This anthology celebrates the significant role that the Kodály Center at Holy Names University has played in implementing Zoltán Kodály's vision for music education in the United States and around the world. The 26 articles were chosen from more than 125 written by Holy Names faculty and alumni which have appeared in the Bulletin of the International Kodály Society and the Kodály Envoy (the quarterly publication of the Organization of American Kodály Educators) since 1975. The articles reflect on the basic tenets of Kodály's vision: that music is for everybody, that music literacy is a universal right and not a secret language for a select few, that singing is the most human and universal of instruments, and that folk music and art music are the most beautiful and lasting of musical forms.
The anthology begins with reflections by Sr. Mary Alice Hein, founder of the Kodály Center, on her work to bring Kodály's ideas to American classrooms, along with articles that investigate Kodály's life and thought, and what these mean for us today. It ends with writings of some of the many Hungarian master teachers who have worked with Holy Names faculty to develop higher levels of musicianship, excellent materials and clear pedagogical goals in music teacher education.
Because folk songs provide the basic material for beginning instruction in Kodály classrooms, several articles are included that deal with specific songs or genres, such as "The Cuckoo in Mythology" and "Sea Shanties: The Hardy Survivors." Others describe folk song research projects and efforts to implement Kodály's ideas in other countries, for example, "Sweet Betsy from Smithfield" and "The Kodály Concept Finds Eager Students in Malawi." Also included are articles on art music ("Britten's Noye's Fludde") and musicianship ("Good Intonation: Ear or Voice"), and on pedagogical issues ("Teaching Students to Hear, Sing, Play, Identify and Enjoy the Modes").