If you don't see any workshops in your area, and are interested in hosting one, please contact [email protected].

Upcoming Events

    Composing Ourselves: A Laboratory for Creating Congregational Songs

  • Wednesday, April 26, 2023 at 02:00 PM

    To kick off another round of Composing Ourselves, a series of online workshops that encourage musical creativity and play, Paul Vasile will offer an introductory webinar on Wednesday, April 26 from 2 to 4 p.m. ET focused on writing congregational songs. With examples drawn from his experiences as a song leader and composer, as well as music from varied cultures and traditions, he'll invite participants to explore:

    • Rhythm and meter rooted in the text
    • Melodic shapes and musical syntax
    • The expressive potential of vowels and consonants
    • Song structures and their connection to liturgical function

    There will be lots of singing together, opportunities for reflection and questions, and break out space to experiment and play together.

    In the weeks and months following the webinar, MMC will offer additional opportunities to learn from guest composers and text writers in our community. We'll host gatherings where you can share what you're writing and even offer one-on-one coaching for those who might welcome a more personal opportunity to share their work and receive feedback. 

    The webinar is offered on a sliding scale, between $80 and $40. The registration fee includes a video recording and a link to songs and resources shared throughout the webinar. We ask you to pay what is generous and affordable for you, with gratitude for the time and skill of our presenters. Scholarship support is also available, if needed, so please reach out if cost will prevent your participation. 

    Register here!

  • Paperless Practices for Choirs

  • Thursday, May 18, 2023 at 01:00 PM
    Edina Community Lutheran Church in Minneapolis, MN

    In-person: 1:00 pm- 5:00 pm CT
    Online: 1:00 pm- 2:30 pm CT

    Join a group of intrepid choral directors and singers for an afternoon playdate on May 18, 2023, exploring oral/aural tradition teaching practices and how they can be implemented in church, school, and community choral contexts.

    Dr. Elisabeth Cherland, Director of Choral Activities at Minnesota State University, Mankato, and Paul Vasile will invite us to explore:
    • Strategies for integrating oral/aural tradition learning in rehearsals;
    • Models of ways paperless singing engages singers' ears, eyes, and bodies to serve musicianship and style;
    • Practices for encouraging community care and expression through song;
    • The healing capacity of singing, as we continue to recover from the collective trauma and challenges of the pandemic.
    The day will include times of moderated reflection, where participants share what they are experiencing and noticing as we sing with and without printed music. 

    We'll gather in the Sanctuary of Edina Community Lutheran Church in Minneapolis, MN. You are also welcome to register to attend via Zoom to participate in the first 90 minutes of the workshop (1 to 2:30 pm CT), which will welcome online guests in a multi-access/hybrid format.

    Registration fees are on a sliding scale, from $100 to $50 per person, which includes access to a recording of the Zoom portion of the workshop, as well as resource materials and music. We ask you to pay what is generous and affordable for you, with gratitude for the time and skill of our presenters. Additional scholarship support is also available, if needed.

    Register here!


    Elisabeth Cherland
    is a fourth-generation choral conductor as well as professor, singer, song leader, violinist, and Lutheran church musician. As Director of Choral Activities at Minnesota State University, Mankato, she teaches courses in choral methods, conducting, private voice, and conducts the Concert Choir and Chamber Singers. Prior to her appointment at MSU she was a Visiting Assistant Professor of Music at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minnesota. 

    Dr. Cherland earned a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Choral Conducting at the University of Washington, a Master of Music Education with Certification degree from VanderCook College of Music, and a Bachelor of Arts in Music and English from Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota. Her research interests include women in academia, feminist and narrative research, choral settings of Emily Dickinson poetry, song leading and paperless music pedagogy, social justice in the choral classroom, the role of the modern cantor, and the effects of corporate singing on mental health.  

    She lives with her partner Kent and their two sons, Elijah and Leif, in St. Peter, MN. She loves storytelling and story-hearing, doughnuts, bubble tea, laughing, knitting, running (when the temperature is perfect and the course is flat), and sunshine when it’s available.

    Paul Vasile serves as Executive Director of Music That Makes Community and is passionate about modeling and sharing leadership practices that sustain the musical and spiritual life of communities. He mentors and supports an ecumenical network of song leaders across North America who are committed to oral tradition (“paperless”) song leadership practices. Committed to expansive, imaginative, and hospitable experiences of music making wherever he goes, Paul’s leadership builds trust, invites spaces of creativity, vulnerability, and play, and supports practices of reflection and holistic learning. Recognized as a multitalented musician and liturgist, he is committed to building, renewing, and reshaping faith communities through the ways they worship and sing together.

  • One-Day Workshop in Nashville with InterGenerate

  • Monday, June 12, 2023 at 09:00 AM
    St. David's Episcopal Church in Nashville, TN

    Music that Makes Community is excited to offer a One-Day workshop at St. David's Episcopal Church in Nashville, Tennessee in collaboration with InterGenerate, a conference for church leaders and academics exploring intergenerational faith formation and ministry. Join Breen Sipes and Paul Vasile for a renewing day of building community through singing, learning, and fellowship, with a focus on skills for leading songs in intergenerational contexts. During our time together we’ll: 

    • Explore a practice of paperless (oral tradition) singing leadership grounded in a spirit of welcome and generosity
    • Engage models of teaching and leading that welcome our bodies, hearts, and minds 
    • Experience music reflective of the growing diversity of our communities and celebrating our rich spiritual and liturgical traditions
    • Build community and strengthen relationships through singing

    Each person will leave with new music to share, as well as experiences of learning and teaching songs applicable to their context. Choir directors, clergy, cantors, lay leaders, and all who love to sing are warmly welcomed. 

    The cost of the workshop is $125, including workshop materials, lunch, and refreshments throughout the day. A discounted rate of $100 is available to InterGenerate Conference participants. We do not want the cost to prevent anyone’s participation, so please reach out to let us know if you need scholarship support. 

    Register here!

    Please contact Paul Vasile at [email protected] or (929) 266-4662 if you have any questions.

    COVID protocols: 
    We will follow the guidelines at Saint David's Episcopal Church in place at the time of the event and will take precautions to ensure the safety and well-being of all participants. The room will be well-ventilated, we’ll take regular breaks, and follow the CDC's best practices for in-person gathering.

    Transportation for Conference Participants:
    St. David's Episcopal Church is a 15-minute drive from the Lipscomb University campus. It will be easiest for InterGenerate Conference participants to take a ride-sharing service like Uber or Lyft, and we're happy to facilitate carpooling. 

    Additional Learning Opportunities: 

    • On Sunday, June 11, MMC leaders will share musical leadership at the 10:30 a.m. service at St. David's.
    • We are excited to participate in the InterGenerate Conference at Lipscomb University from June 13-15, 2023. MMC will help lead worship and share paperless songs throughout the conference.


  • ALCM Biennial Conference

  • Tuesday, July 04, 2023 at 03:00 PM through July 09, 2023

    Each time the church gathers to pray and sing, we hear the wondrous story of God’s divine love revealed in Christ—a love that is deep, broad, high, amazing, and steadfast, that builds up and binds everything together in perfect harmony. Love is our greatest commandment and the source of our song. Or, as the hymnist exclaims: “what wondrous love is this!”

    An iconic sculpture of the word “love” stands in the central plaza of a city designed so that its colonial residents and the area’s indigenous peoples could live together in harmony. Like the vision of its founder, William Penn, the city’s name was the product of peaceful coexistence between two Greek words: Philos (loving) alongside adelphoi(siblings). Philadelphia.

    This biennial conference of the Association of Lutheran Church Musicians invites us—through worship, lectures, workshops, and making music together—into deeper reflection about the what, wonder, and love of which the church sings.

    Music that Makes Community is excited to offer a two-part workshop at the gathering exploring ways to integrate paperless singing into congregational life—from worship to small group gatherings. Experience varied ways of singing and learning paperless music and build a toolbox of essential skills for leading this way. Sessions led by Paul Vasile will be held on 
    Wednesday, July 5 from 1:00-2:30 pm and Saturday, July 8, 9:30-10:30 am.

    Learn more about the conference and register here!


Music that Makes Community
[email protected]
(929) 266-4662

PO Box 1031
New York, NY 10276-1031