
the church children's choir and an appendix in the back about the Church
musician and the copyright laws. I've found it helpful for both church and
school work. Hope this helps.

Marie Amenta
Flossmoor, IL USA

I would like to acquaint your friend who is directing a children's church
choir with a wonderful organization called "Choristers Guild." The only
address I have for them is as follows: Choristers Guild, 2834 West
Kingsley Rd, Garland, TX 75041.
I feel certain they can be contacted by phone, and they probably
have an e-mail address, although I don't know what it is. The group is aimed
at people working with children through the medium of church choirs, and
through membership your friend would receive a monthly magazine with many
helpful articles, as well as a catalog of the various items available from
Choristers Guild. These items include many, many anthems and other music
(including musical dramas), jewelry such as crosses, useful books aimed at
children's choir directors, etc. I no longer direct a children's choir,
however, I was a member of Choristers Guild for many years, and I recommend
it highly. I am an Episcopal church musician, and I have found many useful
references in the Augsburg and Concordia publishing houses' catalogs as well.
Best wishes for your friend's success in this new venture.
Sincerely, Ann Buchanan

Compiler's Note: This submission was edited to show the correct address of
Choristers Guild. Ms. Buchanan sent me the correction in a later

If you or anyone you know subscribes to CHORISTER'S GUILD magazine, there
are usually advertisements for workshops, books, and other resources for
children's church music. In the states a number of church denominations
have specific sections in their bookstores devoted to material for the
non-musician teaching children's choir. Several of these groups have
catalogs and material available by mail.

Although no longer Southern Baptist, I still read MUSIC LEADER magazine
for rhythm games and pitch matching exercises. I'll try to find an
address as the catalog advertising the magazine and other resources from
that denomination is free--they also have an 800 number at the publishing
office in Nashville, Tennessee). Sorry, I don't have it with me.

I am a music major at age 40 and last year I was hired at a local church
to do a K-2 grade choir. Having only 1 semester of children's music, I
turned to the magazines I mentioned for some quick and reliable advice
and for some sound curriculum ideas. I don't, for instance, believe in
using instruments right away, but prefer to give the kids time to find
or at least explore their own unique instrument!

Wish your friend luck for me. I would not trade anything for finding an
acitivity that brought smiles to my kids!

Patricia K. Buffington

Suggest to your friend that she should contact Chorister's Guild in
Garland, Texas. They have all kinds of material that would be
helpful. Anything that Helen Kemp has published will probably help.

Perhaps someone else on the list can supply CG's address and phone

All the best.

Myron Patterson
Head, Fine Arts Department
Marriott Library
Adjunct Associate Professor of Music
University of Utah


Our "Books for the Choral Conductor" catalog lists three books that might
be of interest.

Hearts & Hands & Voices by Sue Ellen Page (BK 1178, currently US $34.95)
Successful Children's Choirs by Ruth K. Jacobs (BK 1177, $8.95)
Building the Youth Choir by John Yarrington (BK 1086, $8.95)

David Bohn, composer, organist
Assistant Editor/Head Internet Surfer
Mark Foster Music Company, Box 4012, Champaign, IL 61824-4012
800-359-1386 FAX: 217-398-2791 Phone: 217-398-2760
Business: markfostermus(a)

Chorister's Guild is really a good resource, with a monthly magazine giving
many ideas/techniques. It certainly isn't all one would need to learn about
the child's voice, etc., but certainly give good advice. Their current board
of directors is a fine list of people in the field guiding the organization

Chorister's Guild
2834 West Kingsley Road
Garland, TX 75041-2498
E-Mail choristers(a)

John Ourensma

Choristers Guild is a wonderful resource for both literature and methods.
They publish a monthly magazine and also send new anthems each month. Their
teachings are so timeless that I would encourage your friend to contact
other children's choir directors to see if they have back copies she could
borrow. CG also has 2 books by Helen Kemp called Of Primary Importance
which answer the most-asked questions directors have about children's
A very thorough book is Hearts and Hands and Voices by Sue Ellen Page
published by FitzSimons.

Laura Swartzendruber
Minister of Music
First Presbyterian Church
Kokomo, Indiana

Genevox Music Group has some great resources written by Kathie Hill. She
has a notebook that contains all kinds of organizational materials and
suggestions for directing a children's choir. I'm not sure of the name,
but if you called Genevox directly in Nashville, TN, they might be able to
help you. They also have graded choir programs and if you subscribe, you
will get "Music Leader" a mag. to help you with directing kids choirs.

Also, any questions you have, feel free to ask me. I have been directing
children's choirs since I was in High School (I'm 28 now.) and my mom has
been doing it long before that. So between the two of us, I'm sure we can
help you out.
>>Sharon Schwanz>>>>
>>Aliso Viejo, CA>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Definitely Helen Kemp! And the Choristers Guild is a tremendous resource
with a monthly journal, anthems, books, and other helps for children's
choir directors.

Choristers Guild, 2834 West Kingsley Road, Garland, TX 75041-2498
Tel: 972-271-1521; Email: choristers(a);
Regular membership: $40/year

Books by Helen Kemp:
Music in church education with children. Choristers Guid, c1970.
Helen Kemp on junior choirs. Lorenz, c1962.
Of primary importance : information, preparation, application : a
practical guide for directors of younger elementary choristers.
Choristers guid, c1989.
(HK as co-author) Children sing His praise : a handbook for children's
choir directors, ed. by Donald Rotermund. Concordia, c1985.

Page, Sue Ellen. Hearts and hands and voices : growing in faith through
choral music. ("Based on the principles of Ruth Krehbiel Jacobs, founder
of Choristers Guild, in her 1948 book, The successful children's choir.")
H.T. Fitzsimmons, c1995. ISBN 0-9646552-1-7 (soft); ISBN 0-9646552-0-9
Lovelace, Austin. Hymns and children. Workshop-at-home (audiocassette)
ECT-102. Choristers Guild, c1981.
Funk, Virgil C., ed. Children, liturgy, and music. Pastoral music in
practice, vol. 2. Pastoral Press, c1990. ISBN 0-912405-73-2

Best regards,
Jane Nowakowski
Talbott Library
Westminster Choir College of Rider University
101 Walnut Lane, Princeton, NJ 08540 USA
email: nowakows(a) phone: +1 609-921-3658 (ext. 296)

Try "Children Sing His Praise" Edited by Donald Rotermund, published by

Best Wishes,

Eloise Porter (Gallardo)
Encore Children's Chorus, Los Angeles

There are two books written by Helen Kemp that are specifically designed
for children's church choirs. The books are entitled
"Of Primary Importance" (If I remember correctly) Volumes 1 and 2.
Another wonderful resource is the professional journal, Choristers Guild
Letters. Carole Lea Arenson at King of Glory Lutheran Church in Tempe
Arizona has also written an entire curriculum for children's music in
the church setting. I think it is called the Carole Series or something
similar. Her snail mail address is

2416 E. Geneva Dr.
Tempe, Az.

Helen J. Thoenes



Prof. Richard Householder
Director of Choral Activities
School of Music Phone: (519) 253-3000, ext. 2797
University of Windsor Fax: (519) 971-3614
Windsor, Ontario, Canada N9B 3P4 e-mail: rhouseh(a)