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Kodály Offerings this summer at Shepherd University

ISSUED: 26 April 2012
MEDIA CONTACT: Valerie Owens
(Kodály Offerings this summer at Shepherd University)

Shepherdstown, WV--The Shepherd University Department of Music is offering Kodály courses this summer. Kodály Level I, Kodály Level II, and Kodály Level III will take place July 2 through 13 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in the Frank Center. The daily schedule includes musicianship, ear training, sight singing, pedagogy, folk song literature, and special topics, including conducting, folk dance, instruments, and choir. The courses, taught by Dr. David Gonzol, Julie Swank, Jason Largent, and Crystal Schlieker, are available for graduate credit for both degree and non-degree seeking students.

The Kodály Method is an approach to music education that was developed in Hungary during the mid-20th century. Though named after Hungarian composer and educator Zoltán Kodály (1882-1967), the method itself was not created by him. His philosophies of education served as inspiration for the method. At the heart of the Kodály Method is his belief that music literacy is the right of every human being. Kodály stressed that anyone who is capable of reading language is also capable of reading music.

Studies have shown that the Kodály 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.

Dr. David J. Gonzol is assistant professor and director of music education at Shepherd. He holds degrees from Messiah College and Temple University, and a Ph.D. from the University of Maryland at College Park. At the University of St. Thomas he earned mastery certificates in the Kodály and Orff Schulwerk approaches. He taught music in public schools in Pennsylvania, Idaho, 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 schools and libraries.

Julie Swank is a graduate of Capital University in Columbus, Ohio. She graduated with a bachelor's degree in music education, horn emphasis. She holds a master of elementary education degree from the University of Dayton and a Kodály certificate from the Kodály 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 Kodály Educators. She has presented chapter workshops in many cities.

Jason Largent is currently an elementary music specialist at Ranson Elementary School in Jefferson County. Largent received his bachelor's degree in sacred music and master's degree of music education from Shenandoah University. He received his Kodály certification from James Madison University. In addition to his position with Jefferson County, he is currently director of music and organist at Bethel Lutheran Church in Manassas, Virginia.

Crystal Schlieker currently teaches lower school general music at the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools. Previously, she taught K-12 general and choral music at Shenyang International School in Shenyang, China. She holds a bachelor's degree in music education from Asbury College, and Kodály Certification from Capital University. She participated in the 2011 International Kodály Seminar in Kecskemét, Hungary.

For registration information, contact Gonzol at 304-876-5225 or, or visit


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