COVID-19 and Certification Programs

The following letter was sent to the OAKE Membership on Monday April 6th, 2020:

The OAKE Executive Committee realizes that there are questions regarding Summer 2020 Kodály levels programs. The Endorsed Programs Subcommittee of the OAKE Teacher Education Committee has been meeting via email and video conference and have crafted an official statement, which was shared with the OAKE Board of Directors on April 4, 2020. This statement outlines the recommended guidelines for OAKE Endorsed Levels programs for Summer 2020 in consideration of online instruction. We appreciate your consideration and patience as we work through this challenging time.

April 4th, 2020

The Teacher Education Committee (TEC) stands by the current OAKE Endorsed Program Guidelines.

Members of the committee believe that human and musical interaction are the focal point of Kodály’s vision and philosophy, therefore the TEC does not believe entire programs can or should move to an online platform during the Summer of 2020.

In light of our unique situation, however, we do encourage programs to run online workshops such as an “Introduction to Kodály” or “Taste of Kodály” class in order to engage the interest of local music teachers or a “Keeping Up with Kodály” class to keep those scheduled to return for level II or III motivated. We also believe that an accommodation may be made for this summer to allow programs to offer portions of the Kodály course most appropriate for an online setting, in order to keep the momentum of programs going and to excite students about earning their certification over the long run. Accommodations for online teaching would apply only to those portions of a levels course in which the quality of instruction and learning would not be impacted negatively by online delivery. Special Topics and Folk Song Analysis would be appropriate in an online format.

Members of the TEC feel strongly that some portions of the levels courses are not appropriate in the online format even in the unusual circumstances in which we currently find ourselves. Choral Ensemble, Conducting, Musicianship, and Pedagogy are highly discouraged in an online platform for several reasons, the first of which is that there are no existing free online platforms that allow for successful synchronous music making. Besides collective music making, the relationships built and interactions experienced in Kodály courses are a necessary part of learning to become an effective and engaging teacher. Collective music making and experiencing master teaching are foundations of the Kodály Philosophy. Absent of these in-person experiences in Ensemble, Conducting, Musicianship, and Pedagogy, Kodály students’ musical and pedagogical development would certainly be negatively impacted.

Please be assured that the issue of online instruction for complete programs will be revisited by the TEC in the future (particularly once synchronous technology meets our needs).

While the TEC and OAKE acknowledge the need for possible accommodations during Summer 2020, it is our stance that allowance for such accommodation is for this Summer only. It is imperative that program coordinators use the OAKE Endorsed Program Guidelines when making decisions, regardless of teaching platforms used.

Donna Menhart, OAKE President
Carol Forward, Chair, OAKE Teacher Education Committee