In planning a Ward Lesson the teacher begins with the song to be sung at the end of the lesson. This song may be a few phrases of a Bach chorale, a line of chant, or with the youngest students, three or four measures of a song without words in number notation.

The teacher guides the students to discover the repertoire by allowing the students to work with each element first in isolation.

A typical Ward lesson of some twenty to twenty-five minutes duration will contain these elements:

  • Vocal exercises
    • to develop tone quality, timbre, vocal placement and vocal range
  • Intonation Exercises
    • Eye and Ear Training with intervals in varied scales and modes
  • Conducting
    • Rhythm gestures include standard conducting and chironomy
  • Notation or Creative Activity
    • notating by number, regular staff notation and Gregorian notation
    • improvising and composing
  • Rhythm Patterns and Dictation
    • counting and singing various rhythm patterns and writing rhythmic dictations

At the conclusion of the lesson, the students will be able to sight read and sing and conduct the repertoire for the day.