Pius X School of Liturgical Music

Founded in 1918, and established at the College of the Sacred Heart, at Manhattanville, New York City, by Justine Ward, with the help of the late Reverend J. B. Young, S.J. Pope Pius X urged that Gregorian music be restored to the people as a means of sanctification, but they could not sing nor understand a type of music so different from anything they had ever heard. Mrs Ward's idea was that such music be brought within the grasp of every child by teaching children to perform. it with ease. The obvious field was the parochial schools. The plan was developed by traInIng the chIldren of the Annunciation School for Girls, taught by the Religious of the Sacred Heart, thus securing practical results for the training of teachers. Under the direction of Mother G Stevens, and with the co-operation of teachers from the various religious orders, the School has flourished and has won for itself a unique place in art and education. Its work is divided into three departments: the training of teachers in the normal school; supervision of music in schools that have adopted the method; and extension work, which sends teachers out to give courses in schools and colleges. Two sessions a year are given, examinations are conducted on the plan of the Regents of the University of New York State, and diplomas are awarded. The students are members of the teaching orders, priests, seminarians, organists, choir-masters, and pianists and singing-teachers from the laity. They teach children to read at sight, to read new melodies and analyze them intelligently both as to content and form, and to improvise and compose in two and three parts, as well as in unison. Although the work of the school is distinctly Catholic in aim and purpose, it has aroused the interest of non-Catholic educators, and the Ward method has been adopted in many public and private schools. At Manhattanville a building was erected for the use of the school about 1924, and in April, 1929, it was announced that Mrs. Ward had established a trust fund of $1,000,000 to further the teaching of Gregorian Chant and the classic polyphony of the Roman School of the 16th century. This fund enabled two institutions to carry on this teaching.

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