I just finished my second week of Kodaly Certification Level 1 at Westminster Choir College. It was very good, and I learned a great deal. My teachers were very knowledgeable. The teachers emphasized creating complete musicians. This means that Kodaly music educators seek to develop skills in music reading, listening, performing, singing, improvising, composing, etc. All aspects of the class are arranged so that the student develops one of these areas. There is no wasted time. It was great to get the basic philosophical underpinnings as well as the methods for teaching this great system.
However, I think that the best way to inform prospective Kodaly students what the course was like is to detail my day. Picture this as a day in the life of a Kodaly Certification Student.
9:00–Choir. Began with choral warm-ups, then learned several choir pieces. Sang some great repertoire with some great singers. It was extremely refreshing to sing with fellow musicians rather than simply teach music all day. The conductor, Katalin Kiss, was knowledgeable and talented.
10:30–Pedagogy Class. Learned the philosophy behind the pedagogy, as well as methods. The teacher of this class, Susan Brumfield, was excellent. I would recommend any class she taught.
12:45–Musicianship Class. Did various sight-singing and dictation exercises. This was my least favorite section of the seminar. Dictation has always been the bane of my existence. I would have preferred a little more focus.
1:15–Folk Music–Studied American folk music history and methods to incorporate the songs in classes. Carol Brown did a great job of teaching the subject matter in a concise and enthusiastic way.
2:45–Discussed and learned specific songs for use in the classroom. This mostly included play-party songs and game songs.
In closing, I highly recommend this course. I learned a great deal that I hope to incorporate into my classes. I’m sure it could do the same for you.