Hymnology | Kevin Bode, David Porth, and Kate Tiefel

Kevin Bode David Porth Kate Tiefel

No Time for Hymnology?

Among worship conference attendees, a strong majority would likely endorse the idea that every WELS elementary school should be teaching hymnology. And yet only about 25% of our schools are using any part of the Hymns for Life hymnology curriculum, and many seem unaware that it exists even after four years of availability. The mission of the Lutheran elementary school is embedded in the mission of the church, which includes inculcating a deep love for hymns. This session explores 1) the high value of teaching hymns in the elementary years, 2) reasons why some schools aren’t teaching hymnology, 3) how to approach the topic with fellow faculty and the school board, and 4) how some schools have successfully begun using the curriculum when there was nothing before. Attention is also given to a related theme—Creative Ideas Create Beloved Hymns. Running side by side with hymnology is the incredibly important performance aspect—involving students in opportunities to perform hymn melodies.

Bio | Kevin Bode

Kevin BodeKevin serves Emanuel, Tempe, Ariz., in a 50/50 position with both teaching and music roles. He is blessed to direct/work with instructors for group and private guitar lessons, chimes, a band program and private instrumental instruction, ukulele, male and female and chamber choirs at high points in the church year, junior/adult choir, and ensembles for all the musical instrument families. The Lord is using these individuals to touch hearts with the gospel, and to show that the songs kids learn in school can run with and even outrun many new and popular Christian songs currently in vogue.

Bio | David Porth

David PorthSince 2014, David has served Pilgrim Lutheran Church and School, Menomonee Falls, Wis., as grades 7-8 teacher and worship coordinator. These duties include worship planning, serving as head organist, directing the adult choir, and including a wide variety of instrumentalists. He holds a Master of Church Music degree from Concordia University Wisconsin. He also serves as the district worship coordinator for the Southeastern Wisconsin District, was a curriculum writer for the synod’s hymnology curriculum, is a member of the Association of Lutheran Church Musicians (ALCM), and is an associate organist and member of the Fine Arts Committee at St. Marcus, Milwaukee.

Bio | Kate Tiefel

Kate TiefelKate Tiefel, director of music at Emanuel, New London, Wis., holds a BS in music education and an MM in choral conducting from Michigan State University. She has 20 years of experience teaching music and is a founding member of the Lutheran Institute for Music Education.