Kodály Certification 101


Hungarian composer, musician, and educator Zoltán Kodály believed that only the best is good enough for children. The Kodály concept is an experience-based approach to teaching that leads to the development of basic musical skills and music literacy using resources from the folk heritage of students’ educational population. When students are taught by highly skilled teachers, they become adept at creating and interpreting music in such a way that they can be lifelong participants and contributors in music.



The daily schedule of a certificate program will include pedagogy, musicianship, folk music materials, choir and special topics. Participants will peer-teach, perform in an ensemble, conduct, expand repertoire materials and improve personal musicianship. Successful participants will complete their training with an abundance of new songs, games, activities and techniques that will energize, organize and hopefully transform their teaching.

The program of study can be offered in a variety of formats, including summers only, academic year, or a combination of the two. A minimum of 225 contact hours is required for a certificate of completion. Program graduates must satisfy all requirements within the five core areas of study:

  • Musicianship
  • Conducting
  • Choral Ensemble skills
  • Music Literature
  • Pedagogy/Teaching Skills



OAKE, through its teacher-education initiatives, seeks to support and advance Kodály-inspired music education in the United States. As part of this ongoing effort, the organization endeavors to realize Zoltán Kodály’s vision and philosophy for music education in a variety of ways.

  1. OAKE and its endorsed and/or affiliated teacher-education programs actively work within four dimensions of change:
    • Improving the quality of musical instruction materials and experiences available to both teachers and students.
    • Increasing the number of students served by high-quality, Kodály-inspired music programs and the variety of means used to serve them.
    • Prioritizing school music scheduling to make music an equal partner in the overall school curriculum.
    • Elevating music teaching through rigorous Kodály-inspired teacher education.
  1. In the spirit of Kodály’s lifelong work as a composer, linguist, folk-song researcher, and educator, OAKE-endorsed/affiliated programs help students identify and follow their individual paths whether they choose to become general music teachers, administrators, archivists, composers or arrangers, conductors or professional performing musicians, musicologists, ethnomusicologists or folklorists, theorists or musicianship teachers, educational researchers, or social scientists.
  2. OAKE strongly promotes using research to resolve questions concerning ideal music curricula and best teaching practices for all levels of instruction. With the intent of improving practice, OAKE encourages research that incorporates oral and written musical traditions, demonstrates the effectiveness of Kodály-inspired teaching, and assigns equal value to descriptive, historical, qualitative, quantitative, and philosophical investigation.
  3. OAKE-endorsed/affiliated teacher-education programs emphasize developmentally appropriate repertoire of the utmost quality for students of all ages and skill levels.
  4. In the interest of fidelity to the vision and philosophy of Zoltán Kodály, as outlined in his personal writings, instructional materials and compositions, OAKE-Endorsed Kodály training should be structured in adherence with the guidelines outlined in this document and presented independent of any other organization sponsored training/programs awarding certificates.
  5. OAKE and its endorsed/affiliated teacher-education programs require Kodály-inspired teachers to engage in lifelong learning of music and teaching as an art, a craft, and a science by continuing to expand and develop their musicality and musicianship skills, deepening their understanding of music as a body of literature, and incorporating and mastering best teaching practices. Following completion of OAKE-endorsed programs, Kodály-inspired teachers continue to participate in advanced courses, workshops, and conferences that refresh and develop their skills as musician/teachers in musicianship, conducting, music literature, and pedagogy.