Elementary School Music

Posted in Kodály, Orff, Dalcroze, Where-ever by P. Conrad on May 20, 2006

Zoltan Kodály (1882-1967) and Carl Orff (1895-1988) are two 20th-century European composers who developed approaches in music education that are especially valuable for teachers working in early childhood and elementary settings.

Both concepts are also valid choices for urban schools, whose students might have fewer opportunities for private instrumental lessons.

Listed below are the addresses for the national professional organizations for Orff and Kodály methods in the US and overseas, as well as for NY-area chapters which host valuable professional development events several times each year. Essential texts on the Kodály method are among the Books for Music Teachers.

Training for certification in either of these approaches can be pursued at various schools in the area, or at summer programs around the country.

The Organization of American Kodály Educators (OAKE) is the umbrella organization for a host of state and regional chapters.

The Kodály Music Education Institute of Australia (KMEIA) has a lot of useful material, including well-written introductions to Kodály’s life and work and the methodology. The Teacher Resources page includes big flashcards for melodic solfege practice.

Holy Names University, in Oakland, has one of the top US schools for Kodály certification. The program’s website includes short introductory videos and an extensive, searchable database of folk songs and traditional music, including notation and audio files.

Kodály Organization of New York (KONY) is New York City’s active OAKE chapter.

New York University offers an intensive Summer Kodály Institute the first three weeks in July of each year. (For new teachers, the NYU School of Education credits can count towards your 30-above.)

The American Orff Schulwerk Association (AOSA) has a New York City chapter (NYCCAOSA) and a Long Island chapter (LIAOSA), both of which schedule clinics and workshops for teachers on weekends.

Trevor Day School in Manhattan offers training for Orff certification in NYC.

Westminster Choir College in Princeton, NJ offer both weekend and summer workshops as well as certification courses (Orff and Kodály).

Dalcroze Eurythmics


Jacques-Emile Dalcroze (1865-1950) believed that the core of all musical art is human emotion. He taught that it is not enough to train just the mind or the ear or the voice. Instead, the entire human body must be trained since the body contains all of the essentials for the development of sensibility and analysis of sound, music and feeling. Through participation in simple games, exercises, and improvisations, children learn to combine music and movement in order to develop rhythmic unity between the eye, ear, mind, and body.

One of the top U.S. teachers of the method (Dalcroze Eurythmics) is Anne Farber at the Lucy Moses School (see below). The Dalcroze Society of America is a good starting place for exploring this method.

In the New York City area, both the Lucy Moses School and The Diller Quaile School of Music in Manhattan offer programs in Dalcroze methodology.

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