Synopsis:  Guidelines for Kodály Teacher Education Programs

Source credit: Organization of American Kodály Educators (OAKE)
2016 Revision

OAKE Mission Statement

Inspired by the vision of Zoltan Kodály, the mission of the Organization of American Kodály Educators is to support music education of the highest quality, promote universal music literacy and lifelong music making, preserve the musical heritage of the people of the United States of American through education, artistic performance, advocacy and research.

Vision and Practice

OAKE and its endorsed and/or affiliated teacher-education programs actively work within four dimensions of change:

  • Improving the quality of musical instruction materials and experiences available to both teachers and students.
  • Increasing the number of students served by high quality, Kodály-inspired music programs and the variety of means used to serve them.
  • Prioritizing school music scheduling to make music an equal partner in the overall school curriculum.
  • Elevating music teaching through rigorous Kodály-inspired teacher education.

OAKE and its endorsed/affiliated teacher-education programs require Kodály-inspired teachers to engage in lifelong learning of music and teaching as an art, a craft, and a science by continuing to expand and develop their musicality and musicianship skills, deepening their understanding of music as a body of literature, and incorporating and mastering best teaching practices.  Following completion of OAKE endorsed programs, Kodály-inspired teachers continue to participate in advanced courses, workshops, and conferences that refresh and develop their skills as musician/teachers in musicianship, conducting, music literature, and pedagogy.

Common Curriculum/Core Areas of Study

Certificate programs endorsed by OAKE lead to student mastery in the areas of musicianship, conducting, choral ensemble, music literature, and pedagogy/teaching process and skills.  The program of study can be offered in a variety of formats, including summers only, academic year, or a combination of the two.  A minimum of 225 contact hours, distributed according to the following guidelines, is required for a certificate of completion.  Program graduates must satisfy all requirements within the five core areas of study.  (225 hours are satisfied through completion of 3 Levels of Summer Program, one level per summer.)

The following core areas of study are required throughout the duration of the instructional sequence:

50-70 total hours for certificate

  • Teaching vocal techniques appropriate for young voices
  • Choral conducting
  • Analyzing and preparing vocal scores for teaching/conducting/rehearsing
  • Choosing appropriate repertoire and rehearsal strategies
  • Integrating Kodályprinciples, such as a capella singing and the role and use of a tuning fork, in the choral setting

Choral Ensemble:
30-45 total hours for certificate

  • Participation as a performing member of an adult choral ensemble
  • Demonstration of proficiency in the use of relative solmization for reading
  • Demonstration of choral skills including a focus of pure intonation, vocal technique, and artistic interpretation of selected repertoire

Music Literature:
30-60 total hours for certificate

  • Stylistically sensitive performance of a wide variety of musical materials
  • Assembly of a personal collection of music literature representative of genres including traditional children’s songs and games, folk music of predominant culture groups in the U.S., folk music from other countries in the world, and quality art music for teaching
  • Complete a detailed pedagogical analysis of material in this collection and use this information to develop a cross-reference retrieval system for planning and instructional purposes

Pedagogy/Teaching Process and Skills:
50-70 total hours for certificate

  • Articulation of Kodály’s vision and philosophy of music education and an understanding of the historical development of Kodály-inspired practice in Hungary and the United States
  • Creation of sequential spiral curricula for lower, intermediate, and upper elementary grade levels, choral or instrumental settings
  • Selection, analysis, and contextualization of appropriate music literature of high artistic value (including songs, listening examples, and choral repertoire) for use in a Kodály-inspired music curriculum
  • Successful creation and teaching of Kodály-inspired music lessons, demonstrating understanding of short and Long-Range Planning, curricular objectives, overall lesson design, and assessment

Special Topics/Electives:
10-15 total hours for certificate 

  • Folk dance
  • Folk instruments
  • Children’s literature
  • Strategies for teaching students with special needs