Kodály Music Education

Kodály Learning Aims and Course Levels

Kodály Learning Aims

Loyola students talking with children

The successful student in Kodály Music Education will demonstrate proficiency in the following knowledge and skills:

  • Planning for instruction and skillfully implementing an engaging, singing-based, sequential, child-developmental, vocal music curriculum consistent with the principles and tools of Kodály Methodology and Music Learning Theory that develops in children singing skills, music literacy, knowledge of their musical heritage, and a desire for life-long participation in musical activities.   
  • Researching, selecting, analyzing, categorizing, indexing and gathering into a retrieval system children's songs, singing games, folk songs, and art songs that support the rhythmic, melodic, harmonic, and formal elements of a comprehensive Kodály curriculum.
  • Building and playing folk instruments to accompanying children’s singing in the vocal music class.
  • Planning for instruction and implementing an engaging, sequential choral curriculum that fosters children’s skills in singing, diction, harmony, score reading, and artistic expression.
  • Conducting choral ensembles with musically and expressively effective conducting gestures.
  • Applying personal musicianship skills, including sight singing, ear training, and harmonic analysis, on an advanced level.
  • Advocating for universal music education that includes singing, music literacy, musical materials of the highest caliber, preservation of our musical heritage, and joyful music making.

Course Levels

Students in a circle throwing ribbon in the airDownload the Course of Study (PDF) or select from the following to learn about the courses required at each level.

The first three levels of courses are required to earn a Kodály certificate endorsed by the Organization of American Kodály Educators. Below are brief descriptions and required topics and areas of study for Choral Studies (and Secondary Choral Studies), Kodály Materials, Kodály Pedagogy, and Musicianship. Additional information for all courses can be found in the Loyola University Maryland Course Catalogue.

LEVEL I, II, III COURSES - 27 credits

Choral Studies and Secondary Choral Studies I, II, III - 2 credits each

In Choral Studies I, II, and III and Secondary Choral Studies I, II, and III, you will study basic score analysis, rehearsal techniques, and sequencing the choral rehearsal. Vocal health and pedagogy are emphasized, including diction, phonation, resonance, posture, and breath. Conducting lab will include the study of: posture and stance, patterns, the anacrusis, attacks, releases, and establishing and maintaining tempo, and additional advanced conducting techniques. If enrolled in Choral Studies I, II, and III, you will study, prepare, and conduct music especially appropriate for children's choirs at the elementary level. Students enrolled in Secondary Choral Studies I, II, and III will apply those principles to music appropriate for middle and high school choirs (students must be enrolled a minimum of 2 consecutive years in Secondary Choral Studies I, II, and III).  All students perform in the AKI Choir and Closing Concert, singing choral masterpieces from all periods, arrangements of folk music of various styles, and recent compositions.

Kodály Materials I, II, III - 3 credits each

In Materials I, II, and III, you will collect and learn American and multicultural folk songs, singing games, and dances that support the musical elements and scope and sequence studied Pedagogy I, II, and III. You will learn the historical, cultural, and ethnomusicological principles of folk song analysis and performance. Each year, you will collect and analyze new songs, warm ups, and partwork, culminating as your final thesis project. The final thesis project is an online, Kodály-inspired song index and retrieval database system that organizes your hand-selected materials for the teaching of musical elements (based on the needs of your students). Each year, you will attend an Annual Folk Dance Night, and study accompaniment techniques on folk instruments including Appalachian dulcimer (I), recorder (II), acoustic guitar (II), and ukulele (III). Students will need to bring their own folk instruments, a personal laptop, and should have basic knowledge Sibelius or Finale in order to notate and transcribe folk songs.

Kodály Pedagogy I, II, III - 2 credits each

In Pedagogy I, II, and III, you will develop an understanding of the sequential, child-developmental approach to Kodály-inspired music education. You will be introduced to the philosophy of Zoltán Kodály, and learn how to apply those practices in your teaching and your lesson and curriculum planning. Teachers will learn to scope and sequence musical elements and repertoire and assessments for beginner, intermediate, and advanced musicians (K-5, or MS/HS), developing modifications, differentiation strategies, and engaging activities to meet their students’ needs.  The use of American and multicultural folk songs will lead children to musical literacy through in-tune singing, aural discrimination, rhythm skills (via movement), solfa, and beat-function rhythm syllables, forming the foundations of music notation and reading.

Musicianship I, II, III - 2 credits each

Musicianship I, II, and III sequentially develops your personal musicianship through the study of folk and art music in a variety of meters and tonalities, including pentatonic, diatonic, chromatic, and modal melodies. Students will develop their ability to use pedagogical tools such as movable-do solfa, beat-function rhythm syllables, and Curwen hand signs to hone their skills in the areas of: sight singing, ear training, inner hearing, dictation, musical memory, improvisation, music theory, harmonic analysis, composition, transposition, partwork, and singing and playing.


ED 900 Advanced Studies in Music Education - 3 credits

Students will do an in-depth study of Music Learning Theory, including theory, aptitude testing, practical applications in the classroom, and assessment.

SE 800 Teaching Students with Special Needs - 3 credits

Students will learn strategies and materials for teaching exceptional students and strategize applications for their own classroom. Emphasis will be placed on recognizing learning and behavioral characteristics, and on meeting those challenges in an educational setting.

ED 600.406 Foundations of Educational Research - 3 credits 

Students will examine various approaches to research in education, including historical/experimental methods, the survey, case study, and philosophical inquiry. The course will focus on quantitative and qualitative methodology. Students will be encouraged to develop a basis for evaluating and understanding research in the field and to familiarize themselves with the literature in their chosen areas of concentration. Acquisition of state-of-the-art information searching and accessing strategies is an integral part of the course objectives.


All students perform in the AKI Choir and Closing Concert, singing choral masterpieces from all periods, arrangements of folk music of various styles, and recent compositions. 

In order to receive a grade report and be eligible to progress to the next level, all course requirements must be completed successfully and all fees must be paid in full.

For a list of specific course meeting times and locations for the upcoming July session, visit WebAdvisor. Click on "Search for Sections" toward the right. Select the upcoming summer session from the drop-down menu, and then select "Kodály Music" from the first drop-down menu under "Subjects." Select "Submit" and then all Kodály courses for the upcoming session will appear.