The NMSM offers this distance learning course which (for successful candidates) results in an Associate-level ANMSM(Ch.Mus.) qualification.
Specialist technical knowledge and ability are not required for this course as it focuses on the daily administrative and practical working aspects that so often cause differences between the clergy and church musicians.
The award enables successful candidates to wear a unique ANMSM academic hood of the full Cambridge shape, black material fully lined in scarlet taffeta. The neckband also being black and edged in for 0.5in in scarlet taffeta to both edges.
The course was designed by organists and our current Liturgical Advisor, Rt Rev Canon Beaumont Brandie MBE.
Purpose and application of the course:
The course aims to encourage a better relationship and approach to church music between church musicians, clergy and Lay Leaders of Worship.
It addresses practical approaches to appointing, working with and, when necessary, retiring and/or dismissing church musicians. It also takes a practical role in assisting clergy to consider the roles and demands of church music, not only on them as the 'managers' but also upon the musicians they employ.
This is achieved through reading, conducting a Parish Survey (musical focus) and writing open-ended' but focused essays, titles of which are selected from prescribed lists.
The final submission title and focus is proposed by candidates. When approved, it will form an active document for that church.
What will be expected of me?
There are no musically technical elements, specialist musical knowledge 'voice tests' or performance requirements. The marking scheme is more observational and advisory and each submission forms part of the candidate's own research.
Every Candidate is allocated a Study Tutor. If you would like a small group of lay workers to join you in the study, the School will arrange for a tutor to conduct a 'launch seminar' at your church. A travel/accommodation cost may be involved, depending on your location in the UK.
What is the method of communication with regards essays, queries etc?
The quickest method of submission is by e-mail/telephone where difficulties arise, or advice is sought.
Who will mark my work?
The School has a panel of highly qualified, practically experienced specialist tutors, who also act as moderators and examiners. The final submission is examined by two independent examiners.
How long does the course take to complete?
The course can be completed in 12 months. However, given the nature of the varying workload of most clergy and lay workers, the time available is up to 24 months. Extensions are available under exceptional circumstances. The School aims to be as supportive and understanding as possible.
Must I be a subscribing member of the School before I register for the course?
All prospective candidates must register as members of the School and complete a standing order mandate at time of application.
Organists - a necessity, a blessing or a curse?
It is becoming increasingly difficult to locate and attract good calibre church organists. This course will assist you to identifying the characteristics of the musical person you require and we hope, afford a good long-term working relationship with them.
The NMSM welcomes any enquiries about the course and is happy to answer any questions you may have.