Below, you will find information pertaining to the coursework you will experience with the Midwestern State University Summer Kodály Institute

What will I learn and do during my two weeks at MSU?

Each day will run approximately from 8:00 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. CST. Expect several hours of homework each evening. (A Kodály course is a lot of work, but we promise it will be well worth it!) Special Topics will be taught Saturday, June 24. Time is TBA.


Course participants will have 2 hours each day of personal musicianship training, using solfege, rhythm syllables, and other tools. Some students come in never having learned solfege before, so if you haven't read in solfege or if you're shaky, don't worry! Our instructors start at ground zero.

If you're already an excellent sight-reader and very experienced in solfege, you will still be challenged in Solfege I. You will be asked to take your skills to new and deeper levels. Also, you will find the methods and activities at this level very valuable in terms of teaching solfege to your own students.

  • Level I Solfege is based primarily, but not completely, on pentatonic music.
  • Level II Solfege deals with diatonic music and begins work on modes.
  • Level III Solfege deals with diatonic, modal, and chromatic music.


You will have 2 hours each day of instruction in Kodály-inspired Pedagogy, tailored to your individual teaching situation.

  • Level I focuses on beginning students in your program.
  • In Levels II and III, you will continue to develop a spiral curriculum that meets the needs of your students as they progress.

MSU instructors will also discuss the integration of other pedagogical approaches such as Music Learning Theory and Orff-Schulwerk.

General music, choral, and instrumental teachers have all found this instruction to be extremely valuable!
Pedagogy instruction includes:

  • philosophy and history of the Kodály approach
  • singing
  • moving (games, dances, free and creative movement)
  • reading and notating music
  • playing instruments
  • audiating
  • improvising and composing
  • lesson planning
  • long-range planning
  • differentiating
  • developing artistry

Materials/Folksong Research
You will have 90 minutes of Materials instruction each day. During Materials you will learn about choosing excellent quality, appealing songs and other materials for your students, authentic and responsible collection of song material, and analyzing songs so that they become more useful as teaching materials. You will also begin the process of organizing your collected song material in a retrieval system based on the musical concepts you teach.

You will be amazed at the time this will save you in lesson planning and how much more effective you can become as a teacher when your materials are well organized!

As you can probably guess, Pedagogy and Materials courses are closely related.

Other experiences and topics in Materials:

  • folk dancing
  • folk instruments
  • multi-cultural music

You will have 60 minutes of Conducting each day. Here at MSU we offer two conducting classes to allow you to customize your experience.

Conducting Introduction & Technique
This class is designed with a focus on conducting patterns and gestures. Students select pieces relating to concepts covered in their Kodály level and receive advanced coaching in the art of conducting. 

Conducting Technique & Score Preparation
This class is designed with a focus on score study and analysis utilizing a Kodály-inspired approach. After students have analyzed a selection of music, they will take the knowledge acquired and utilize that in creating a streamlined lesson.

This Conducting course is designed to build your conducting skills from your current skill level, wherever that is. Each year our course includes everyone from novice to expert conductors. The atmosphere in class is positive, supportive, and collegial.

You will have 60 minutes of Ensemble each day. This is primarily a choral experience, but often includes recorder and other instruments, depending on the talents of the year's participants. The goals of Ensemble are to share a satisfying musical experience, to learn new repertoire, and to use your developing solfege skills.

Special Topics
At MSU, Special Topics are covered each day. Past topics have included folk dancing, teaching music to students with special needs, instrumental applications of Kodály, selecting children's choral repertoire, and folk instruments.

  • Special Topics 2023: Choral Culture in the Kodály-inspired Classroom