BKA2015 – Al Fresco Improvisation

Choral ImprovisationWhat better way to start the BKA’s Summer School at the leafy University of Leicester than singing al fresco. The session was Choral Improvisation with the amazing Dr. Árpád Tóth. Those of us lucky enough to attend last year’s summer school knew we were in for a treat, the rest of us were sat with a mixture of excitement and apprehension.

Well the first improvisation was the location! Making the most of the beautiful evening, we moved outside to sing with the accompaniment of the wind swooshing through the leaves of the weeping willow. It was a really magical experience and Árpád’s infectious enthusiasm soon had us making the most beautiful vocal sounds by listening and responding to each other.

More News from the Kodály Summer School

  • BKA2015 – Al Fresco Improvisation - What better way to start the BKA’s Summer School at the leafy University of Leicester than singing al fresco. The session was Choral Improvisation with the amazing Dr. Árpád Tóth. Those of More →
  • BKA2015 – The Simplest Things - Every BKA residential course starts each morning with a vocal warm up and choir session. This year we are split into two groups. SATB choir with Dr. Árpád Tóth and SSA with More →
  • BKA2015 – Just Listening - I managed to catch up with a couple of BKA first timers, Cilla and Chris, over some delicious lasagne this lunchtime. I asked them how they were getting on. Chris More →

Teaching Musicianship at the Piano (Part 1) – 26th October 2015

Shepperton, Middlesex

A one-day course for teachers of children aged from 8 years

Course tutor: Nikhil Dally MACantab, CertAdvStudiesGSMD

Dates: Monday 26th October 2015
Location: Winches Cottage, Church Road, Shepperton, Middx. TW17 9JT

The object of this course is to help you to teach a “different” kind of piano lesson:
not conventional private classical piano lessons, in that their principal emphasis is not on learning to play correctly classical pieces written out note-for-note in absolute-pitch standard stave notation. Rather, their emphasis is on continuing the style and methods of the Stepping Notes Music School for the 2s to 8s (singing, movement, relative solfa, relative notation and chord symbols, scale and harmonic analysis), but gradually applying these tools to the piano.

“Thanks for yet another fantastic course. I always come away from your courses inspired and excited and encouraged and full of imaginative and innovative ideas.”
– Eleanor Bartlett

By these means, you will learn how you can help your children to learn to:
– write and improvise piano accompaniments to songs
– “play by ear”
– play from chord symbols
– transpose pieces at sight
– compose for the piano
– accompany others effectively
– play the piano in vocal and instrumental ensembles

In order to get the most from this course, you will need to:
(1) have a working knowledge of basic relative solfa; and
(2) be familiar with, or be willing to familiarise yourself with, some simple children’s songs, some of them from the Colourstrings repertoire (therefore you may need to purchase some books or CDs in order to do so).
If you are unsure about any of these things, please do contact Nikhil first to discuss this. Thank you.

Course fee: £65.00 (including a simple vegetarian lunch)
N.B. There are very limited spaces on this course; you are advised to apply early!

Piano Teachers Course Application Form

“I loved the logical progression of the way you built up musical understanding. We were taught it and demonstrated it such that it all made perfect sense.”
– Emily Keyte

The course tutor:

Nikhil Dally received first-class honours in music from Cambridge University, and studied composition at the Guildhall School of Music. Nikhil founded the Stepping Notes Music School in 2000. He designed the Stepping Notes curriculum himself and teaches all classes, for children aged 2 to 8. The school now has about 100 students on its roll, and recently won the award for Best Local Activity with What’s On 4 Little Ones. Nikhil is increasingly in demand to lead workshops for teachers on the Stepping Notes approach. Recent engagements include a series of workshops at the Colourstrings International Summer School and the British Kodály Academy Summer School, a workshop for the Dalcroze Society Professional Development Day, a training session for teachers at the Len Tyler Music School, four INSET courses for Bracknell Forest primary school teachers, and a course for the Association of Early Childhood Educators of Singapore. Stepping Notes teachers’ courses are regularly over-subscribed.

For further information, please contact:
Nikhil Dally
Winches Cottage, Church Road, Shepperton, Middx. TW17 9JT
E-mail: nikhil@dally.org.uk
Tel. 01932 241196
Website: www.dally.org.uk/steppingnotes

Choral Musicianship – 26th September 2015

Leeds, Yorkshire

Tutor: Nicky Woods

A day for Youth Choirs and Singing Leaders. Suitable for Secondary age singers and leaders of all types of choirs.

Fun and engaging activities to develop musical skills and awareness, including:-

  • inner hearing
  • tuning
  • memory work
  • musical literacy
  • expression
  • phrasing

Venue: Wheeler Hall, Leeds Cathedral, Cathedral House, Great George Street, LEEDS LS2 8BE
Please note – there is no on-site parking. There are a number of municipal car parks in the area

Date: Saturday 26th September 2015 10:00am – 3:30pm

Fees: (Includes drinks & biscuits in breaks. Lunch not provided.)
£30 – Adult leaders, teachers & observers
£25 – ABCD & BKA Adult members
£8   – Under 18s
For group tickets please email Susan Hollingworth at susan.hollingworth@tesco.net

To apply please download and print this application form and send to Sue Hollingworth
ABCD BKA Choral Musicianship Workshop 2015 Flyer and Application Form

Nicky Woods graduated from Manchester University and the Royal Northern College of Music and trained as a teacher at the University of Reading. She worked as a teacher and cellist in Manchester before joining the music department of The Queen’s School, Chester, then taught in Rome for a short time, at St. George’s English School and, as Director of Music, at The Junior English School.

Nicky returned to England to work as a cello teacher in North Yorkshire and, inspired by an introduction to the philosophy and approach of Zoltán Kodály, decided to train as a Kodály teacher, attending courses in the UK and Hungary and gaining a Certificate of Kodály Music Education.

She currently runs singing-based workshops, courses and musicianship sessions for young people of all ages and for adults and is a tutor for the British Kodály Academy and an Advisory Teacher and Course Leader for The Voices Foundation. She enjoys directing a community choir in Ripon and serves as a trustee of the BKA and on the Yorkshire regional committee of ABCD – and still finds time to teach and play the cello!

Kodály Summer School – August 2015

Summer is coming and with it brings the 33rd International Kodály Summer School. If this is your first BKA Residential then you are entitled to an £80 discount. Discounts are also available for full time students and BKA members who attended the last Summer or Spring Residential.

If you want to spread the cost of the course then do get in touch about setting up a payment plan. Any questions about the course should be directed to the course administrator Judy Hildesley on judyhildesley@btinternet.com.

Book now to reserve your place or take a look at the wonderful range of activities available this year.

Kodály Summer School 2015




Musical Listening – James Cuskelly

Monday, Tuesday, Thursday
3.00 – 4.15 pm or 4.45 – 6.00 pm

James Cuskelly

James Cuskelly‘s Musical Listening workshops are being run on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday afternoons as optional classes on the Kodály Summer School. Students beginning this course on Monday will be expected to attend all three sessions and the Friday afternoon session will be Singing Games with Lucinda Geoghegan. Each workshop will be offered twice: first in Session Two with a repetition of the material in Session Three each day.


In this session participants will look at a range of activities based around listening to the Afro-American spiritual “Sinner, please doan let this harvest pass”. Essential characteristics of the genre will be explored through a range of song materials and singing games. The ongoing sequential development of aural musicianship skills will be embedded in the overall outline and guided listening segments will be incorporated. The activities in this session would be suitable for upper primary or lower secondary students.


Listening activities within the Kodály approach are usually centred on a piece of Art Music, taken from the historical academy. In this session participants will look at a range of activities based around listening to the music taken from the 1993 movie, “Schindler’s List”. In the modern world, many composers consider film score writing as both a practical means of earning a living as well as a platform to push compositional boundaries. The ongoing sequential development of aural musicianship skills will be embedded in the overall outline and guided listening segments will be incorporated. The activities in this session would be suitable for secondary students.


While this session is a follow on from the ideas canvassed in the Session 2, this is also a stand-alone session and all are welcome to attend. This session will focus on the second movement of the Gorecki “Symphony of Sorrowful Songs” and will consider the musical materials in the historical context as well as exploring the specific compositional devices relevant to the piece. The ongoing sequential development of aural musicianship skills will be embedded in the overall outline and guided listening segments will be incorporated. The activities in this session would be suitable for more advanced secondary students.

Dr János Klézli

Janos KlezliJános will be giving individual singing lessons at the Kodály Summer School 2015.

Dr János Klézli, Baritone, began his musical studies in his native town, Szekszárd. He studied violin, piano and voice. After completing his conservatory studies he was admitted to the Voice Department of the Liszt Academy of Music, Budapest where his professors were József Simándi and Zsolt Bende. He graduated with honours in 1988.

In May 2003 the Doctor of Liberal Arts (DLA) in performing arts was conferred upon him at the Liszt Academy of Music. Since September 1988 he has been teaching at the Liszt Academy of Music, Budapest; he also teaches voice training at the Zoltán Kodály Pedagogical Institute of Music, Kecskemét. János gives concerts regularly and his repertoire includes works by Baroque, Classical, Romantic and contemporary composers. He has taken part in performances of several opera and oratorios, among other works by Purcell, Bach, Haydn, Buxtehude, Händel, Mozart, Schubert, Vivaldi, Liszt, Kodály and Arvo Pärt. He regularly gives master classes in Hungary and abroad.

Dr Susan Brumfield

Susan BrumfieldDr. Susan Brumfield is Professor of Music Education at Texas Tech University, and holds a Ph.D. in Music Education from the University of Oklahoma. She is widely known throughout the United States and the United Kingdom as a clinician, consultant, author, composer, arranger and conductor of children’s choirs, and is an internationally recognized Kodaly educator. Frequently in demand as a guest conductor, Dr. Brumfield is the Artistic Director and Conductor of The West Texas Children’s Chorus. Dr. Brumfield is a program author for the national series music texts, Silver Burdett Ginn Making Music, and a contributing author for the Hal Leonard magazine for classroom music teachers, John Jacobson’s Music Express. Dr. Brumfield’s choral music is available through Colla Voce Music and Hal Leonard Publications. She was invited by the International Kodaly Society to represent the United States with a new choral composition commissioned for the internationally released IKS publication Music: A Universal Language. Dr. Brumfield teaches in Kodaly certificate programs throughout the country. She serves as Academic Director of The West Texas Kodaly Initiative, and holds the same position in courses at Portland State University and Westminster Choir College.

Dr. Brumfield has conducted extensive field and archival research in England and Scotland, tracing the roots of American folk music in traditional British music. Her most recent publications, Hot Peas and Barley-O: Children’s Songs and Games from Scotland, and Over the Garden Wall: Children’s Songs and Games from England are available through Hal Leonard Publications. She is currently at work on Giro Giro Tondo, a new collections of children’s songs and games from Italy for use in the music classroom, and on a series of pedagogy materials for music teachers.

Dr James Cuskelly

James CuskellyJames is Head of Music at St Aidan’s Anglican Girls’ School, Brisbane, President of the International Kodály Society, Director of the Summer School Music Program, and Director of the Cuskelly College of Music.

He completed undergraduate studies and a Diploma of Education at the University of Queensland. The Kodály Certificate from Holy Names College (California) was awarded in 1991 and the Master of Music Studies (The University of Queensland) in 1997. He gained the Doctor of Philosophy (The University of Queensland) in Music Education in 2007. He was Head of Music Education and the Aural Musicianship Program at the University of Queensland from 2000 – 2010, and during that time received two awards for Excellence in Teaching.

James has a very broad base in education, having taught in Kindergarten, pre-school, primary and secondary classrooms as well as in tertiary institutions.His passion for music, and his ability to enthuse and bring about effective learning in students across all ages or abilities, is internationally recognised. He is frequently asked as guest presenter and keynote speaker, and recently has taught at the Kodály Pedagogical Institute (Hungary), in the National Youth Choir of Scotland Summer Program and in the National KMEIA Conference.

James is committed to teacher training in music education, is considered a global leader in music education and directs internationally recognized programs. He runs a variety of accredited teacher training programs including the Summer School Music Program (Brisbane) and The Australian Kodály Certificate programs in Malaysia, Perth and New Zealand.A talented musician in his own right, James is also a highly regarded choral conductor and clinician. He is founding Director of the Queensland Kodály Choir and conductor of the women’s performing ensemble, Valency Ensemble. He is frequently asked to run choral workshops and lead choral festivals and workshops, and each year James convenes The Big Sing, a community choral festival held in Brisbane.

For an interview with James see: https://youtu.be/Zanw3WtM0Jg

Sally Leeming

Sally LeemingSally is a singer and musicianship teacher living in Bingley, West Yorkshire. For many years she was a class teacher and KS2 Maths Co-ordinator.

Whilst teaching in the middle school she set up a project, working with a group of children from the local special school, and their teacher – Judith Brindle. The project involved singing and playing musical games together and was Sally’s first ‘proper’ introduction to the Kodály Concept of Music Education.

One of the aims of the project was to encourage Sally to incorporate her singing skills into the classroom. After the birth of her son, Sally attended courses run by Judith and The Voices Foundation. After hearing about the wonderful summer school from circa 1990 onwards, Sally finally made it to Leicester in 2003 and has attended the majority of summer schools since then, becoming a BKA tutor in 2014.

For the last few years Sally has worked on projects, incorporating Kodály musicianship, for the Northern Orchestral Enterprise Ltd (NOEL) in Halifax and the Sing Up Outreach Project for Bradford Cathedral and, in 2017 Sally presented a series of workshops at the Bradford Music Education Conference.

Sally teaches privately as well as singing as a soloist and in a variety of choirs. Since 2011 she has taught Kodály Musicianship in a state primary school in Queensbury, Bradford, West Yorkshire.