Borbála Szirányi

Position at the Institute: Master Teacher
Subjects taught: Methodology, Teaching Practice, Teaching Materials

Photo: Gábor Fejér

Borbála Szirányi is one of the most sought after figures of the Hungarian music education scene with a significant and broad scope of Kodály-based music education. Her teaching and conducting activities with children’s choir have qualified her for various expert positions as well.

She graduated in 1997 from the Music Education and Choral Conducting programme at the Liszt Academy of Music under professor Péter Erdei.


Teaching experience in Hungary:

She has had extensive experience in classroom music education since 1994 in lower and upper classes of regular and music primary schools including the music school of the Hungarian State Opera House’s Children’s Choir (1996–2015), the Kós Károly Elementary School in Budapest and the Calvinist Elementary School in Kecskemét (since 2014). All are the finest examples of school music education that Kodály and his fellows dreamt about and established in Hungary. No wonder that her classes attract visitors from all over the world.

Borbála Szirányi teaching in lower primary class

Borbála Szirányi on teaching children 


Both of her current schools are Model Schools of the initiative of the Kodály Institute called „Kodály revisited in the 21st century”, a project aiming at safeguarding and excelling the Kodály concept in the 21st century, with Borbála belonging to the team of experts since 2014.

Borbála Szirányi on the Kodály method 

Borbála Szirányi on the Kodály method today

She joined the Kodály Institute of the Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music in 2010, where she teaches Methodology, Choral Conducting and School Observation (it covers school observation followed by analytical discussion. She supervises the teaching practice of the Institute’s MA students).

She regularly teaches Methodology and Choral Conducting in the Summer Seminars of the Institute and has brought her classes for demonstration lessons several times.

Borbála Szirányi's demonstration class

Borbála Szirányi's demonstration class

Borbála Szirányi's demonstration class


Teaching experience abroad:

2000 – 2006: Visiting Professor at the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing where the Kodály programme was launched at her direction

2000: Visiting Professor in the Kodály programme at the Holy Names College in Oakland, California, USA

She has conducted Kodály courses in Chengdu (2019,  Dublin (2013, 2014, 2019), Huddersfield (2019), Kristiansand (2019), Nottingham (2019), Oslo (2019), Aveiro (2018), Melbourne (2018), Moscow (2018), Perth (2018), Buenos Aires (2017), Telford (2017), Bucharest (2016), Wales (2015, 2016), Singapore (2013, 2014), Canton, (2005, 2006) and Shanghai (2001), and a choir-workshop for the Hong Kong Treble Choir in 2010.


Artistic activity:

1996 – 2015: Choir Conductor at the music school of the Hungarian State Opera House’s Children’s Choir

2000 – 2006: Choir Conductor of the female and mixed choirs of the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing (both founded under her guidance). They performed several concerts with both Western European and Chinese programmes, worked together with the Chinese conductor Muhai Tang and published a CD.


Scholar activity:

2014 – present: Expert of the „Active Music Learning Research Group” comprised of the pedagogues and researchers of the Kodály Institute of the Liszt Academy and the Brain Imaging Centre of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences


Project experience:

2018 – present: Expert in conducting Continuous Professional Training courses for music teachers within the frame of the initiative of “Singing Everyday in Schools” of the Ministry of Human Capacities

2018 – present: Expert in the development of  “Move mi Music” application for music to teach musical reading and writing in a playful way in the footsteps of Zoltán Kodály and Jenő Ádám

2016 – 2019: Expert in the collaborative project of Kodály HUB – Sing, Learn, Share which resulted in the internationally recognised knowledge centre Kodály HUB