Events and Presenters

March 2024

Dear OAKE Members and Colleagues,

The 2025 National Conference Committee is enthusiastically preparing for the 51st OAKE National Conference to be held in Chicago, IL, March 6 – 9, 2025

The 2025 OAKE conference theme “Musical Storytellers: Continuing Kodály’s Narrative” has a focus on being “Musical Storytellers” as a means to continue the narrative of Zoltán Kodály and the teaching approach that bears his name

Session proposals are being elicited according to the following thematic categories:

  • Storytellers From Past to Present – Where have we been and where do we go from here? Sessions aligned with this category can include research into our history (the past) and how it informs the present. We encourage participants who submit a proposal related to this category to consider how we have grown as an organization and how we’ve grown as representatives of the Kodály approach. How are we inclusive of a wide variety of musical styles, genres, and musics from a wide variety of cultures in our story? How can we be better representatives of our story?

  • Sharing Our Story – How do we share the story of the Kodály approach in our teaching spaces? How do we share our musical stories as Kodály educators? How do we let our students share their stories? Sessions in this category could include discussions and demonstrations of lessons inspired by the Kodály approach as well as other active music making approaches. These lessons can be appropriate for a variety of teaching spaces including but not limited to general music classes, choral classrooms, private studios, etc.

  • Making Space for All Stories – MUSIC FOR ALL! Sessions in this category could include topics related to advocacy for all students by considering the diversity of our teaching spaces and how we as music educators can be more inclusive.

  • New Stories – How are we looking forward? What stories have yet to be told? What stories are not being included? What are the latest trends in education and trends that are on the horizon? What technologies can be used to help us look forward as an organization? We look for sessions that address these and other questions related to telling new stories.

  • Crafting Our Story – Kodály educators have always believed that the music teacher should be a skilled musician. Per Kodály, “only the best is good enough.” We are looking for sessions that can provide opportunities for teachers and students to further craft and hone their musicianship skills.

  • The “Whole” Story – The whole music teacher and music student includes not just being highly skilled in music, but knowing the importance of taking care of one’s self and each other. We are looking for sessions that discuss strategies for health, wholeness, and self-care for both music teachers and their students.

Please submit proposals for demonstrations, sessions, and/or papers that relate to this theme. Proposed topics include but are not limited to: musicianship, pedagogy, and literacy; choral and instrumental applications; music from other cultures; special education applications; brain and cognitive development; vocology; elementary, middle school, high school, and beyond.

All proposal forms for the 2025 OAKE National Conference must be submitted online by May 1, 2024. 

Thank you for all that you do to further Kodály’s philosophy, and to educate and inspire children every day!

Warm regards,
Emily Reep, Lindsey Schroder, Shelly Suminski Mahpar, OAKE Conference Chairs


For Presenters:

NEW!  2025 National Conference Session Proposals  |  Deadline May 1  |  Click Here To Submit Your Proposal

NEW!  2025 Research Poster Session Proposals  |  Deadline November 1  |  Click Here To Submit Your Proposal



Conference Kickoff Event

Come join us when we kickoff the 2025 OAKE National Conference!

♫ Opening Remarks from OAKE Leadership and Partner Organizations

♫ OAKE Chapter Banner Parade with local music

♫ Keynote Address with special invited Keynote Speaker

♫ Opening Concert with local music

Affinity Events

D.I.V.E. In! (Diversity, Inclusion, Voice, Equity)
These events will be a space to find connections, support, and inspiration from one another, and to share your voice to peers who serve on the OAKE Equity Committee. Grab a snack from the reception and come join us to DIVE in! 

Newcomer Event 
Is this your first conference? Come learn about OAKE and get the inside scoop on the conference by attending the Newcomer Event!

Social Events

Morning Sing
Get each morning of the conference started right with beautiful singing with your colleagues. 

Grand Opening Reception 
Grab a snack and say hello to all your friends at the Grand Opening Reception! After a morning of travel, let’s re-fuel and get reacquainted. Our exhibitors will be officially open and ready to show what they’ve brought especially for our Kodály educators.

Newcomer Event 
Is this your first conference? Come learn about OAKE and get the inside scoop on the conference by attending the Newcomer Event!

Retired But Not Retiring
The best is yet to come from our friends who are out of the classroom but not out of touch! Let’s get together to share ideas and pool our many talents to support and encourage OAKE for its next 50 years!

Community Dance 
Dance the night away with friends new and old as singers, families, and teachers gather together to kick off the first night of conference with laughter and community!

Friday and Saturday Night Social Events
Come dance and sing as we celebrate together!

Special Sessions and Offerings

Join the Participant Choir 
This is a great opportunity to deepen your conference experience by singing in our Participant Choir demonstration choir. 

Administrators and Choir Family Event 
The clinician will give an overview of the Kodály philosophy and approach for choir parents/families and administrators. The presentation will give the audience a chance to experience some music making together. Attendees will gain insight into the teaching that students/singers receive in their local music classrooms.

Choir Rehearsals Are Open to Observation
A bonus opportunity for more professional learning!

Choral Reading Session 
Find fresh repertoire for your classroom, community, and performing treble groups! Join us in singing through literature appropriate for your beginners through advanced elementary and middle-level ensembles.

Educating the Teachers of Teachers Track (ETT)
The ETT (Educating Teachers of Teachers) Track is a time for program instructors to learn from each other and hear new developments from the Teacher Education Committee.

Instrumental Track (IT)
Designed for instrumental educators of all levels, this track explores the application of the Kodály-approach and philosophy to band and string instruments, in the hopes of fostering greater literacy and learning.

Secondary Choral Track (SCT)
These sessions are designed for Middle and/or High School choral educators to explore a Kodály-inspired, skills based, approach to music literacy, rehearsal techniques and repertoire.

Research Poster Session 
Come speak with OAKE members as they share current research projects related to aspects of Kodaly-inspired pedagogy.

OAKE Business

Advisory Council
Advisory Council Luncheon for Chapter and Division Leaders, or their proxies.

Division Membership Meetings
Meet up with your OAKE Division leadership at the Division Membership meetings. 

General Assembly Meeting for OAKE Membership
During our general assembly, we meet as a membership to learn about OAKE’s latest developments, celebrate scholarships and awards, and unveil the next OAKE conference!

Important Contacts and FAQ

For concerns and inquiries, please contact the OAKE National Office. 

Equipment inquiries should be addressed to the Equipment Coordinator, Nick Mercier.

Materials inquiries (pictures, biographies, agreements, handouts) should be addressed to the Administrative Coordinator, Colleen Graves.