The prospect of going back to school for a graduate degree or a certification in music education can be daunting. Perhaps you’re wondering: “What will this program actually be like? What makes this program different from other programs? How will this help me grow as a musician and educator?” In these situations, you want to hear from people who are on the ground, who have experienced the program, and who have insights beyond what an admissions counselor or faculty member can offer.
Ever wondered what it would be like to attend Holy Family College’s Kodály Summer Graduate Music Program? We took a survey for you. Read on to hear what current students are saying about the program.
Prepare to be challenged.
Students agree that the two-week session each summer is challenging and thorough. Several students echoed this theme: “It is an intense, but rewarding program.” “It is tough, but well worth it!” “It is an intense two weeks, but you will grow so much as an educator!” The program features “in-depth learning in a short amount of time.”
Several students offered more detailed advice for future students:
- “Plan to devote these two weeks to focusing on schooling. You’ll hear different perspectives on techniques, etc. Use what works best for you. Don’t try to retain everything. Soak in the experience, and plan to go back over notes and textbooks slowly later.”
- “We are all coming from different backgrounds, experiences and skill levels. Here, you learn as much as you can in two weeks, then spend the school year applying that knowledge.”
Prepare to be inspired.
When one student was asked what she had enjoyed the most about the Summer Graduate Music Program, she replied simply, “the people.” And in many ways, this sentiment was echoed by other students.
The program is led by world-renowned faculty and attracts students from all over the world who are drawn by a common passion and love for music education. There is a shared sense that music education is a noble work that has the power to transform and improve lives, and this makes the work of the program important. Students return to their classrooms with a renewed sense of purpose and the techniques that make them a better educator.
Several students commented on the inspirational effect of the program:
- “I feel way more prepared for my classroom and curriculum planning.”
- “I enjoyed the collaboration and emphasis on doing things that are relevant rather than busywork.”
- “I loved all of the professors’ knowledge, research, insight, teaching techniques and organization.”
Prepare to be engaged.
One student spoke specifically about the dances and movement-oriented learning, several talked about the choral experience, one praised “the riches of authentic folksong” and many praised the training in solfege. One of the distinctive features of Kodály methods of music education is the immersive, experiential approach to learning. Many students commented on this element of the program, and talked about how the hands-on approach and emphasis on movement enhanced their learning and became the thing they loved most about the program.
- “Doing all three levels of Conversational Solfege at once truly helped me connect and commit.
- “I have greatly improved my sign-reading (singing) skills.”
- “I enjoyed solfege and canons the most; (Dr.) Franklin Gallo’s choir rehearsals were great -- very efficient and effective.”
Prepare to be enriched.
Between the distinguished faculty at HFC, the other students in the program, the guest faculty who are brought in and the alumni network of HFC's Kodály Summer Graduate Music Program, students are put in touch with a passionate, highly skilled group of people across the country and world.
As one student expressed it, “it’s an intense family of music educators.” Another student said that “interacting with fellow students who also are teachers” was the best part about the program because it allows students to learn from each other. One student encouraged taking advantage of all the program has to offer: “Be prepared to work! Talk and work with your classmates, and take the weekend special topics if possible.”
The emphasis on community means that students get the resources, friendships, support and connections they need to make their career in music education fulfilling and successful.
If you are ready to be challenged, inspired, engaged and enriched by a graduate degree in music education, HFC’s Kodály Summer Graduate Music Program is a great fit for you. Interested in joining this community of life-long learners and educators?