Kodály I, II, and III; Choral Track Levels I, and II

Note: The Plano ISD/SMU Kodály Certification Course will be held in Plano, rather than on the SMU campus.

The Kodály approach of music education is based on the work of Hungarian composer, educator, philosopher and ethnomusicologist, Zoltán Kodály (1882-1967). It is now used widely throughout the world to train musicianship in children and adults. Kodály-inspired instruction uses a carefully organized sequence of musical elements and concepts taught through developmentally appropriate song materials and musical activities. Using high-quality traditional folk music as the initial core musical material, Kodály-inspired musician educators engage their students in joyful, sequential, developmentally appropriate, child-centered, and interactive sound-based instruction. Through this instruction, students are exposed to systematically graded, properly paced presentation to assimilate ideas organized according to the inner logic of music. Students are guided to discover, articulate, read, write, improvise and create with the elements of rhythm, melody, harmony and form in unison singing, part work, creative activities and instrumental work, while developing skills in movement, listening, memory, inner hearing and conducting. Instruction is directed toward providing students with skills requisite to writing what they hear and sing (dictation), as well as hearing and singing what they read (sight reading).

  • Dates: July 5-20, 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM weekdays
  • Noncredit Cost: $900
  • Graduate Credit Cost: Additional $1,500 for 3 hours of graduate credit (Paid separately to SMU)
  • Housing Cost: There is no on-campus housing available for Kodály this summer. For a listing of local Dallas hotels near the SMU campus and out-of-state discounts, go to http://www.campustravel.com/university/smu/visit_smu.html
  • Required Materials: A list of materials will be sent to you prior to the workshop through a link to West Music Company.

Register Here


Level I is a prerequisite for Level II. Level II is a prerequisite for Level III.

This course is presented in conjunction with the Plano ISD Kodály Certification Program, which is endorsed by the Organization of American Kodály Educators. Due to the intensive nature of this certification program, which includes daily homework assignments, participants are strongly encouraged to avoid scheduling additional activities during the course. In addition, 100% attendance is required to earn credit and to move on to the subsequent levels of training. Absences will be considered on an individual basis.

A bachelor’s degree in music or a strong background in music theory is required for this class. Participants must be able to read and write music notation in order to be successful in this course.

Kodály Faculty: Gay deMontel, Jason Dove, Beth Houff, Brenda Keen, Kathy Kuddes, Georgia Newlin, Kristin Vogt, and Melissa Young

Course Levels Descriptions:

LEVEL I: Pedagogy includes intensive study of Kodály philosophy, principles, pedagogy, and techniques with a particular emphasis on readiness curriculum, repertoire, skills, and strategies for early childhood. A detailed study of American folk music will focus on selection, collection and performance practice of materials from aural traditions appropriate for young children. Musicianship study will include development of aural skills, solfège proficiency, detailed study of pentatony, and basic classroom conducting. A degree in music, music education, or a strong theoretical music background is required for success.

LEVEL II: Pedagogy includes the continued intensive study of materials, techniques, and pedagogy for sequential skill and curriculum development with emphasis on intermediate level concepts and elements for developing musical literacy. The study of folk music materials will continuation the study of various aural traditions and begin the study of pedagogical song analysis. Musicianship study will continue the development of aural skills, intermediate solfège proficiency, detailed study of diatony and church modes, simple functional harmony and intermediate classroom and choral conducting. Prerequisite: Kodály Level I.

LEVEL III: Pedagogy includes the continued intensive study of materials, techniques, pedagogy, lesson and curriculum development with emphasis on upper level concepts and elements, dictation and sight-reading skills. The study of folk music materials will expand to study of performance practices in world music genres and begin the development of song retrieval and indexing system. Musicianship study will included advanced aural skill development, advanced solfège proficiency, functional harmony and advanced classroom and choral conducting. Prerequisite: Kodály Level II.

CHORAL TRACK– LEVEL I: Pedagogy includes intensive study of Kodály philosophy, principles, pedagogy, and techniques with particular emphasis on repertoire, skills and strategies for the teaching of musical literacy skills in a choral context. The study of choral materials will focus on selection of quality repertoire for beginning choirs. Musicianship study will include development of aural skills, solfège proficiency, detailed study of pentatony, and basic classroom conducting. A degree in music, music education, or a strong theoretical music background is required for success.

CHORAL TRACK – LEVEL II: Pedagogy includes the continued intensive study of Kodály philosophy, principles, pedagogy, and techniques with particular emphasis on repertoire, skills and strategies for the teaching of musical literacy skills in the choral context. The study of choral materials will focus on selection of quality repertoire for intermediate level choirs. Musicianship study will continue the development of aural skills, intermediate solfège proficiency, detailed study of diatony and church modes, functional harmony and intermediate conducting skills.  A degree in music, music education, or a strong theoretical music background is required for success.  Prerequisite: Kodály Choral Track Level I.

KODÁLY FACULTY

Gay deMontel is a retired music educator living in Corpus Christi. Gay has been passionate about Kodály inspired teaching all the way back to her college days at Southwest Texas State University (now known as Texas State.) She feels fortunate that in her early career, she had mentors and colleagues trained in the Kodály philosophy, adding fuel to her desire to know more.  Gay attended the UT/FAME Kodály training program at Round Top, where she received her OAKE endorsed certification. Gay taught in Kerrville and Plano, as well as Port Aransas, and Corpus Christi, where she developed and implemented a Kodály inspired curriculum. Workshop presentations have included "Intro to Kodály," pedagogical possibilities from repertoire, beginning dulcimer, and folk dancing. Gay has been an instructor in the Plano certification program for over twenty years.

Jason Dove is Director of Fine Arts for Deer Park ISD. He spent 23 years prior to this position teaching choral music. He received a B.M.E. from the University of Louisville and an M.M. from SMU. Jason has presented at OAKE and TMEA on ways to incorporate a Kodály approach in the secondary choral classroom. Choirs under his direction have received numerous sweepstakes awards at UIL Concert and Sight Reading. In addition, Jason’s choirs were invited to perform for the 2012 TMEA Clinic/Convention and for the 2013 ACDA National Conference. He served as the High School Vocal Division Vice President of Texas Choral Directors Association from 2017-2019.

Bethany Houff has been the choral director at Harrisonburg High School, located in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley, since 2003. In addition to conducting four choral ensembles, she teaches an introductory musical theatre course and beginning piano classes. She served on the design team of the innovative Harrisonburg High School Fine Arts Academy where colleagues in dance, drama, music, visual art, and creative writing teach collaboratively in a sequential and integrated arts curriculum. Beth received a Master of Music degree in Choral Conducting as well as a Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education from James Madison University. She teaches in the Summer Kodály Programs at Indiana University, James Madison University, and SMU/Plano ISD.

Brenda Keen taught 21 of her 26 years in elementary music in Plano ISD. Prior to her employment in Plano, she taught 4 years in Richardson ISD, and 1 year in Dallas ISD. She holds a bachelor's degree from UT Austin and a Kodály certificate from the UNT /Plano ISD Certification Program. Brenda has taught in the Plano ISD Kodály certification program for 12 years and has presented sessions at TCDA, Plano Senior High School, TCU, and workshops for the Kodály Educators of Texas. Brenda has directed many school and church choirs, including the Plano Children's Chorale. Brenda has sponsored over 250 singers in the North Texas Children's Choir, and over 75 of her students have been selected for the O.A.K.E. National Honor Choirs. Brenda was named the Metroplex Children's Choir Teacher of the Year in 2003 and Teacher of the Year for Hightower Elementary in 2006. She was awarded the North Texas Children’s Choir (NTCC)Teacher/Leader Award in 2014 and was named NTCC Teacher of the Year in 2019. Brenda has served on the National Children's Choir Committee for the Organization of American Kodály Educators, on the Advisory Council for O.A.K.E., and is Past-President of the Southern Division of O.A.K.E. She is also Past-President of the Kodály Educators of Texas.   Brenda retired from teaching at Hightower Elementary School in Plano.  Since retirement, she has continued to teach Conducting and Pedagogy in the SMU/Plano ISD Kodály Training Program.  She has supervised student teachers for the University of North Texas and Colorado State University.  She has taught a teacher preparation course for UNT and is currently a mentor for elementary music teachers in Frisco ISD.

Kathy Kuddes is a trained Kodály Specialist with more than 37 years in public music education in Texas. Her classroom teaching career of 14 years has included positions teaching elementary music, middle school and high school choirs. In addition she has had the opportunity to teach community pre-school music programs, conduct church choirs, and instruct both undergraduate music methods courses and graduate Kodály Teacher Training courses. She is the Founder and Coordinator of the Plano Kodály Teacher Training Program, endorsed by the Organization of American Kodály Educators, through her current position as Director of Fine Arts for the Plano Independent School District in Plano, Texas. Her current specializations include Folk Music Materials and Research in support of the Kodály approach, developing strong K-12 vertical teams through music curriculum development activities, and the integration of language support for Limited English Proficient students in the music classroom.

Georgia A Newlin, DMA is an independent Music Education Consultant. She has taught in early childhood and public-school music positions for 16 years and at the collegiate level for 16 years. She is called upon as a conductor for choral festivals, as a clinician for choral workshops, reading sessions, and intermediate grade methodology, as well as a consultant for curriculum planning. Georgia teaches musicianship, conducting, and ensemble in Kodály programs at Indiana University, University of Hawai’i, James Madison University, and SMU/Plano as well as pedagogy and music literature at CSU Bakersfield. She is Past President of OAKE and is a member of The VoiceCare Network. She has presented at conferences of the Organization of American Kodály Society, International Kodály Society, American Orff-Schulwerk Association, Kodály Music Educators in Australia, Kodály Society of Ontario, and Association for Music in International Schools, as well as Choral & Music Education associations in eighteen states. Georgia has had articles published in the Choral Journal, Orff Echo, Kodály Envoy, and Southwestern Musician, among others. She served for three years on the Music Educators Journal Advisory Committee of the National Association for Music Education. Music Is Elementary published her book, One Accord: Developing Part-Singing Skills in School-Age Musicians, as well as her lesson plans for teaching music literacy through choral singing in The Crooked River Choral Project. Georgia is also published with the Ruth Dwyer Choral Series from Colla Voce.

Corey Fisher Smith is the Music Specialist at Windsong Ranch Elementary in Prosper ISD and has taught Kindergarten through 5th grade students for 9 years. She earned her B.M.E. from the University of Oklahoma where she started her Kodály journey with Joy Nelson, then completed her levels at the Plano/SMU Training Program. Much of her time outside of teaching is spent professionally accompanying choirs, soloists, church groups, and musicals on piano. She has served as a Region Chair for TMEA and currently serves on the Scholarship Committee for OAKE.

Kristin Vogt is the music specialist at Brinker Elementary School in Plano ISD, where she teaches Kindergarten through 5th grade students.  Kristin received her Bachelor of Music in Music Theory in 2000, and master’s degrees in music theory and music education from Southern Methodist University in 2003. She earned her Kodály certification from the Plano ISD/UNT program and her Orff Schulwerk certification from SMU. This is her 20th year to teach elementary music.  She presents professional development sessions for school districts in Texas and the OAKE National Conference in 2010 and 2018, AOSA in 2016.  For the past 12 summers Kristin teaches Pedagogy I and Folk Music Materials II at the SMU Kodály Certification Program as well as Folk Music Materials II and III and Pedagogy III for the Fort Bend ISD Kodály Program. Kristin is currently serving as President-Elect of the Southern Division for the Organization of American Kodály Educators.

Melissa Roth Young is a graduate of Baylor University (BME ’93) and UNT (MME ’02), and is now in her 28th year of teaching. She is currently the head choir director at Haggard Middle School in Plano ISD. Before teaching middle school choirs for the past 15 years, Mrs. Young taught elementary music and community children’s choirs in Texas and Oregon. She has served on the Oregon ACDA Board and the OAKE National Board, as well as serving as TMEA Region 3 Middle School Vocal Coordinator. She is published with Alliance Music Publications and lives in Richardson, TX with her family. She sings with the choir at First United Methodist Church, Richardson.


For further information about SMU Music Educators Workshops, or to register for one of these classes, visit admission.smu.edu/portal/musicworkshops; or contact Julie Scott, Lisa Beyer, or Courtney Wilson at muedworkshops@smu.edu.