Alan Murdock

Alan-MurdockAlan was born in N Ireland and his early musical training was in the local brass band. After music studies at Queen’s University Belfast, he taught in Belfast before moving to South London in 1988 where he concentrated on choral work in the John Fisher Comprehensive School.

He revived his interest in Kodály education, which he first encountered at London University, Institute of Education, with Cecilia Vajda, eventually completing an advanced course with Cecilia and attending Summer seminars regularly in Hungary and England. The Chapel Choir of boys in his school is one of the best known school choirs in the UK, getting into the finals many times of National competitions. The Boys’ Choir section reached the semi finals of the BBC’s Choir of the Year competition in 2000; achieved the “outstanding performance” award in the National Festival of Music for Youth in 2002; a “highly commended performance” award in 2004; finalist of the BBC Songs of Praise Choir of the Year 2006 and final six of the BBC Radio 3 Choir of the Year 2008. In 2010 the boys and mixed voice choirs were both South of England Area section winners of the BBC Choir of the Year. The school’s choral society has performed many of the major choral works like the Fauré Requiem, Mozart Requiem, Handel Messiah, Verdi Requiem, Britten War Requiem, Haydn Creation and Walton Belshazzar’s Feast and Louis Vierne’s setting of the Mass. Alan retired from class teaching in 2010 to enable him to further teach Kodály methodology in more schools and in the community.

Simon Kent: accompanist

Simon-KentSimon studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama with Mary Peppin, James Gibb and Norman Beedie. He completed the post-graduate course in piano accompaniment at the Guildhall with Graham Johnson and took part in his Young Songmakers’ Project. He studied at Aldeburgh with Martin Isepp and in 1991 he won the Accompanists’s prize at the Guildhall. In the same year he was the soloist in Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue. After further post-graduate study as a repetiteur, he worked with many opera companies including the City of Birmingham Touring Opera, Pimlico Opera, European Chamber Opera, Opera Holland Park and British Youth Opera. In 1993 he took part in a Kodály summer course and since then he has been a great advocate of the Kodály system, teaching children and adults at all levels from kindergarten to higher education. From 1998–2006 he was Music Specialist at Mill Hill Pre-Preparatory School and from 2006 – 2015 he was Director of Music at Eaton Square Preparatory School in Belgravia. In September 2015 he will take up the position of Director of Music at Alleyn’s Junior School, Dulwich. Throughout his career Simon has performed chamber music with both singers and instrumentalists; he is also a keen composer and arranger.

Kodály Summer School – Options

The afternoon options will provide an opportunity to choose from a variety of courses which will be on offer at different times during the week.

Delegates will be requested to make their choice of afternoon options in advance and will receive a form from the Administrator upon application to the course or shortly thereafter. Our expectation is that once a course of study has begun the student will stay with their choice for the rest of the week. All sessions will be dependent on numbers, and the BKA reserves the right to cancel a course if the numbers are insufficient. There will be a free afternoon midweek on Wednesday, the 12th of August. Students are encouraged to bring their musical instruments to facilitate informal music making in the preparation times, on the free afternoon and evening or in lieu of options which may not be of interest. Practice facilities will be available in the evening but limited during the day to the preparation period.

Individual Tuition and Coaching will be offered throughout the afternoon. (NB Individual lessons are not covered in the course fee; students opting for five lessons may have a lesson timetabled on the free afternoon.)

NB. There will be no afternoon sessions on the free afternoon, Wednesday the 12th of August

Session One
13:30 – 14:45

In Session One students may choose one of the following six options:

1. Methodology 1 for Teachers and Practitioners in Early Childhood
2. Methodology 2 for Teachers and Practitioners in Primary Teaching
3. Methodology 3 for Teachers and Practitioners in Secondary Teaching
4. Methodology 4 for Teachers and Practitioners in Instrumental Teaching
5. Choral Music Workshop

More details

Session Two
15:00 – 16:15

In Session Two students may choose one of the following three options:

1. Conducting at 4 levels
2. Susan Brumfield – Repertoire & Pedagogy (repeated in session three)
3. James Cuskelly Musical Listening & Lucinda Geoghegan Singing Games (repeated in session three)

More details

Session Three
16:45 – 18:00

In Session Three students may choose one of the following three options:

1. Esther Hargittai: Jewish Music & Dance
2. Susan Brumfield – Repertoire & Pedagogy (repeat of session two)
3. James Cuskelly Musical Listening & Lucinda Geoghegan Singing Games (repeat of session two)

More details

Cyrilla Rowsell

cyrilla_rowsellCyrilla gained a Bachelor of Education degree and then was a class teacher in First and Primary Schools for eleven years. During this time she became increasingly interested in the Kodály approach to music education, and subsequently attended many courses including Summer Schools in Britain and Hungary.

She obtained the British Kodály Academy’s Advanced Musicianship Diploma with Distinction in 1991. Since then Cyrilla has taught the Elementary and Intermediate Level year courses for the BKA and has taught solfège, methodology and conducting on BKA Summer Schools. She teaches in primary schools and on the String Training Programme at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.

Cyrilla has run courses around the country for organisations including the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music, The Dalcroze Society, The National Youth Choir of Scotland, ESTA, the Shrewsbury Opera Project and for various schools and LEAs, including a year-long project in Barnsley and helping to plan a pre-instrumental musicianship course for children on the Isle of Man. She was the first advisory teacher for the Voices Foundation.

Cyrilla is currently writing the ‘Jolly Music’ scheme of books for primary age children with David Vinden.

Cyrilla has run a large junior age choir who won the Bromley Music Festival in 2000 with a high distinction mark of 96. The most experienced members of the choir performed both at the Royal Festival Hall in the Music for Youth Choral Day and at the Royal Albert Hall as part of a 500-strong Bromley choir at the 2002 Schools’ Prom. They performed many times at the Fairfield Halls in Croydon, supporting the Band of the White Russian Army and the Croydon Philharmonic Choir.

Dr László Norbert Nemes

Dr-Laszlo-Norbert-Nemes

Dr. habil. László Norbert Nemes is currently professor at the Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music in Budapest and director of the International Kodály Institute of the Liszt Academy. His main areas of expertise are the theory and the practice of the Kodály Concept, musicianship training according to the Kodály Concept, choral conducting and choral music education. His most recent publications include a chapter on choral music education according to the Kodály concept in the Oxford Handbook of Choral Pedagogy published by Oxford University Press in 2017. Besides teaching at the Liszt Academy he maintains an active career as a choral conductor. Since September 2014 he has been artistic director of the New Liszt Ferenc Chamber Choir, the artist-in-residence choral ensemble of the Liszt Academy. In 2018 he founded the National Youth Choir of Hungary. For twelve years he worked as the associate conductor of the Hungarian Radio Children’s Choir. László Nemes has conducted, taught, held workshops, master classes and seminars all across Europe, in Australia, Brazil, Canada, the People’s Republic of China, Indonesia, Japan, the Korean Republic, Malaysia, The Philippines, Republic of China/Taiwan, Singapore and the United States of America several times. He is guest professor at the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing, China. In recognition of his artistic activities he received the Bartók-Pásztory Award in 2005. In March 2017 he was decorated with the Golden Cross of the Hungarian Cross of Merit. He is vice president of the International Kodály Society, honorary member of the British Kodály Academy and patron of music education at National Youth Choir of Scotland.

Esther Hargittai

Esther-HargittaiEsther was born in Hungary and emigrated to Israel at the age of 16. She has been immersed in music since the tender age of six, going through primary and secondary schools specializing in music and in 1995 graduating in Choir Conducting and Music Education at the prestigious Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest. Since graduating she has taught music and conducted choirs through all age groups: children through to adults. Esther set up one of the best known and most successful children’s choirs in Israel, the Efroni Choir, which she managed and conducted from1996 to 2005. The Efroni Choir had numerous performances in a variety of settings, from state ceremonies to children’s TV programmes and special concerts, as well as representing Israel abroad in the USA and France. Esther was also a major partner in conceiving and writing a Kodály Method teaching manual for music teachers in Israel, which was published by the Jerusalem Music Centre. Esther moved to the UK with her husband and family in 2006. Since then she has been engaged as a tutor on many BKA courses. She runs conducting and musicianship courses for choir trainers and class teachers from her home in Kent and has given successful conducting workshops elsewhere in the UK.

Lucinda Geoghegan

Lucinda-Geoghegan_2014

Lucinda graduated in music from the University of Edinburgh in 1982, completed a postgraduate teaching qualification at Moray House College of Education and trained with the Kodály Institute of Britain where she gained an Advanced Diploma in musicianship with Distinction. She worked as a secondary music teacher in Edinburgh before deciding to specialise in Primary and Early Years Music Education. She was also a member of staff with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra Junior Chorus for 16 years and was Director of the NYCoS West Lothian Choir for 8 years.

She is currently a theory and musicianship lecturer at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland working in both the Senior and Junior departments and is a regular tutor for the British Kodály Academy.

Lucinda is Education Director for the National Youth Choir of Scotland and her work increasingly includes Staff Development training across Britain presenting workshops on Kodály musicianship and methodology. Lucinda has been invited as a guest lecturer on the summer and yearly courses at the Kodály Institute in Kecskemét, Hungary and has delivered workshops in Ireland, Germany, Holland and Singapore.

Publications written by Lucinda for NYCoS include – Singing Games and Rhymes for Tiny Tots, Singing Games and Rhymes for Early Years, Singing Games and Rhymes for Middle Years and with Christopher Bell she wrote the musicianship programme Go for Bronze, Go for Silver and Go for Gold.

Future publications include Singing Games and Rhymes in Mother Tongue and Singing Games and Rhymes for ages 9 to 99 co-written with Dr László Nemes, Director of the Zoltán Kodály Pedagogical Institute of Music at the Ferenc Liszt Academy of Music and NYCoS Patron of Education.

Kodály Summer School – Core Activities

All attendees on the Summer School course attend the following core activities at the start of each full day.

Choir
08:45 – 09:45

Choral singing is central to the Kodály approach, and all students including the Certificate Course candidates are expected to take part. The choral sessions will take place daily under the direction of Árpád Toth who will conduct an SATB Choir and David Vinden who will conduct an SSAA Choir. Every choral session will include warm-up techniques and will provide a memorable choral experience.

Musicianship with Relative Solfa
10:00 – 11:00 and 11:30 – 12:15

There will be one and three-quarter hours of tuition daily for all Summer School participants. The aim of this core subject is to develop musical literacy, encompassing essential attributes of musicianship such as fluent reading/singing with good intonation, inner hearing, aural perception, polyphonic and harmonic hearing, leading to an understanding of Form and an appreciation of Style. This is achieved through the application of Relative Solfa, which is one of the main ‘tools’ of the Kodály Concept, while making music. All levels will be catered for from complete beginners to the musically advanced.

Those with no musical training will be taught in a Foundation Group by a British tutor. There will be a minimum of four additional levels. A Musical Information Form will be sent out on receipt of application to all students and every effort will be made to ensure that students are placed in the level which is most suitable for their stage of development. Movement from one level to the next will be on evidence of mastery of the skills in the preceding level. The course will be tutored by experienced British and Hungarian tutors.

Kodály Summer School Overview

Sunday 9th – Saturday 15th August 2015
The 33rd International Kodály Summer SchoolDigby Hall Leicester

The BKA’s flagship residential course is running for its 33rd year! This year it will be hosted by the University of Leicester, Digby Hall, Stoughton Drive South, Leicester, LE2 2NB

The course will include

  • Instrumental and Classroom Methodology
  • Choir and Musicianship Training
  • Conducting
  • Individual lessons available for pianists and singers
  • CPD Certificate Courses in Kodály Music Education
  • Guest tutors to include Dr. James Cuskelly (Australia) and Dr. Susan Brumfield (USA)
  • Experienced and inspirational tutors from Hungary and the UK

More details soon! Be the first to hear about our courses by joining our mailing list here.

 

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.