Shepherd University's Department of Music will offer a Kodly Level I course from Monday, July 1 through Friday, July 12 (no class July 4) from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in the Frank Center. The daily schedule will include musicianship, ear training, sight singing, pedagogy, folk song literature, conducting, folk dance, instruments, and choir. The course will be taught by Dr. David Gonzol, associate professor of music at Shepherd, and Julie Swank, guest music instructor at Shepherd. The course is available for graduate credit for both degree and non-degree seeking students.
The Kodly Method is an approach to music education that was developed in Hungary during the mid-20th century. Though named after Hungarian composer and educator Zoltn Kodly (1882-1967), the method itself was not created by him. His philosophies of education served as inspiration for the method. At the heart of the Kodly Method is his belief that music literacy is the right of every human being. Kodly stressed that anyone who is capable of reading language is also capable of reading music.
Studies have shown that the Kodly Method improves intonation, rhythm skills, music literacy, and the ability to sing in increasingly complex parts. Outside of music, it has been shown to improve perceptual functioning, concept formation, motor skills and performance in other academic areas such as reading and math.
Dr. David J. Gonzol is assistant professor and director of music education at Shepherd. He holds degrees from Messiah College and Temple University, and a Ph.D from the University of Maryland at College Park. At the University of St. Thomas he earned mastery certificates in the Kodly and Orff Schulwerk approaches. He taught music in public schools in Pennsylvania, Idaho, Maryland and Minnesota. In addition to presenting at state and national conferences, he has given numerous workshops to educators and has been a visiting educator at schools and libraries.
Julie Swank is a graduate of Capital University in Columbus, Ohio. She graduated with a bachelor's degree in music education, horn emphasis. She holds a master of elementary education degree from the University of Dayton and a Kodly certificate from the Kodly Center at Capital. She has taught high school and junior high, and currently teaches K-6 general music at Union Elementary School in Union, Ohio. She serves as past president of the Midwest Division of the Organization of American Kodly Educators. She has presented chapter workshops in many cities.