NAfME Member Remembers Zoltán Kodály

In his second year at the Liszt Ferenc Academy in Budapest, Hungary, Jorge Gardos started attending classes given by music educator Zoltán Kodály.  At the time, the Academy had dropped the teaching of solfège, and Kodály was on a mission to restore it to the curriculum. It took Kodály three years, but he was eventually successful in his quest. He firmly believed that the ability to sight-sing, using solfège, was important to all musicians, singers and instrumentalists alike. His philosophy was: “Hear what you see and see what you hear.” In his keynote speech at the National Conference of the Organization of American Kodály Educators, NAfME member Jorge Gardos gave a brief overview of the history of solfège and discussed how Kodály developed his “movable-do” system from the best of the traditions. It became an essential part of music training at the Academy and later, in all elementary schools in Hungary.   Gardos also talked about the origin and history of pentatonic music. Kodály himself emphasized that pentatony was at the center of Hungarian music, of ancient music, and perhaps of all music.  Gardos also stated: “We educators are a special brand of people, whose work has a far-reaching effect that may last a lifetime. We are able to help people develop their talent, fulfill their ambition, and experience the wonderful high of music-making.” Read the entire article by Gardos in the Summer 2009 Kodály Envoy. Jorge Gardos is a recitalist, teacher, conductor and university lecturer. He is currently a violin and chamber  music faculty member at the Rhode Island Philharmonic Music School in Providence, the String Chair of the board of the Rhode Island Music Educators Association, and also member of the board of the RI String Teachers Association. The original article, “Meeting Kodály: Where It All Began,” was printed in the Summer 2009 Kodály Envoy and is linked here with permission of the publisher, the Organization of American Kodály Educators and Envoy editor Elizabeth Pontiff. For further permission, please contact her at  –Ella Wilcox, December 11, 2012 © National Association for Music Education (