I remember, once upon a time, when I was in the deepest, darkest depths of my teaching degree, I would walk past a bookshop and freeze; my bloodhound-like Kodaly senses tingling, searching for the scent of possibility.
Could this be the place? Could this be the shop? The one that contains that magical goldmine of a resource that will answer all my teaching questions and provide me with enough knowledge, secrets and lesson plans to last my entire career?
As I am beginning to discover, though I'm not quite ready to admit to myself (much like Santa and the Tooth Fairy) this magical resource may not exist.
However, whilst there may not be any one be-all-and-end-all answer book for Kodaly teachers, these 5 do a pretty great job!
Check out my top 5 Kodaly-based teacher resources below:
1. A Guide to Lesson Planning in a Kodaly Setting - Rita Klinger
This book contains everything you could need to know on lesson planning (in both short-term and long-term contexts) and lays out the information in a really neat, organised and easy-to-follow fashion.
I still use a number of the templates in this book for my own lesson planning and I found that re-reading it at the start of each school year really helps to crystalise my thinking on how to organise activities within one lesson, how to fit that lesson into the broader scope of a unit outline and how to ensure that each unit outline has the right place within the Prep - 6 curriculum that I teach.
2. Catch A Song - Deanna Hoermann & Doreen Bridges
I wish I had a penny for every time I've heard this book referred to as the primary Kodaly educator's bible. It contains hundreds of folk songs, including all the staples of the junior classroom such as Rain, Rain Go Away or Little Mouse Be Careful. They are written out with sheet music and lyrics, and also contains a brief analysis of the song's rhythmic and melodic elements and possible uses in the classroom.
It also lists games. Yay!
3. The Kodaly Method - Lois Choksy
This text comes in 2 volumes and is often out of print, making it an expensive purchase, but if you do get your hands on a copy, it is well worth it. This is a seminal text on the use of Kodaly's philosophy in music education classrooms, particularly on applying it to schools that may differ from the Hungarian context Kodaly was writing for.
The text features sample lesson plans for the primary classroom, gives an overview of scope and sequence as well as containing around 200 folk songs, all analysed through a pedagogical lens.
4. 150 Rounds - E. Bolkovac & J. Johnson
This collection of rounds features a lot of well-known folk songs - many of which you may find that you already use in your teaching - but I also found countless gems that I had never come across before and which now form a staple of my part-singing repertoire.
These are great to supplement your choral program or to develop part-singing skills within the classroom. They are also great over a bottle of wine at the annual music teachers' catch up!
5. Classical Canons - Antal Molnar
This compendium of canons follows on well from the 150 Rounds book mentioned above. The standard of these canons is suitable for Secondary level students or advanced instrumentalists in primary and it is a treasure trove of a resource for musicianship lessons.
Any of these canons make for excellent sing & play assessments for your students and can also be adapted as source material for dictations and transcriptions. There are also plenty of music history links to be made as the book features works from many great composers from Palestrina to Mozart.
I'd love to hear your favourite teacher resources and maybe add a few new ones to my collection! Drop us a line via the Contact page with your recommendations!