Kodaly Offerings at SU


This summer music educators can once again renew their teaching with a wealth of new songs, ideas, and skills through new offerings from the Shepherd University Department of Music. A Kodaly Level I course and a Kodaly Level II course will take place July 5-16, Monday through Friday 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 courses, taught by Dr. David Gonzol, Julie Swank and Jason Largent are 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.

Dr. David J. Gonzol is Assistant Professor and Director of Music Education at Shepherd University. He holds degrees from Messiah College and Temple University. His Ph.D. is from the University of Maryland at College Park. At the University of St. Thomas, he earned Mastery Certificates in the Kodaly and Orff Schulwerk approaches. He taught music in public schools in Pennsylvania and Idaho, and at colleges and universities there, as well as in Maryland and Minnesota. In addition to presenting at state and national conferences, he has given numerous workshops to educators and has been a visiting educator at area schools and libraries.

Julie Swank is a graduate of Capital University in Columbus, Ohio. She graduated with a degree in music education, horn emphasis. She holds a master of elementary education from the University of Dayton and a Kodaly certificate from the Kodaly Center at Capital. She has taught high school and junior high, and currently teaches K-6 general music at Union Elementary School in Union, Ohio. She serves as Past President of the Midwest Division of the Organization of American Kodaly Educators and has presented sessions at the OAKE National Conference in 1999, 2000, and 2003. She has presented sessions at this Divisional Conference in 1997 and 2000. She has presented chapter workshops in many cities, including Omaha, Seattle, Dayton, Toledo, Bluffton, Columbus, Minneapolis, Chicago, Indianapolis, Cleveland, Detroit, Harrisonburg, Lincoln, and Kansas City.

Jason Largent-is currently an elementary music specialist at Ranson Elementary School in Jefferson County, W.V. He has held similar positions in Fairfax County, Frederick County, and Winchester City Public Schools in VA. Mr Largent received a Bachelor of Sacred Music and a Masters of Music Education from Shenandoah University, Winchester, VA. He received his Kodaly certification from James Madison University, an OAKE endorsed program. In addition to his position with Jefferson County, he is currently Director of Music/Organist at Bethel Lutheran Church in Manassas, VA.

For registration information contact Dr. David Gonzol, Director of Music Education, Shepherd University Department of Music, at 304-876-5225 or dgonzol@shepherd.edu or visit www.shepherd.edu/musicweb/preparatory.