Teaching musicianship through singing, movement and dance – 23rd – 25th July 2015

Englefield Green, Egham.

A three-day course for teachers of children aged 2 to 8

Course tutors:
Nikhil Dally MACantab, CertAdvStudiesGSMD
Maureen Murphy ARAD, LISTD

Dates: Thurs. 23rd July – Sat. 25th July, 2015
Location: The Jurgens Centre, Harvest Road, Englefield Green, Egham, Surrey TW20 0QR

“A fabulous, well-structured and inspiring weekend… Imagination / story-telling / creativity from both tutors – both inspirational in their respective fields.
– Elaine McCartney, Kodály Cert. music teacher, Durham

Stepping Notes is a holistic, integrated, multi-sensory approach to music education, based upon the philosophies of Kodály, Jaques-Dalcroze and Géza Szilvay. The hallmarks of the Stepping Notes approach are:
(1) Movement and singing as the prime conduits for musical learning.
(2) Developing the inner ear.
(3) Feeling and understanding the inner life of music.
(4) Maintaining natural body flexibility and sensitivity.
(5) The judicious and sensitive use of high-quality musical instruments.
(6) The world of the imagination; this is where young children live.

“Prepared meticulously and delivered with expertise and joy. All material was very relevant and sequenced imaginatively… Inspirational, exceedingly useful & most enjoyable.”
– Sue Hamilton, pre-school music teacher, Surrey

This course is designed to help those who teach children aged 2 to 8 to develop their students’ musicianship through the voice and the body. We will concentrate on the following areas:
(1) using singing, movement and dance to help children to feel and understand:
pulse and rhythm, metre and phrasing, melody and harmony;
(2) teaching musical literacy using singing and movement;
(3) choosing and using children’s instruments in such a way as to preserve and enhance
their co-ordination and sense of rhythm.
Please come willing to remove your shoes and socks and work barefoot, on the floor, to sing, to play, to move and to dance (no previous dance experience required!)

Course fee: £180.00 if application received by 9th May, 2015;
£ 195.00 if application received by 13th June, 2015;
£ 210.00 thereafter;
(N.B. £90.00 non-refundable deposit required upon booking)

“Outstanding… Everything was covered in more depth than the one-day course, so I left feeling far more knowledgeable.”
– Charlotte Bettle, early-years music teacher, Southampton

The course tutors:

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.

Maureen Murphy is a holder of the Advanced Teachers Certificate of the Royal Academy of Dancing. She is also a Licentiate of the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing in Ballet, and an Associate in the National Dance branch. Maureen founded the Lester School of Dance in 1969 and has been its Principal ever since. She has taught dance at Broomfield House School since 1990. She has also taught at the London College of Dance and Drama, Kew Montessori School, and Ashton House School. She has studied Pilates body conditioning, Playford dance, Dalcroze eurhythmics, Alexander technique and Topf technique, and integrated these into her ballet teaching to produce a Holistic Approach to the Teaching of Dance. Maureen developed a Body Awareness programme for children which has been demonstrated several times at the Royal Academy of Dance, and her Music and Movement programme for children was demonstrated at the Dalcroze summer school in 1993.

Nikhil and Maureen have worked together since 1991. He has been one of her main musical collaborators. She, in turn, has inspired him to develop his methods of teaching music through movement. This is their sixth course together.

“Totally inspiring… Enjoyed having the stimulus of two course leaders – both excellent in their field… I can’t wait to incorporate some of these ideas into my practice.”
– Anne Porter, early-years music teacher, Gateshead

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

Kodály In The Klassroom – 13th and 14th June 2015


Wakefield, Yorkshire

A practical weekend workshop on the application of the Kodály principles to classroom music teaching (Early Childhood and KS1 – easily adapted for KS2)

Tutor: Len Tyler

Location: Manygates Music Centre, Manygates Lane, Wakefield, WF2 7DQ

Who is this workshop for?
Anyone interested in classroom music teaching (preschool and primary). There is no need to be a music reader. This workshop is also suitable for instrumental teachers who want learn the Kodaly principles. Very useful for “whole class” teaching.

What will the day feature?
• Use of the basic Kodaly principles.
• Lots of songs, routines, and handouts.
• Examples of easy to produce resources.
• Loads of practical ideas (all tried and tested)

Comments from previous delegates
• Everything was marvellous and extremely useful
• All very exciting as my first experience of music teacher training. Loved the practical exercises
• Having done pre-school music for the last 10 years, and being a professional musician there were surprisingly quite a few things that I hadn’t thought about
• So many great ideas. It was all useful to me
• Len was excellent in how he explained the course. Good to listen to and very precise. I enjoyed it immensely.
• I found Len very inspiring and helpful.

£100 (including £25 per day per person discount under the “bring a friend” scheme – otherwise £150)
Single day attendance by arrangement (£80/£55)

Application Form

For more details
Phone: 01276 504666
Email: enquiries@lentylermusicschool.co.uk
Website: www.lentylermusicschool.co.uk


Kodály Certification

The BKA is currently running a three-tier qualification – a Certificate of Professional Practice in The Kodály Concept of Music Education. CPD accreditation is currently being sought at three levels and has been approved for Level One.

There will be three levels: a Foundation Certificate (for Early Years teachers with little or no musical background); Certificate Level 1 for those with some prior musical training; and Certificate Level 2 for those who have completed Level 1.

For 2015/16 applicants, the Level One course will commence at the Summer School 2015 (9th – 15th August, 2015). There will be an Induction for Certificate students at 3.00 pm on the 9th of August and an additional session for Certificate students only from 10.30 am – 12.00 pm on Saturday the 15th of August.

Level 1 Certification Fees and Deadlines

The Level One is commensurate with our current HE1 Springboard course (ie roughly first year undergraduate level) and the Level Two will be comparable to our current HE3 Springboard course (third year undergraduate level). There are plans to add a Diploma at some stage which will be the highest level, for those people who wish to teach solfège musicianship to adults.

Level One will comprise:
Musicianship – approx. 20 hours
Methodology – approx. 10 hours
Teaching Techniques – approx. 6 hours
Repertoire/Song Analysis – approx. 6 hours
Conducting – approx. 6 hours plus 11 hours choir attendance
Kodály Philosophy (Level 1 only) – mostly self-study

At Level One students may opt for one of the following strands:
Early Childhood

The course will be divided into two halves. Students may undertake just Part 1 in one academic year, and complete Part 2 in a subsequent academic year.
Part 1: Summer School (9th – 15th August 2015) and Study Day (November 2015)
Part 2: Spring Course (29th March – 1st April 2016) and Study Day (June 2016)
It is essential that students attend all these designated study periods.

Each half of the course will contain assessment tasks. Upon successful completion of these tasks the student will gain credits towards the final qualification. Some tasks are written and some are practical. Successful completion of the Level One Certificate will be dependent on the attainment of a Level 4 musicianship assessment (Level 8 if opting for the Secondary strand). The musicianship assessments will be available at two points during the year. NB The certificate course does not include additional training that some students may require to attain the appropriate level of musicianship.

The Level Two Certificate course will be offered to those with several years of experience of Kodály training and teaching who have attained Level 4 Musicianship skills or higher (Level 8 for Secondary). The successful completion of Level Two will include the attainment of a Level 8 Musicianship Assessment (Level 10 for Secondary) or providing evidence of corresponding achievement.

Upon enrolment, students will receive the student handbook which details all aspects of the course.
For further queries please contact secretary@britishkodalyacademy.org

“It is essential that the material used should be musically attractive. If children do not look forward with thrilled expectation to the music lesson, no result is to be hoped for; if they do not feel refreshed and full of joy, all labour is lost.” Zoltán Kodály

Summer School Review by Michèle Bennett

Michele BennettI am now three weeks into using the Jolly Music Beginners’ book with Nursery, Reception, Years 1, 2 and 3, and they love it. Each year group does – it still surprises me how long it takes even Year 3 to take things on board. The singing stool, teddy and soft kitten have all become part of school life. So the books are just fab. I knew they would be and I am so pleased that at last I have found a structure for my teaching that I am really comfortable with. And I am also heartened by the fact that I have been doing lots of things that are recommended in the book, just in a more unstructured way. I am eternally grateful.

“I am so pleased that at last I have found a structure for my teaching”

A change of perspective
The Summer School was such a profound experience for me. It’s really changed my perspective. I am no longer looking at myself from the outside in feeling inadequate, but looking from the inside out – proud to share what musicianship I have but always ready and eager to learn more. And it’s positively affected other parts of my life too. Suddenly I’m considering doing things that I didn’t think were possible. So all in all, it’s probably the best £600 I’ve spent in a long time! I have to admit, I’ve been a bit rubbish at continuing with my 333 drills though – I’ll have to come to the Spring Course to keep up the good work… or start looking at working towards some Kodály exams!

“Probably the best £600 I’ve spent in a long time!”

The Summer School has also helped me to shed some light on my own musicianship issues. For example, I had always considered my sight-singing to be secure. I sing in some fairly ambitious choirs and have done so for many years. I had always felt comfortable with my ability to sight-read a wide range of new choral material and on the advice of my singing teacher thought I would look into doing ABRSM Grade VIII singing for my own personal satisfaction.

I tackled some of the set pieces with no difficulties, but fell at the first hurdle when my teacher asked me to run through some of the sight-reading pieces. I just couldn’t do it. I was so disappointed and perplexed that I withdrew from my lessons, wondering why on earth the sight-singing was so unfathomable, when my sight-singing was fine at choir. That was over a year ago and, since that first lesson, I have not given any more thought to working towards the exam.

“I had never actually learned how to sight-read music properly”

Educated guessing versus accurate knowledge
But that was before Kodály Summer School! My week there helped me to understand why I struggled so much with the ABRSM sight-singing. It became evident to me that my ability to sight-sing at choir rehearsals was generally based on my intuition, a good ear and extensive choral experience; but that added up to educated guessing rather than accurate knowledge. Not in itself a bad thing, but not enough. When I stepped back and thought about it, I had never actually learned how to sight-read music properly.

So, since the Summer School I have persevered. Progress is slow, but there is progress. I am having to slow my brain down and take a few steps backwards, but I am now starting to analyse what I am reading and I am making some conscious decisions rather than taking educated guesses. It is all a bit painful, as I am making myself do it the hard way but it is beginning to pay off – I am at least getting some of it right. And that makes me smile.

Thank you Kodály!

After a career in government communication that spanned over 20 years, Michèle Bennett took the opportunity to give up her Head of Marketing role and turn her hand to her true passion – inspiring children to develop a lifelong love of music.

Kodály and why it works: raising standards in Cheshire East

by Liz Nicholas-Stannard

I am a transformed musician. My colleagues at the Love Music Trust in Cheshire, school staff and fellow musicians have been drawn into an approach which has completely turned our way of thinking and teaching on its head. When delivered across an entire school last year the results were so undeniably evident that a documentary was made. What was more surprising was that whenever the approach was first mentioned, it was often met with resistance and rolled eyes. Several years of research and delivery later, I feel it important to share what is going on in Cheshire East
and how crucial it is for the future of music education… an approach that guarantees every child will become a much better musician.

The often misunderstood ‘Kodály approach’ is based on the work of Hungarian composer, philosopher and educator Zoltán Kodály. He revolutionised the music education system in Hungary as he believed that everyone had the right to a musical education; to read, write and hear music. The poor standard of the musicianship of conservatoire students shocked him into creating a new approach where music was first learned by ear and then by eye.

“The impact of the Kodály approach on my
own musicianship is almost immeasurable.”

The impact of the Kodály approach on my own musicianship is almost immeasurable. I first experienced it four years ago through a weekend workshop aimed at early years and primary practitioners. I caught the ‘bug’ and started using the Kodály activities straight away. After four years of hard study, I am proud to now be a Trustee of the British Kodály Academy and I am also the Kodály Specialist for The Love Music Trust (the Cheshire East Music Hub).

Playing by ear
I was never one of those musicians who could just play by ear. I didn’t have perfect pitch and was irritated by my husband who was gifted with a musical ear. He was able to instantly play anything he could remember, in any key. However, since he had relied on his ability to play ‘by ear’, his sight-reading skills were never developed to the point of being very poor. There was always a communication gap between us when he couldn’t understand why I couldn’t just ‘hear it’ and I couldn’t understand how he couldn’t just ‘read it’, having both gained music degrees. Since we have both studied this approach, the playing field has been levelled and we have ‘topped up’ our lacking skills almost to the point of equality.

“My pupils could hear the music before playing
it and could correct their playing themselves.”

In the beginning I was mainly teaching ‘Wider Opportunities’ and used the activities I had learnt as a way of developing musical skills before I gave out the instruments. It worked! My pupils could hear the music before playing it and could correct their playing themselves. I needed to know more.

I took part in a six month course for advanced Early Years tutors and learned about the philosophy of the approach; start as young as possible with native songs and make progress through simple logical steps and most importantly, have fun. Whilst I was on the course I was teaching every class in another primary school where I started to use the activities with older children, to great success. Since then I have been on three British Kodály Academy summer
schools, two study tours to Hungary in Budapest and Kecskemét, in association with the Kodály Institute in Kecskemét. With each course and visit it became more apparent that this journey was not just about making me a better teacher but also a better musician.

Last year I completed the Higher Education Level 3 Springboard Course offered by the British Kodály Academy and Roehampton University. This course, taught by Lucinda Geoghegan (NYCoS), gave me an in-depth knowledge of the approach. Part of this primary music course also included passing two musicianship tests; one to get onto the course and one to finish it. I had to show that I had developed both my teaching and musicianship skills, including singing modal scales in solfa and playing pieces in two parts on the piano whilst singing a third part with precise intonation. I learnt how to sight-sing and do two-part dictations easily, things that at one time I never thought I would be able to do.

The most exciting moment of my first BKA Summer School was when we sang up and down the chords of a Bach chorale. I was singing the theory I had learned silently, mathematically with just a pencil at music college. Previously I had known the ‘rules’ but never known instinctively what they sounded like.

Kodály and its impact
This approach is about learning music through singing and doing. It is accessible to all children. As well as thoroughly teaching musicianship, it builds social skills, confidence, links with literacy and numeracy and creates a musically literate and happy school.

Initially it is rather like ‘learning by stealth’ as children think that they are simply playing games. Once they have a good repertoire of materials and have learnt basic skills during this stage (such as keeping the beat and showing the rhythm) you make conscious the skills they have already demonstrated. This is alternative to the common practice where skills are explained first, taught second.

“…everybody has relished the Kodály music
and got a tremendous amount out of it”

I have been working for nearly two years at Wistaston Church Lane primary school through the Love Music Trust. I teach almost every class weekly. Class teachers are present and I leave them activities to do between my sessions. Initially, headteacher Graham Prince expressed his doubts but I promised him that every child would engage with the approach. In a recent interview for a documentary inspired by the success of this approach, he said: ‘Every child, irrespective of age or gender or prior musical ability, everybody has relished the Kodály music and got a tremendous amount out of it. Peering through the classroom doors and spending time in lesson observations it’s self evident that every child has really looked forward to their Wednesday 30-minute slots with Mrs Nicholas and their class teachers.’

The approach encompasses all learning styles and has allowed each class to move at its own pace. There is not necessarily a fixed curriculum where, for example, Year 3 study ‘beat’. This means that you can quite easily have Year 3 children ahead of Year 6 children. Interestingly, last year’s Year 6 classes performed very well; this year, however, the Year 4 classes are ahead of where Year 6 were last summer. This is because the approach is cumulative. Consequently, this cannot be a one-year programme. For each year that goes by the children’s standard is raised significantly and this presents exciting challenges each September when planning.

The most noticeable thing that has happened at Wistaston is the improvement in confidence, not just with the children. Now, the staff join in with everything and I hear about their escapades between my visits. About a term into my time there, the music co-ordinator told me that the staff had been so confident about leading songs in assemblies that she was able to sit at the back and just watch for the first time. Songs are shared between classes in assemblies and on the playground. I am often scuppered when I plan to teach a class a new song and find that they have already learnt it from siblings, friends or other classes!

This is the epitome of the Kodály approach in action. It has brought a common language to the school, a language that is then taken home and shared between siblings, other groups and friends. It is a social experience that transcends vertical ‘levels’ and tightly defined ‘grades’. It is almost impossible to put into words what the philosophy of this approach is. It is something which really just needs to be experienced.

A school which embraces this approach is giving its staff and its pupils an opportunity to have music in every part of their lives, to have music and singing as something which is normal and easy. This is what Kodály wanted to achieve for the children in his country and we have the opportunity to give this amazing gift to our schools and children too.

Sharing the approach
As part of my role as a Kodály Specialist for the Love Music Trust I have visited a number of schools across the county. I am teaching in Wistaston and able to give other teachers the opportunity to visit and experience this approach in action first hand. I have also been working alongside a number of schools to build the profile of their whole school music through this approach.

“I have heard so many teachers say things like ‘why didn’t they
teach it like this when I was at school? It just makes sense.’”

OFSTED recently said that we do not expect enough from our pupils in music. They believe the main problem is that our staff are not always trained and therefore lack the confidence and skills required to pass judgement on the quality of a music lesson. As I work with these schools my main aim is to build the confidence and skills of the staff, to support them in their own musical abilities. I have heard so many teachers say things like ‘why didn’t they teach it like this when I was at school? It just makes sense.’ Plans for the future include further training opportunities for the staff that have been working with us. They can choose whether they would like weekly visits or a termly inset. The main change that music coordinators are commenting on is the newly instilled enthusiasm and eagerness of pupils and staff to get involved. I look forward to working with other schools in the future and seeing the long-term impact of this approach as the children move up to high school.

To get in touch with Liz for a chat or to arrange a visit then please contact her on liz@penguinmusic.co.uk

Or follow Liz on Twitter at @penguinlizzy

This article was originally published in Music Mark Magazine (issue 4, Spring 2014)

Summer Residential Course 2014

by Cyrilla Rowsell

This year’s Summer School now seems very far away – but the impact that it had on so many people, both participants and tutors alike, remains.
It was a hugely successful and vibrant course, with 90 students and a host of superb tutors. We were delighted to welcome for the first time Dr Árpád Tóth, whose lively, energetic and enthusiastic approach was appreciated by all. We also welcomed Allan Wright from France. Allan has taught on the past two Spring Courses but this was his first Summer School. His humorous, hugely knowledgeable and down-to-earth approach to the voice had a huge impact on us all. Simon Kent assisted Allan as accompanist for individual singing lessons. We welcomed back Lenci Igó, a long-standing and greatly-admired teacher, and also Eleanor Meynell, who has taught singing for us previously. Dr László Norbert Nemes cast his usual magical spells on the choir, and several students experienced Dr Orsolya Szabó’s own particular brand of magic in individual piano lessons and with chamber music groups. We were also very pleased to have Alexander Technique lessons offered for the first time, given by Peter Wakefield.
The tutor team was completed by Siân Davies, Lucinda Geoghegan, Esther Hargittai, Zoe Morris, Alan Murdock, Cyrilla Rowsell, Christine Wrigley and Miranda Zwalf.
We were so pleased to have students from various parts of the world travelling distances to attend the course – participants came from Ohio, USA; Hong Kong; Japan; Dubai; Belgium and France.
Twenty-one students commenced the shiny new Kodály Certificate Course (Level One). Students opted for either the Early Childhood, Primary, Secondary or Instrumental strands. This is an exciting new development for the BKA and it is very gratifying to have so many students signing up for the course’s inaugural year. The Level 2 course, to commence at the Summer School 2015, is currently being devised and written by our experienced team of tutors.
There was an excellent variety of evening workshops – gospel singing with the inimitable Sharon Stacey (ably assisted at the piano by Jay Stannard), choral improvisation with Árpád, a vocal workshop with Allan, and an evening discovering the intricacies of the melodies and harmonies of The Beatles, given by Bootleg Beatle founding member André Barreau. The week was rounded off with a quiz, raffle, concert and party.
We are already busy planning next year’s course.