About this blogger:
Dr. Lucas Tappan is a conductor and organist whose specialty is working with children. He lives in Kansas with his wife and two sons.
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“I still haven’t made up my mind whether I shall publish it all. Some people are so humorless, so uncharitable, and so absurdly wrong-headed, that one would probably do far better to relax and enjoy life than worry oneself to death trying to instruct or entertain a public which will only despise one’s efforts, or at least feel no gratitude for them. Most readers know nothing about canon law. Many regard it with contempt and find everything heavy going that isn’t completely lowbrow. Some are so grimly serious that they disapprove of all humor. Others come to different conclusions every time they stand up or sit down. They seize upon your publications, as a wrestler seizes upon his opponent’s hair, and use them to drag you down, while they themselves remain quite invulnerable, because their barren pates are completely bald, so there’s nothing for you to get hold of.”
— St. Thomas More to Peter Gilles, 1516

How To Properly Train Young Voices To Sing At Mass
published 2 February 2015 by Lucas Tappan

5382 Choir Boys Singing STILL REMEMBER THE DAY I walked into Our Lady Queen of Peace Catholic School on the first day of my sixth grade year. Our family had recently relocated from southern Oklahoma to Illinois. I had never attended a Catholic school before then, and while my family took the Faith very seriously, attending Mass during the week was a new experience for me.

Within the first month of school, our pastor, Fr. James Flach, called all of the 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th graders together and made it known that the parish was in need of new organists and that he would personally pay for organ lessons for any student who wished to play—in the hopes that one would become an organist.  Well… I am that one.

I played the organ during Mass for the first time on the Feast of the Guardian Angels and have been at it ever since. Today I am the one teaching children and hoping that at least of few will follow in the footsteps of a sacred musician. 1

394 Training Youth Singers SOMETIMES I FEEL we forget about the formation of our children in the grand tradition of sacred music. At the same time, I wonder if some of our many wonderful musicians aren’t a little afraid to stand in front of a room full of children for the first time and raise the baton. I can’t claim to be Olivier Latry at the organ or Sir Richard Terry leading a smart group of choristers through Byrd’s Mass for Five Voices, but there are few people who love working and training choristers more than I do. I am honored to begin blogging at Views from the Choir Loft and desire to pass on the little I have learned to those toiling away in their work with young children.

I will be contributing each week on the subject of “HOW TO PROPERLY TRAIN YOUNG VOICES TO SING AT MASS.”

To learn about Dr. Lucas Tappan, our newest contributor, visit his biography page.


1   That sounds a little grand. Perhaps it would be better to say a musician in the field of sacred music!