Friday, July 17, 2015

Kodaly Level One

Twelve days ago I started on one of the most challenging things of my professional career. I started my Kodaly Levels training. Kodaly is an approach to teaching music. There are three different levels and over the past few days I started working my first level. One of the best decisions I have ever made.

Over the past few days I have devoted hours to learning more about becoming a better musician and an better teacher. I practiced lots of solfege (do, re, mi, fa, so, la, ti think Sound of Music for my non-music friends), learned about Kindergarten and First Grade(mad props and respect to elementary music teachers), and pushed myself out of my comfort zone. I cried a lot. I made a lot of great friends. I became better.

I'm so excited to get ready to plan out and take what I learned and apply it to middle school choir! These past two weeks have given me a renewed focus on what I am teaching and how I am teaching it. There are just so many things swimming around in my brain! Being able to apply everything I have learned will have to go in phases. The first phases is for me to continue my own practicing of my own musicianship. The next step is starting with my sixth grade classes. Before school starts it is my goal to develop a plan for sixth grade, the year after that seventh grade, and finally then eighth grade. So my upcoming sixth graders are my guinea pigs but I know starting and building my Kodaly inspired curriculum is going to make them better musicians and people. This will be a long process but I'm excited to be going on this journey.

During this course I learned more about the man behind this approach Hungarian composer and educator Zoltan Kodaly. Kodaly was so deeply considered about the music education of his fellow Hungarian people. Each day in our methodology class our instructor Bev shared a quote from Kodaly, this one she shared today has just spoken to me and brought on one crazy ugly cry.

"It is our firm conviction that mankind will live happier when it has learned to live with music more worthily. Whoever works to promise this end, in one way or another has not lived in vain."

Oh music teacher friends, we are making the biggest difference. I know that there are rough days. I get it, I have them too. But how amazing it is this beautiful thing that we do? We get to teach music AND more importantly we get to teach kids. In a world that is so messy and so painful we get to share music with the world. So don't stop. Keep going. Keep chasing. Keep doing what you do. We got this!

A huge thank you goes out to my fabulous instructors Sandy and Bev, thank you for pouring your knowledge and expertise into us. I'm so glad to be going on this journey with you. Thank you for making me a better musician and teacher. Another huge thank you goes out to Dr. Gerber, thanks man. I'll try not to suck. Thank you to all of my friends that have encouraged and prayed for me and over me for the past two weeks, I really felt your prayers! Finally I'm so thankful that God has given me this gift of music and of teaching, and that He allows me to serve Him by teaching middle school kids. So excited for this next chapter in my teaching journey. For the Love, it is going to be best one yet.

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