Session Descriptions

Click a link below to jump to one of our Session Categories:

Adventures in Folk Music
Bold Moves
Bright Ideas
Confident Musicians
Dare to Care
ETT – Educating Teachers of Teachers
Fearless Allyship
IT – Instrumental Track
SCT – Secondary Choral Track

Adventures in Folk Music

Miriam Factora
Philippine Folk Games for Teaching
Miriam was born in the Philippines and is a product of an imposed western colonial system of education. The Philippines was under western rule for over 400 years, very long span of time to affect the over-all psyche of every Filipino. In response to the challenges of colonization, Miriam has embarked on a revolutionary project towards the indigenization and localization of the country’s music education program. This project was the topic of her doctoral dissertation at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia, the title of which is “A Model of Sequential Music Teaching Utilizing Philippine Vocal Materials.” The focus of the dissertation is on children’s songs, spoken rhymes and musical folk games that were collected from different parts of the country. In this session, Miriam will share samples of her fieldwork research from diverse ethnolinguistic groups in the Philippines with a focus on folk games for teaching. She will show video recordings and provide transcriptions of the materials with instructions on how to play the games. These will be easy and fun games to play in the music classes, especially in schools with Filipino immigrants.

Miriam Factora
Celebrating Diversity Through Music
The school situation where Miriam recently taught in California has more than 25 languages spoken in students’ homes. Schools are now being faced with the increasing reality that students go home to a culture which is different from the school culture. To address the challenges brought upon by this cultural diversity, she took it upon herself to conduct first-hand research on the diverse musical cultures of the school community and made it one of her professional goals to transcribe and systematize these materials for pedagogical purpose. In this session, Miriam will share a repertoire of songs, musical games and dances that she had collected from her previous school community. She will choose materials of families’ home cultures from Canada, Brazil, Puerto Rico, Argentina, Costa Rica, France, Germany, Sweden, Israel, Turkey, Iran, India, Sri Lanka, China, Hongkong, Taiwan, Japan, Korea, Vietnam and the Philippines. Miriam will show video recordings and provide transcriptions of the materials with instructions on how to play the games.

Corinne Galligan
Music of the Sea: Lyrical Creation and Improvisation Through Chanteys
Sea chanteys are work songs that were used aboard square-rigged sailing ships. The crew participated in this aural tradition regardless of musical training or ability because the music aided them in completing shipboard tasks. The unofficial role of chanteyman (song leader) was designated for highly skilled improvisers who could string out a song as long as necessary to complete a job, whether that was adjusting the sails, raising the anchor, moving cargo, or pumping out the ship. This session is for anyone who is interested in learning more about sea chanteys and/or finding new ways to engage learners of all ages in singing, improvising, and lyric composing. In this session, you will learn history and context before singing pre-existing chantey verses to build comfort with solo and group singing, then create your own verses in lengths of one to three lines.

Rachel Gibson
¡Vamos a Cantar! Hispanic Songs and Singing Games
Come sing, play, move, and experience joy with Hispanic children’s music traditions. Participants will actively engage in repertoire that the presenter learned from teachers, families, and children while living in Guatemala, Nicaragua, and Spain. These cherished activities allow for musical play and movement, incorporate improvisation, and foster community. Song research will be presented and field videos will be shared to demonstrate the songs in authentic contexts. ¡Ven a cantar y jugar! Come sing and play!

Kathy Kuddes
Doing Our Own Research: Following Kodály’s Lead
Long before Kodály was concerned with the musical education of children in Hungary, he was researching the details of the folk music of his native people. As Kodály-inspired teachers we have an obligation to include scholarly song research in our personal practice. Join others with an interest in this topic to look into quality source material that is now largely available online. Discuss collaboration to grow a community of song researchers to make detailed historical/cultural song research a central part of the contemporary Kodály practice.

Rachel Tanenblatt
Hineh Ma Tov: Jewish Folk Songs for Elementary General Music
In this session, Rachel will share a selection of favorite Hebrew and English songs from her experience as a Jewish music educator. The songs in this session will represent a sampling of the broad variety of ways to define Judaism, including both sacred and secular texts, Israeli folk dancing, songs for festivals, and daily life.

back to top


Bold Moves

Colleen Casey-Nelson
Using Google Earth in the Music Classroom
Google Earth is a powerful way to go beyond the classroom walls and bring the world to children. Explore strategies for using Google Earth to teach and learn in the music classroom. Delve into tours that teach – bringing children’s literature to life, experiencing cultures around the world, and giving voice to student identity and interests. Learn how to get started creating your own google earth tours to enhance your teaching and bring the world to your students.

Juanda Marshall
Make “My” Culture Matter
Some of the moments we treasure as teachers is when our students “light up” with interest and pride. Students want to know that they matter, that they are valued. This session will address effective strategies to present cultural activities in ways that engage students and that help to develop empathy. Some of the highlights will include the following: My perspective as a culture-bearer, Aligning Kodály activities, Resources, Materials, Worksheets, and Games for offline and online activities.

Christina Svec
Current Research on Singing in Childhood: What’s Next?
Spend time discussing current research topics regarding characteristics of the child’s singing voice, singing voice development, singing instruction, voice use for elementary music teachers, and more! Through the session, we will explore recent publications, discuss your research questions, and spark collaborations.

back to top


Bright Ideas

Lauren Bain
Magical Manipulatives for Young Learners
Tangibles, beat buddies, manipulatives, beat keepers, pointers – all of these became an invaluable educational tool to the presenter as she witnessed an increase in screen time and decrease in human interaction skills in her youngest students. Come explore how to incorporate these engagement tools to build beat competency, music-making, and literacy skills in kindergarten and first grade. The presenter will share her realistic journey in addressing the screen time/iPad generation while continuing to engage them in music. Discover the magic of manipulatives to activate and deepen your students’ learning!

Michelle Braun
Bold Choices to Activate Your Listening Curriculum Through Diversity
Get ready to move your body as we respond to music from diverse composers and styles through active listening routines using dance, scarves, and tennis balls. Active listening is a great way for students to experience the music before encountering the concepts of form, tempo, dynamics, and much more. This workshop contains music that is old and new, by women and men, from several continents, and features styles from Renaissance to rag and bluegrass to Motown. Every song has curricular connections and a movement breakdown so you can use them right away when you get home!

Andrew Ellingsen
Orff Schulwerk & Kodály: Stronger Together
Music teachers often feel they need to choose between the Kodály and Orff Schulwerk philosophies of music education, but both approaches center on helping children discover music and creativity in a natural way. Why choose when you can do both? Come sing, say, dance, and play – see how incorporating techniques from both Orff Schulwerk and Kodály inspired teaching can strengthen the teaching already happening in your classroom. Participants will learn a variety of repertoire ranging from folk music to source material from the Orff Schulwerk volumes and will explore how the two pedagogies can intertwine to support students in their music making and musical learning.

David Frego, Herbert Marshall, Julie Scott
Mode and Meter Bootcamp: Dalcroze, Orff Schulwerk, and Music Learning Theory
For fifteen years, the Alliance for Active Music Making has presented joint sessions featuring educators with specialties in the major approaches to music learning. This session will offer three approaches to experiencing and internalizing modes and meters that are less common in Western music. Participants will be actively engaged in movement and singing. Handouts will provide extensions.

Kathy Kuddes
Bartók’s “For Children”: Miniature Masterworks
Discover, or Re-discover the masterful arrangements of Hungarian and Slovak folk songs written in the first decade of the Twentieth Century by Belá Bartók. While written for young pianists, these delightful arrangements make some of the favorite Hungarian tunes accessible for classroom use as well. Dive into these lovely pieces and explore ways to use them for singing, moving and adapting to classroom instruments.

Carrie Nicholas, Tanya LeJeune
Bright Ideas for New Performance Traditions
Performances and programs are an opportunity to advocate for your music program by sharing what students are learning in music class each day. However, performances can often feel detached from our everyday curriculum. In this session, we’ll explore how music educators can create their own performances that focus on the concepts and skills students are learning in their classroom. We will learn how to dress up classroom repertoire for performances and discuss strategies for creating cohesive programs through stories or themes. As students are returning to the performance stage, music educators have an opportunity to reimagine their elementary performance traditions. Let’s create bold, new experiences for all.

Kevin Powell
Get Them Up and Moving! A Sequential Approach to Teaching Folk Dancing
Folk Dancing provides a unique opportunity to experience and explore traditions from all around the world through movement. Including Folk Dancing in your curriculum will broaden your students’ worldview, build a sense of community, strengthen social skills, and allow for discussing and experiencing a multitude of musical concepts through dance. This session will provide a sequential approach to folk dancing that allows for scaffolding of dances throughout the Primary and Intermediate Elementary years. Specific folk dances and teaching techniques will be demonstrated and experienced to allow you to feel confident in bringing these ideas/dances back to your classroom.

back to top


Confident Musicians

Gemma Arguelles
Beyond Rote: Developing Music Literacy in the Elementary Chorus
Elementary choruses often learn music by rote as a convenient way to prepare for school concerts. Using choral literature, Gemma will share rehearsal approaches that lead to developing music literacy in the elementary chorus (beginning and intermediate choruses).

Susan Brumfield
Sing It In Your Head: From Listening to Inner Hearing
“Inner Hearing” is the ability to hear sounds when they’re not actually present. In a Kodály-inspired approach, development of this skill begins early, through listening and singing. Inner hearing provides a solid foundation for music literacy and other musical skill areas. In this session, we’ll explore ways to build and strengthen the ear through small, incremental steps with activities for rhythmic and melodic preparation and practice.

Darren Dailey
Demonstration: Conducting Workshop with the Jacksonville Children’s Chorus
Darren Dailey, Artistic Director of the JCC, will coach 4-6 pre-selected conductors with the Jacksonville Children’s Chorus as the laboratory choir.

David Frego
Dalcroze and Kodály: The Intersection of Solfège and Movement
Dalcroze Eurhythmics and Kodály activities work together to create more meaningful musical involvement. Participants will be engaged in brain to body connections through singing and purposeful movement that explores inner hearing. Activities will include focus activities that places pitch in space, singing and moving to scales, and creating antecedent and consequent phrases. Direct transfers will be made to the general music classroom. Handouts will provide extensions on lesson ideas.

Megan Sheridan
Demystifying the OAKE National Honor Choir Audition Process
Have you always wanted to have your students audition for the OAKE National Honor Choirs, but aren’t sure how to navigate the audition process? Or have you been sending students for years, but would like to better understand how auditions are evaluated? In this session, you will learn about the various components of auditions for each choir, how to best prepare your students for recording the audition, and how to record auditions where your students shine! Tips for avoiding common audition mistakes will also be shared.

Sarah Tullock
All Human Beings Are Creative: Composing and Arranging for All
Zoltán Kodály and his colleagues saw music education through a beautifully holistic lens. Exploration, discovery, and creativity weren’t separated from one another; rather, they were seen as deeply connected. This session will cover the cultivation of personal compositional practice on the part of the teacher. We will look at responsive arranging around folk tunes and simple melodies, the writing of canons for classroom and choral use, and the growth of these skills in the lives of students. We will sing together, of course, and all attendees will leave with a packet of new canons, including permission to use them in classrooms and choirs. In addition to all of the above, participants will also leave with a list of resources for supporting these creative practices in the long term. It is easier to ask our students to create when we, ourselves, engage in creative practices.

back to top


Dare to Care

Kathryn Bach
The Art of a Joyful Early Childhood Music Classroom
In the words of Katalin Forrai, music education in Early Childhood offers an opportunity to: awaken a child’s interest in music, stimulate spontaneous vocalization and rhythmic movement, and increase a child’s emotional stability through music. This session will offer tried and true ways to embody the Kodály philosophy in your practice while creating a community that fosters social-emotional learning, play-based education, and stimulates creativity to spark joy in your early learning space. This session is designed for preschool and kindergarten music educators. Come prepared to play and have fun!

Alyson Moore
A Voice for a Lifetime
Music rooms often have a lot of expensive and unique classroom instruments in them but none are more precious or important than your voice. How is your voice holding up over time? Teaching can be hard on the vocal mechanism and over time, functionality can decrease as stressors cause strain. This session will help refresh voices, offering exercises that reinforce life-giving vocal pedagogy so that teachers can de-stress and strengthen technique and regain vocal health. Learn voice building vocal exercises that have direct applicability for use in the classroom and have fun in the process!

Loren Tarnow
Sprouting Joy! Cultivating Social Emotional Learning in the Music Classroom
In this session, Loren Tarnow will offer strategies and tools to authentically and holistically integrate Social Emotional Learning into the music classroom and to build relationships and trust with students to create a joyful, inclusive, and safe place of music-making.

back to top


ETT – Educating Teachers of Teachers

Sarah Burns
ETT: *U*N*W*R*A*P* A Song: A New Approach to Song Analysis
This workshop will guide participants through an innovative approach to song analysis called “*U*N*W*R*A*P* A Song.” Modeled after a comprehension strategy used in reading and math classrooms across the United States, the steps for “*U*N*W*R*A*P* A Song” serve as a guide for song analysis, analysis which will aid the determination of authenticity of a song’s usage in the music curriculum (Karpeles, 1951). For each letter of the word “*U*N*W*R*A*P*” there are multiple tasks to complete. Each task furthers musical insight into the song. The purpose for the “*U*N*W*R*A*P* a Song” strategy is to focus song analysis on the elements set forth by Kodály in a methodical process aiding greater accuracy of analysis and comprehension of the song’s appropriateness for the music classroom. This strategy is of value to song analysis in music teacher training courses and will serve as a guide as music educators continue song analysis over the continuum of their careers.

Becky Halliday
ETT Round Table: Idea Swap
This session will provide a place for past, current, and future teacher trainers and program directors to discuss and share ideas, materials, and resources. Attendees are encouraged to come prepared to share favorite books, activities, songs, sources, games, etc. that have been engaging and effective with your levels students.

Katherine Hickey
ETT: The Original Music Lessons of Jenö Ádám and Zoltán Kodály
The original elementary music education curriculum was inspired by Zoltán Kodály and developed in detail by Kodály’s student and colleague, Jenő Ádám in the 1940-50’s. The sequential lessons are developed in the Szó-Mi books (1943-46), and in the beautifully illustrated Énekeskönyv I-VIIIl (Songbook, Grades 1-8; 1948-58, destroyed in 1959 by Communist regime). The definitive teacher’s guide Módszeres énektanitás a relativ szólmizáció alapján [Methodical Music Teaching based on Relative Solmization] was written in 1944 to accompany both textbooks, and was translated to English in 1971, entitled Growing in Music with Movable Do. Experience the original lessons and explore the adaptations in America in the 20th century. Let’s brainstorm about the bold directions the Kodály philosophy and pedagogy can take in the 21st century. Session will include a historical perspective, interactive musicmaking and pedagogical issues in adapting the original Hungarian model to America and current times. 

back to top


Fearless Allyship

Kathryn Bach
Through the Looking Glass: Kodály Music Education and Critical Race Theory
This session will offer a brief overview to develop an understanding of what Critical Race Theory is and what it is not. In the words of Gloria Ladson-Billings “Just what is Critical Race Theory and what’s it doing in a nice field like education?” The session further poses the question: How can we apply the lens of CRT to our practice to create spaces that are anti-racist and anti-bias? The purpose of this session is to collectively discuss the ways in which the application of Kodály education can be used to include marginalized populations. Participants will leave this session with a deeper understanding of how to create an inclusive collection of materials to use with their students, a template for conducting an equity audit of their classroom materials, resources, and ideas for how we can use our Kodály training to become transformative in our practices.

Larena Code
Let Children Lead: Framing Meaningful Discussions Through Musical Play
Addressing events that challenge injustice and prompt allyship is one of many ways to create a more inclusive classroom. Yet, how do Kodály-inspired teachers facilitate social justice conversations while balancing music-making in a 30 minute lesson? In this session, I will share how I use my Kodály training to create student-centered experiences around race, equity, and justice, without detracting from its tenets of self-discovery and play. Participants will sing and play kid-tested activities and lesson segments that allow for a balance of ongoing reflection, discussion, and joy. We will also explore anti-bias classroom norms, thinking routines, and guiding questions that validate multiple identities and align with Kodály-inspired teaching. Join me in using the framework of Kodály to amplify children’s sense of their own value, voice, and identity.

Ashley Cuthbertson
Culturally Responsive Music Education in Action for General Music Rooms
Building upon the theoretical framework of Culturally Responsive Music Education, in this session we will engage in practical applications for general music classrooms K-8. Participants will engage in multiple hands-on lessons to explore curriculum development through a culturally responsive, learner centered lens. Participants will leave with a better understanding of practical applications, and several tried and true strategies they can use to deepen their culturally responsive instructional practices.

Andrew Ellingsen
Panel: Supporting LGBTQIA+ Students in a World That Won’t Say Gay
Teaching is more politically charged than ever, and music teachers often find themselves needing to choose between supporting their students and complying with extreme ideologies being legally mandated. Join a panel of queer music educators as we discuss how to support students of all ages in the LGBTQIA+ community.

Benjamin Rivers
Substantiating Allyship: Backing the Methods and Materials in Your Classroom
It is unnerving and jarring when your inclusive teaching practices are called into question. Whether questioned by well-meaning parents, administrators, politicians, or students the source matters little. What matters is how you handle yourself and how you support your methods and materials. In this session, we will explore ways to use national, state, district, and building policies to support our inclusive teaching practices. We will also explore strategies and techniques developed at Ford’s Theatre for preparing for and engaging in civil arguments. We know that our allyship to students and families of historically marginalized populations matters. This is why we must keep our classrooms as safe spaces for all.

Amanda Vanausdall, Elaine Bernstorf
Sink or Swim: Sound Literacy for Everyone
Come ride the waves with us as we consider the islands of language isolation and language preferences (e.g. listening, gesture, echolalia, AAC, hyper-verbalization) of students who have special learning needs. As we consider the educational coastline, we will identify ways that service allies, such as speech-pathologists and reading specialists, can help us promote inclusive and accessible music instruction. In this session we will explore the difficulties around auditory processing and associated visual literacy representations. We’ll look deeper into how we can provide life jackets that support literacy skills that allow all students to truly belong in the music community. Key topics are disciplinary literacy, forms of representation, universal design for learning, and response to intervention.

back to top


IT – Instrumental Track

Kari Adams
IT: Reach Everyone: Maximizing Student Engagement in Secondary Ensembles
Student engagement is vital to the culture of an ensemble as well as individual and group learning outcomes, but it can sometimes feel impossible to manage. Fortunately, with the right planning and strategies, achieving maximum attention, energy, and engagement is within reach. This interactive session is designed to help ensemble teachers of all levels explore a wide variety of easy-to-implement Kodály-inspired strategies that will decrease time spent on lesson planning while increasing the effectiveness of rehearsals. Participants will leave this session with classroom-tested strategies and principles from research in music education and psychology to help optimize engagement for each student in the classroom.

Roberto Castro
IT: Folk Songs and Band Literature: Kodály for Band
The true essence of the Kodály Concept is Singing. Kodály alleged that instrumental instruction should incorporate singing and as band teachers we are always looking for ways to introduce singing in band. This session will work on using folk material which is found in band literature today. Examples of band music will be used on how it can make students aware of their singing voice and how folk songs are used in band literature.

Susan Harvey, Dillon Downey
IT: Creating Sequenced Instruction in Private Instrumental Settings
Participants in this hands-on presentation will experience a sequential approach to teaching students in private instrumental lessons. Kodály-inspired instruction is becoming more prevalent in secondary and college ensembles. Private instrumental lessons require a specific set of skills and sequences not always utilized in ensemble settings. The presenters will highlight technical differences and aural tonal sequencing for various instruments and develop an understanding of global sequencing for private instruction. Participants will experience the way multiple sequences blend into an approach to teaching and learning that fits the needs of each student. This active learning experience will highlight teaching strategies for tonal, rhythmic, and improvisatory learning in private lesson settings.

Ann Leffard
IT Demonstration: Seeing Ears and Hearing Eyes in the Band Rehearsal
Performing band music ideally unifies many minds and sounds into one voice. In doing so, can we still incorporate literacy concepts, music theory, and ear training into the large ensemble rehearsal? Doing this can truly unite the focus of the group. In this session, the clinician will work with members of the Oakleaf High School Wind Ensemble using pedagogical tools and singing to connect music theory concepts with music literature, and improve ensemble focus, inner hearing, & harmonic understanding using grade 2, 3, and 4 band literature chosen from the Florida Bandmasters Association Music List.

back to top


SCT – Secondary Choral Track

Darren Dailey
SCT: Secondary Choral Reading Session with the Jacksonville Children’s Chorus and The Voices of Jacksonville
New choral music for middle school through adult choirs of varying skills and abilities led by President and Artistic Director Darren Dailey with vocal support from Voices of Jacksonville and the Jacksonville Children’s Chorus. Packets will be provided.

Michael Hanawalt
SCT: The Singing Revolution: Estonian Folk Music and Composer Veljo Tormis
The singing of regilaul, an Estonian folk music, has long been a central part of its culture, even serving as a means of cultural preservation in the face of the Soviet occupation of the Baltic states during the twentieth century. Composer Veljo Tormis, inspired by the way in which Bartók and Kodály incorporated Hungarian folk music in their compositions, dedicated his life to composing choral music using regilaul as musical source material. This session will explore Estonia’s folk music tradition, providing an introduction to the music and its performance. It will also explore Mr. Tormis’s choral compositions, illuminating the use of Estonian folk music in his writing. Conference attendees looking to broaden their knowledge of folk traditions and choral repertoire and learn practical resources for teaching this music will find much to take away from this highly-interactive and participatory session.

Mary Ellen Junda
SCT: Earthtones Vocal Ensemble: Exploring Cultures Through Song
Music instruction can be more relevant, more equitable and better reflect changes in society by including songs from varied periods and cultures in the curriculum. However, those choosing to delve into new cultures are presented with a number of pedagogical challenges in intercultural transmissions that include cultural representation, authenticity, and performance practice. This session features the Earthtones Vocal Ensemble as a model for developing choral ensembles that address diversity through song with the goal of developing social consciousness. Video excerpts will highlight the ensemble’s unique pedagogy, importance of culture bearers, and its atypical concerts featuring the music of Trinidad and Tobago, the Gullah people, the Vietnam Era, and the Irish-American experience. Student reflections will focus on the different rehearsal techniques; expanded performance standards; and outcomes from participation in non-traditional ensemble. The aim is to provide insight and inspiration to those who strive to increase knowledge and understanding of cultural history and to develop a deeper awareness of social consciousness through song as an integral part of their music program.

Georgia Newlin
SCT: Successfully Teaching Choral Octavos Through Form-Based Analysis
In a literacy-based curriculum, teaching a choral octavo successfully takes more than just learning to sing the tune from beginning to end. Instead, singers can be led to deep musical understanding by rehearsing octavos in short segments based on relationships of form for each piece. Delve into multiple rehearsal techniques for specific octavos through literacy-based lesson segments for rhythmic, melodic, and harmonic understanding through formal structure.

back to top