Free Introductory Workshop on Kodaly at Shepherd University

The Shepherd University Department of Music is offering music educators a free Introduction to Kodaly workshop on Saturday, June 1, from 10:15 to 11:30 a.m. in the Pantle Music Education Room 125 of the Frank Arts Center at Shepherd University.

Kodaly music pedagogy involves singing, folk songs, teaching techniques and organizers that can be applied to other musical styles. Comprehensive and sequential, it focuses on the very best music in many styles. In this hands-on workshop participants will sing various folk songs in a few different languages, play singing games, dance a play party, explore iconic and symbolic music reading with technology, sing improvisations, and listen to the music of Giuseppe Verdi, W. A. Mozart, Stevie Wonder, Vince Guaraldi, and John Williams. Curriculum organizational aids will be examined. Refreshments and a handout on all the materials and teaching strategies used in the workshop will be provided. Information about Shepherd University's Kodaly I summer graduate course, that is being offered in July, and the Master of Music, Music Education program will be available.

The Kodaly Level I course will take place July 1-12 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in the Frank Arts Center, the daily schedule includes musicianship, ear training, and sight singing, pedagogy, folk song literature, special topics, including conducting, folk dance, and instruments, and choir. The course, taught by Dr. David Gonzol and Julie Swank, is available for graduate credit for both degree and non-degree seeking students.

The Kodaly Method is an approach to music education that was developed in Hungary during the mid-twentieth century. Though named after Hungarian composer and educator Zoltan Kodaly (1882-1967), the method itself was not created by him. Rather, his philosophies of education served as inspiration for the method, which was then developed over a number of years by his associates. At the heart of the Kodaly Method is his belief that music literacy is the right of every human being. Kodaly stressed that anyone who is capable of reading language is also capable of reading music. He urged that music education be accessible to everyone, not just to the musically gifted. He felt that no education could be complete without music, and that it was therefore the schools' obligation to offer quality music instruction. Kodaly stressed that music be taught daily as a part of the core curriculum and given equal importance as to language and mathematics. Studies have shown that the Kodaly Method improves intonation, rhythm skills, music literacy, and the ability to sing in increasingly complex parts. Outside of music, it has been shown to improve perceptual functioning, concept formation, motor skills, and performance in other academic areas such as reading and math. His ideas revolutionized music education first in Hungary, then around the world. At the heart of the approach is singing, folk songs, and a host of flexible teaching strategies-singing games, rote learning, literacy, solfege, rhythm syllables, hand signs, a natural student-centered sequence, and much more.

The Introduction to Kodaly workshop on Saturday, June 1, is free, but space is limited. For registration information please contact Dr. David Gonzol, Director of Music Education, Shepherd University Department of Music, at 304-876-5225 or dgonzol@shepherd.edu