Mount Mercy University is proud to partner with Composer and Conductor John Armstrong to present two Music Literacy sessions for teachers as part of Mount Mercy University’s Summer Music Academy.

Mount Mercy will offer Bel Canto Solfeggio and Choral Practicum: Teaching Music Literacy.

Music educators and students may earn one graduate credit per session at an additional cost (optional, click here to apply for graduate credit)—up to two credits in four days! Professional Development credit through Mount Mercy University is also available.

SESSION 1: Bel Canto Solfeggio I, II and III | June 18–19, 2018

Develop beautiful tone and precise intonation with handsign/solfeggio skills in major and minor modes, learn a proven approach for teaching solid rhythm and meter skills, discover warm-ups, patterns, readers, rounds, songs, and "choralises" that you take home to inspire your singers. Master aural, visual, and kinesthetic processes that help your singers learn to read music with confidence and enthusiasm. You may take this proficiency course three times for graduate or AEA credit.

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SESSION 2: Choral Practicum I, II and III | June 20–21, 2018

Open to students and teachers who have completed Bel Canto Solfeggio or any other Armstrong Music Literacy course. Learn how to integrate handsign/solfeggio in actual rehearsal mode! John will rehearse the class as a choir, taking selected works from first read-through to concert-level performance. We will practice the Bel Canto process while incorporating each step along the music literacy continuum. You will experience the complete learning cycle from start to finish.

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John Armstrong's approach will help you:

  • Create excitement in class and rehearsal Establish focus and eye contact with each student
  • Make learning to sing the point of each session
  • Maintain discipline with quiet in the room
  • Develop independent singers who think, count, and move!

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An introduction to our composer:

John Armstrong has degrees from the Crane School of Music and Ithaca College. He was choral director at West Genesee High School, Oswego High School and LeMoyne College, and is the former conductor of Elmira Choral Society and the Syracuse Vocal Ensemble. John has worked extensively with music teachers and choral directors to raise music literacy standards at all levels throughout the Northeast and Midwest. He frequently appears as a guest conductor for all-county, area all-state and festival choirs, and is active as clinician, author and composer for choral seminars, workshops, and graduate courses. Mr. Armstrong runs an online "Solfeggio Support Group," which includes more than 200 music educators who are dedicated to developing successful music literacy programs for singers in their classes and choirs.

More than music literacy:

After 35 years of teaching, John has perfected unique and appealing ways for singers of all ages to HAVE FUN while they learn. We use intrinsic motivators to transform a students’ love for singing into a love for learning.


Dr. Gerald Kreitzer
Director of Music Activities | 319-363-8213 ext. 1226