Alumni Testimonies


This is a miraculous place, it is totally unique, there is nowhere like it in the world, and the fact that it exists at all is amazing... This is a place of transition for all of us, not only in a musical sense... The fact that we understand that our time here is limited, makes it more precious.
(Anne McCambridge, music education professional, choir conductor, Belfast, Northern Ireland)

I have seen the manifestation of the Kodály concept working here in the USA, but there is nothing that can compare to see it in its original home in Hungary. So going and seeing where the music was born, where the method was born and where the ideas are still alive, that was a really special experience for me. (Katie Shuford, music teacher, Washington DC, USA)

I like the fact that it allows me to be who I am... I can see why people want to stay here and why they prolong leaving, because it is very special... (Amelia Giles, music teacher, choir conductor, New Zealand)

The teachers here develop you in your own space, in your own limitations, because they know they are not developing a training professional pianist or vocalist, but teaching you essential music skills that are pertinent to have as a good music teacher. (Isaiah Koh, music teacher, Singapore)

I saw that there was a tremendous emphasis in choral music, so I registered for the Summer School. At the course I was so much taken by what they were doing, by all the philosophy behind the music teaching, by the beauty of the singing and conducting, that in the fall of the same year I was the registered student of the Institute! (Fernando Malvar-Ruiz, choir conductor, artistic director of the Los Angeles Children’s Chorus, USA)

I was very lucky to have the opportunity to spend two years in the institute. When I came back my teaching was completely different. It changed the way I was thinking, changed the way I taught and certainly my classes were very active…. It changed who I was as a teacher and it subsequently changed my career. (Lorraine O’Connell, professor of music, Dublin Institute of Technology, Ireland).

Studying here is quite an intense experience. The days are really full of classes, but I’ve never yet felt completely overwhelmed, which is a really good thing. (Sarah Menogue, choir conductor, Australia)

I have so many things to thank Hungary for. As a musician the impact was absolute, everything changed since my studies in Kecskemét. … I truly believe that you should start learning music through singing, moving and feeling and after being at ease with music, rhythms, melodies, polyphony, then you should start the instrument. (Cristina Brito da Cruz, professor of music, Escola Superior de Música de Lisboa, Portugal)

It is exciting to go to Hungary but it is even more exciting to come back and have this secret tool in your pocket! (Holly O’Grady, music teacher, Ireland)

If you teach solfege on a university level, you have to be familiar with Western music, Western art and culture. The best way to learn this is to immerse yourself in from where it comes. (Yao Yao, choir conductor, professor of music Central Conservatory of Music Beijing, China)

I was astonished by the potential of Kodály’s philosophy of music education. I have learnt so much about how to teach, how to break down concepts, principles into small units and how to build them up step by step. Can’t wait to put it into practice in my school! (Daniel Smith, music teacher, UK)

My studies in Hungary inform everything I do… if I am teaching analysis - just like all you brilliant Hungarians do - I teach it through the music, singing, performing the music, listening to it trying to sing along with melodies and trying to sing the harmonies understanding the harmonies. (Bernie Sherlock, choir conductor, professor of music, Dublin Institute of Technology, Ireland)

From the Kodály concept the absolute basic thing that I would use in my everyday work as a lecturer and as a choir conductor is the concept of music making. So not talking about the music but doing it. … Kodály’s basic tenet, that “Music is for everyone” is so easily adaptable to the world of singing in a choir. (Orla Flanagan, choir conductor, professor of music, Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland)

I have learnt so much! My musicianship is thousand times stronger when it was when I finished my undergraduate work because I was given tools to become the musician I had the potential to be. (Kathy Kuddes, director of Fine Arts for the Plano Independent School District, Coordinator of the Plano Kodály Training Program,Texas, USA)

I spent three years in the Institute, and it has affected my professional activities immensely. It really was a journey in areas such as conducting and singing. I enjoyed to progress with the guidance of teachers who really excel in guiding adults very carefully in a very open-minded and accepting way through the stages of development. (Roisín Blunnie, choir conductor, professor of music, Dublin City University, Ireland)

The Kodály Concept is like a seed from which your musicianship can grow and blossom. (Victor He, choir conductor, professor of music, Central Conservatory of Music Beijing, China)

The Kodály Concept is not the sol-mi and  ta-ti-ti, it is the joyful musical experience from where students can learn how to become literate musicians. (Katherine Hickey, associate professor of music education, University of Redlands, California, USA)