Sessions and Presenters


$75/Members, $100/Non Members
Thursday, 1 – 4 pm, two locations

Heart & Hand, Mind & Ear: Kodály’s Musical Balance in the Elementary Music Classroom

Kodály’s vision of a well-trained heart, hand, mind and ear will serve as the cornerstones for this interactive session. Participants will explore quality repertoire and subsequent pedagogical strategies that foster musicianship, collaboration, and creativity skills in young children. In addition, the integration of standards-based instruction for the 21st-Century Kodály-inspired classroom will be addressed.


Heart & Hand, Mind & Ear: Kodály’s Musical Balance in the Secondary Choral Rehearsal

In this session we will explore techniques to use in choral rehearsals that encourage musical expression, improve vocal technique, set a foundation for musical understanding, and develop ear-training. These four aspects of a choral rehearsal mirror Kodály’s vision of a good musician, and when kept in balance, these skills help our students become well-rounded musicians.

Sunday Spotlight Session with CHRISTOPHER ROBERTS

Toward a Mindful and Heartful Music Class
Sunday, 10 am – 12 pm
One benefit of music is its ability to bring people together while also enabling us to look beyond ourselves to the broader world. This is a particularly important asset in the current climate, as many children in the United States are surrounded by inflammatory rhetoric that is not conducive to thoughtful conversation with alternative viewpoints. In this session, participants will engage in musical activities intended for the elementary music class, with the following aims:
– To encourage students to see two sides of an issue;
– To develop empathy towards others with different life experiences;
– To consider the importance of tradition;
– To consider tradition alongside contemporary ideas around issues such as gender, race, and class;

OAKE Participant Choir
$25 Participation Fee
The Participant Choir is a unique experience for conference participants to sing together in a choral setting. This year’s choir will be directed by Keynote Speaker Fernando Malvar Ruiz.


Joy! Grubbs – Kodály: For the Mind, Heart, Ear and Hand of 6th Graders
Jo Kirk – Little Hearts, Hands, Minds & Voices: A 2-3 Year-old Demo
Joan Litman – Turning the Kaleidoscope: The Well-Tuned Hand
Jayne Wenner – Musical Movement and Rhythm: Dalcroze in Action!

Janell Bjorklund – The Musical and Social Juggling Act: Culturally Responsive Teaching in a Kodály-Inspired Classroom
Valerie Diaz Leroy – Conversations On the Banjo as the Heart of Folk Music (Made Possible By
Matthew Hanne – Whispers from the Past: Lessons from Two Rare Publications
Tanya LeJeune – Singing Games Night: Strengthen the Heart of Your School Music Community
Conway Tan, Minami Cohen – Empower Students with Social and Emotional Skills through Music Lessons

Sarah Burns – Hand Dancing: Conducting Strategies for the Music Classroom
Rebecca Juarez, Allison Lewis – Hands That Strum: Ukuleles in the Kodály-Inspired Classroom
Darla Meek – The Soprano Recorder in the Kodály Context (Made Possible By Sweet Pipes, Inc.)
Ursula Slover – Teaching Guitar in a Kodály Classroom

Lauren Bain – It Was Meant to Be: Comparing Kodály and ESL Practices
Ashley Cuthbertson – Reaching All Learners: Differentiated Instruction in the General Music Classroom
Carol Forward – Tech and Take: Creating Visuals for the 21st Century Music Room
James Hickey – Music for Everyone: Deaf Inclusion in the Kodály Classroom
Lucia Schaefer – Self-Differentiation: Empowering Students to Challenge Themselves
Rachel Ware Carlton – Being at Balance: Body Mapping for Music Educators
Nichole Witman – “Break Out” of the Norm: Using Break Out Box Activities in the Kodály Inspired Classroom

Gemma Arguelles – Deriving, Decoding, Dictating: Ear & Mind Stimulants for Middle School
Susan Brumfield – It’s All in Your Head: From Musical Literacy to Improvisation
David Frego – Dalcroze and Kodály: The Intersection of Solfège and Movement (Made Possible By Music is Elementary)
Brent Gault – Striking a Balance: Active Music Listening in Kodály-Inspired Classrooms
Herbert Marshall, Andrew Ellingsen, David Frego, Brent Gault – Inner Hearing: Balancing Aural and Cognitive Development from Four Approaches (Made Possible By Alliance for Active Music Making)
Sandra Mathias, Meredith Smith, Jessica Myers, Jeanne Wohlgamuth, Dameon Jones, Valerie Buckley – Teaching the Ear and the Mind – To Reach the Heart (Made Possible By The Kodály Institute at Capital University)
Darla Meek, Oshadhee Satarasinghe – It’s Music to Their Ears! Listening Lessons for Elementary Musicians
Jacqueline Sugrue – Meaningful and Effective Transitions in the Elementary Music Classroom
Ildikó Thész Salgado – Clarity, Simplicity, Logic: Developing Musicianship Skills through Bartók’s Language

Adam Epstein – Spiral of Songs: Teaching Repertoire Across Grade Levels
Crystal Henricks – A Well-Trained Body: Movement for the Kodály-Insprired Classroom
Lauri Hogle – When Emotions Make It Hard To Sing: Learning From Kids
Becky Knox, Melanie Braddy – How to Win at Teaching: Creating Digital Portfolios
Donna Menhart – World Music and Movement in the K-12 Music Classroom
Tom Michalek – Planning with Purpose for Musical Balance
Julie Swank – An Introduction to the Kodály Philosophy

NEW!! OAKE Benchmark Standards for Kindergarten through Grade 5 – Three sessions will review these newly released benchmarks and explore their application for teaching and advocacy.
Robbin Marcus, Alice Hammel – NIFE (New Initiatives for Education) Committee Update

Madolyn Accola – Clapping Conversations Connecting Countries
Naomi Cohen, Martha Holmes – Jewish Music: Secular and Sacred
Rachel Gibson – Living Traditions: Children’s Songs and Singing Games from Central America
Karen Howard – Children’s Singing Games from West Africa (Made Possible By Music Is Elementary)
Herbert Marshall – Traditional Choral Music of South Africa
Liza Meyers – Taiko, Sing, Dance, and Play the Japanese Way
Ben Rivers – Be a Cultural Benefactor: Render it Accessible
Erasmia Voukelatos – New Delhi to the New World

Donna Gallo, Adam J. Kruse – Rap & Rhythm, Rhyme & Delivery: Hip-Hop’s Musical Flow
Nick Holland-Garcia, Joey Holland-Garcia – Teaching in Falsetto: Balancing Vocal Modelling and Vocal Health
Meredith Riggs – Creating Musical Minds in Tough Places
Hang Su – From Sound to Symbol: An Exploratory Study of Music Learning Experience of Children with Autism
Tech Talk (special session on Sunday): Drop in to see apps, websites, and other technology platforms in action

Keira Brown – Heart, Hand, Mind, Ear: Band!
Anne Mileski, Gary Sullivan – Creating a Continuum: Extending Instruction Sequence into Secondary Ensembles
Shelly Suminski Mahpar – Balancing Musicianship and Mechanics of Beginning Band
Carol Swinchoski – The Singing Band

DEMO – Sarah Santilli, Jeanne Wohlgamuth, Molly Rule, Tracy Conway, MaryRebekah Fortman – Mastery Assessment: Developing Well-Trained Musicians
Melissa Headrick – Prep in Your Warm-Up
Matthew Thornton – Choral Kodály: Empowering Choral Rehearsals with the Kodály Approach

Andy Paney, Brenda Keen – Session for Newcomers
Kevin Pearson – Session for Choir Families, an Introduction to the Kodály Approach
Program for Administrators as OAKE Special Guests
Morning Sings led by Georgia Newlin, Donna Menhart
Morning Mindfulness led by Tanya LeJeune

Annual Conference OfferingsOrff instruments

Invite your administrator to attend the conference for free! Show your administrator what the Kodály approach is all about. Look for a registration and nominations announcement for recognition of outstanding administrators.

Graduate credit for conference attendance is available from the Kodály Music Institute

Make sure to tell us if this is your first OAKE National Conference on the registration form! 

Designed for instrumental educators of all levels, these sessions explore the application of Kodály approach and philosophy to band and string instruments to foster greater literacy and learning.

These sessions are designed for Middle and High School choral educators to explore a Kodály-inspired skills based approach to music literacy, rehearsal techniques and repertoire.

Important Contacts and FAQ

Scheduling concerns and inquiries should be addressed to the National Conference Business Director, Nancy Johnson.  OAKE typically releases the final conference schedule in mid-February preceding the conference.  

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

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