The Kodály Center for Music Education at Holy Names University (HNU) received a $10,000 grant from The Hungary Initiatives Foundation to support the continuation of visiting Hungarian master teachers. These professors are integral to the success of HNU’s graduate program and represent the authentic implementation of this unique approach to music education in the United States.
HNU has the distinction of being the first institution of higher learning to offer an advanced degree in music education with a Kodály emphasis.
As described in the grant’s proposal, “In 1969 Sister Mary Alice Hein, a professor of music at Holy Names University, encountered the prominent Hungarian composer, musician and music educator Zoltán Kodály. She quickly embraced his radically democratic vision of universal music literacy and shared his belief that music endows us with a language that contributes to the development of human consciousness.
“With the support of an IREX scholarship, Sister Mary Alice studied at the Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest in 1970. Her vision was to bring Kodály’s philosophy to the United States. Under her dedicated guidance, HNU became an international hub for Kodály teacher training. In 1973 the first Kodály International Symposium (the forerunner of the International Kodály Society) was held at Holy Names University, and in 1974 the University’s Kodály Program offered the first advanced degree in Kodály music education in the United States. Today the program offers a Masters of Music in Music Education with Kodály Emphasis, a Kodály Specialist Certificate, the Kodály Summer Institute and a range of special seminars and continuing education courses.”
Kodály Center Professor Janos Horváth, and Director Anne Laskey expect the grant to provide opportunities for American faculty to collaborate with visiting Hungarian faculty in the creation and translation of materials for use in classrooms, including curricula, textbooks, and choral literature. Additionally the grant will ensure that Hungarian master teachers remain at the center of teacher training at Holy Names, especially in the areas of musicianship, conducting and choral performance.
Laskey explains, “The beneficiaries of this grant will be the Hungarian master teachers who teach in our annual Kodály Summer Institute, American faculty who will collaborate on specific projects, Master’s students, community choir conductors, elementary and high school teachers, children (world-wide) and community singing groups. We also hope to share the results of this collaboration through presentations at national and international conferences, thus reaching an even larger audience.”