What Does The Singing School cost?
The cost of 50 hours of training in church music, all your classroom supplies, workbooks, notes, and a notebook, a private bedroom and bathroom, a video recording of your songs (song leading students), and all of your meals is just $495. This may seem like a lot at first, but when you consider that it is all-inclusive, that all of our staff and faculty are totally volunteer (receiving nothing but the satisfaction of teaching), and that we rent our facilities from Abilene Christian University, it seems much more reasonable.
You may find other singing schools that are cheaper, but we guarantee that you will learn more from The Singing School than you would elsewhere and that at the end of the week you will consider it money well-spent. One of the best things about The Singing School is our multi-level curriculum that exposes the student to more and more each year he/she comes. No other singing school has this kind of in depth, comprehensive training. Furthermore, most other singing schools are held in a camp setting and geared towards children and teenagers. While we get our fair share of youths, the environment at The Singing School includes challenges for the adult mind.
What is the “minimum age” to attend The Singing School?
We have no official limit, but remember that The Singing School is a serious learning environment with almost 10 hours of classes each day (50 hours in five days). In recent years, we have had students as young as 10. A majority of our students are adults, however there are always many Christian teens with whom your child may socialize. Use your best judgment when deciding about the age your child may be ready for The Singing School. Of course, we would love if you would come with your child(ren)! The Singing School can be a great family experience in a Christian environment.
What Should I Bring with Me to The Singing School?
Clothes: Be aware that the average July temperature in Abilene, Texas is 94F with 60% humidity. Our classes are all conducted indoors in fully air-conditioned (read: “at times chilly”) classrooms. Most of our students and teachers dress casually (Dockers/nice jeans, button-down/polo shirts). We do request, though, that shorts not be worn during class time. On Thursday evening we do take an official group photograph of the entire school.
For the Apartment: Bedsheets (Twin XL size), blankets, pillows, or other bedclothes. These items, and many others (trash bags, snacks, bottles of water, throat lozenges, etc.) may be purchased at a nearby Wal-Mart (map).
For the Classroom: Pens/pencils, notebook paper (a binder with many, many handouts is provided); a backpack or satchel may be very useful in moving from class to class. Laptop computers are not needed for any classes, even for taking notes (most notes are provided), though they may be useful for classes involving PowerPoint (upper division Worship Leader courses).
Regardless of your course of study, a pitch pipe will be useful. If you are in the Song Leading or Worship Development tracks, a pitch pipe is required. If you do not have one, you may purchase one at a discounted price at registration.
Singing School Traditions
Our meal tickets with the ACU cafeteria do not begin until Monday morning. If you come for the Worship Leaders’ Conference or come Saturday in time for supper, please join “the gang.” Friday night is traditionally the Harvest Moon Chinese buffet (1149 E N 10th St.) and Saturday night is Rosa’s Café & Tortilla Factory (1026 N Judge Ely Blvd.). The Singing School weekend usually coincides with a major Hollywood release, and many go as a group to the Premier Cinema 10 Theater.
On Thursday afternoon, a whole-school picture is taken by James Tackett. This may influence your choice of clothing for Thursday.
The nearby Dairy Queen stays open late Monday-Thursday just for The Singing School. Come join us for Blizzards and singing! We even enjoy our own version of the gospel classic, Singing on the Premises of Dairy Queen (Standing on the Promises). Two of our alumni have collaborated to prepare a “new DQ song,” At the Dairy Queen, based on the song All Praises Be.
“Number Six-Five-One.” To close out each evening of The Singing School, we all gather together (usually in the Rotunda of the Onstead-Packer Bible Building) to sing Where No One Stands Alone, which is “The Singing School Song.” We issue each of our students a copy of Songs for Worship and Praise from Taylor Publications. Where No One Stands Alone is number 651 in that book. When we used the hymnal Songs of Faith and Praise, this tradition was known as “Number Eight-Oh-One” (as corresponding to its number in that hymnal).
Stand Up and Glorify the Lord and Hosanna serve as our two warm-up songs each morning in chapel. A call to action and an outpouring of pure praise is the best way to start our worship together!
Area Restaurants and Stores
As the last session of the Worship Leader’s Conference, we conduct a Sunday morning assembly of worship on the campus in the ACU Chapel. You’re welcome to join us for a time of singing, prayers, a lesson from the Scriptures, and the Lord’s Supper. Worshipping together is a wonderful way of spiritually connecting with each other before the Singing School begins.
However, if you prefer to worship with one the local congregations in Abilene, they would surely appreciate your visit.
For your convenience, this list has been sorted by driving distance from the University Park Apartments.
I have a music degree from a 4-year college and thought I knew everything I needed to know about singing and writing music. Guess what!!! Didn’t know as much as I thought I did. Learned tons of new stuff. They attract some of the best teachers in their field!! Well worth your time!!Aneva P.
“I highly recommend the Singing School, as there is an urgent need for song leader training.”Keith Lancaster (4/4/16), Cullman, Alabama
“I always thought I was a fairly decent song leader before attending the school. But having gone thru the program, I learned from excellent instructors and have confidence to lead in ways that I would have never tried before. I was challenged to be better, not for me, but for Him.”Robin E., Madison, Alabama
“The fellowship and love we had together in song and spirituality is something I will cherish for the rest of my life … I would encourage anyone who has a passion for leading the church in worship to take the time even for one year to experience what the Singing School has to offer.”Alan D., London, England
“I had a WONDERFUL time with all of you this week! I will work hard this year!”Megan A., Missouri
“We had a good time singing with you all tonight. Thanks for letting us stop by.”Jason F., Abilene, Texas
“What a great, intense week the Singing School was! I want to shout my thanks to all of you who work so hard to make this happen. I can only imagine the time and effort that goes into it.”Kerri R., Grants Pass, Oregon
“I thank all of the teachers, coaches, and staff here at ACU Singing School for helping me get where I am today. I had a long way to go and I’m just barely getting started… thank you all from the bottom of my heart.”Robert H., Temple, Texas
“So stoked to be in our church’s regular song leading rotation. Lead today again and loved it! I love leading people in worship for God! Thank you all for all I learned with you guys!”Jeff R., Abilene, Texas
“So today I was able to song lead in Ladies’ Chapel! I am proud to say that I did the time signature and was on pitch! … I got a lot of compliments and it made me really happy! So glad that I was able to go to this school and learn what I did!”Alejandra G., Lubbock, Texas
“Some of the most talented, sincere, and spiritual people I’ve ever met was because of the Singing School.”Robin E., Madison, Alabama
“I never would have thought or dreamed of being able to even be in front of 2 or 3 people a few years ago. … never would have been possible without the love, support, and teaching of this singing school.”Robert H., Temple, Texas