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 22. 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 Texas, 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 2024: Teaching Music to Students with Differences and Disabilities
Special Topics will be taught by Dr. Alice Hammel.

MSU Kodaly Teacher Institute Textbook List 2024

Level I Required Textbooks

  • A-440 tuning fork - ($7.00 West Music or Amazon)
  • Manuscript Paper (can print free online)
  • 333 Reading Exercises Zoltán Kodály ($16.95 West Music)
  • Bicinia Hungarica Part 1 – Zoltán Kodály ($16.95 West Music)
  • 46 Two-Part American Folk songs – Denise Bacon ($18.99 West Music)
  • 185 Unison Pentatonic Exercises – Denise Bacon ($18.99 West Music)
  • The Rhythm Bible – Dan Fox – ($16.99 Amazon or West Music)
  • Winding it Back: Teaching to Individual Differences in Music Classroom and Ensemble Settings by Alice Hammel, Roberta Hickox, and Ryan Hourigan. ($44.99 paperback at Amazon/Kindle available or West)

Level II Required Textbooks

  • Required Books from Level I Musicianship class
  • Tuning Fork - (West Music or Amazon)
  • Manuscript Paper (can print free online)
  • Classical Canons – compiled by Antal Molnár ($19.95 West Music)
  • Music for Sight-Singing 10th Edition by Ottman and Rogers – Look for this one used!! ($140 new on Amazon - used is much cheaper!)
  • From last year - Winding it Back: Teaching to Individual Differences in Music Classroom and Ensemble Settings by Alice Hammel, Roberta Hickox, and Ryan Hourigan.

Level III Required Textbooks

  • Required books from Level II Musicianship Class
    • Music for Sight Singing (10th Edition) – Ottman/Rogers
    • Classical Canons – compiled by Antal Molnár
  • A-440 tuning fork
  • Manuscript Paper (can print free online)
  • Tricinia – Zoltán Kodály ($19.95 West Music)
  • The Modes – David Vinden (pay Dr. Harvey)
  • From last year - Winding it Back: Teaching to Individual Differences in Music Classroom and Ensemble Settings by Alice Hammel, Roberta Hickox, and Ryan Hourigan.

Level I and II Optional Textbooks (copies will be available to use at MSU)

  • Music Play by Wendy Valerio, Alison Reynolds, Beth Bolton, Cynthia Taggart, and Edwin Gordon (Amazon and GIA Publications)

All Levels Optional Folk Song Collections (books)

Level III Optional Textbook

  • Experimental Songs and Chants without Words: Book 1 by Edwin Gordon ($14.00 West Music)