Three HCS Music Educators Attain Prestigious Kodály Certifications
(HOOVER) - Hoover City Schools (HCS) alumnus Kris Lindley has always held a passion for music. Following high school, she turned that passion into a purpose when she attended the University of Montevallo - earning two degrees, both centered around music education.
Lindley eventually returned to Hoover and now serves as a music teacher at Riverchase Elementary School. Staying on top of her game proves paramount. Evidence of this came just this year when she earned the highest Kodály certification - Level III - giving her the distinction of being a Kodály Certified music educator.
“Kodály gives meaning to teaching music to elementary students. It allows us to really have an impact and many children will leave elementary school, after learning Kodály concepts, able to read music and be on their way as musicians,” Lindley said.
What is Kodály? It’s a way of teaching “....music and singing at school in such a way that it is not a torture, but a joy for the pupil” according to an excerpt from a 1929 lecture by Kodály’s namesake, Zoltán Kodály (1882-1967). Kodály was a prominent Hungarian composer. The Organization of American Kodály Educators (OAKE) administers Kodály certifications.
Kyle Moore (Green Valley Elementary School) and Sam Ardovino (Deer Valley Elementary School) join Kris Lindley in their quest for music education excellence via Kodály certification.
Moore earned Kodály Level I certification, which he says helped him better focus on a bevy of music education components, including teaching rhythmic proficiency.
“Kodály helps us, as music teachers, to focus on the child as they learn music and set them up for success,” Moore said. “It takes the child’s music influences from say, their home life, and allows us to meet each child exactly where they are musically.”
Moore attended Samford University and is now in his fifth year at Green Valley Elementary.
Ardovino, a part-time music teacher at Deer Valley Elementary, finds himself brand new to the classroom for 2019-2020. He will soon complete his master’s degree at the University of Montevallo (the only Kodály-endorsed university in Alabama). As such, he was familiar with Kodály and his degree track included content that bolstered his recently attained Kodály Level I certification.
“When I interviewed for the (Deer Valley) position, I feel strongly that Kodály certification helped me stand out and get the job,” Ardovino said. “It provides a wealth of resources and very engaging lesson plans. Certainly an additional plus for a new teacher.”
Dr. Becky Halliday serves as the founding director of the University of Montevallo Kodály Institute. The Institute administers the multi-week, rigorous process over the course of three summers. Participants engage in pedagogical activities, folk song research, skill development in choir and conducting, and ear-training activities meant to further the development of their personal musicianship. How does the certification help music educators - and ultimately students?
“The Kodály Concept of Music education begins with the singing voice, utilizing culturally relevant musical material to teach concepts such as rhythm, melody, form, and expression,” Dr. Halliday said.
Just as relevant, according to Dr. Halliday, a “Kodály classroom” engages children in activities that reinforce skills related to cognitive, social, and emotional development.
As Lindley, Moore, and Ardovino incorporate Kodály concepts into Hoover City Schools classrooms, their teachings echo the sentiments of Kodály’s founding father.
“Often a single experience will open the young soul to music for a whole lifetime. This experience cannot be left to chance, it is the duty of the school to provide it.” [Zoltán Kodály, 1929 lecture]
Ian Thompson (C.R.E.W.)
Jason Gaston (HCS)