1.) Tell us a little bit about yourself
2.) Where and what do you teach?
3.) How long have you been teaching?
4.) Where did you do your Kodály levels?
5.) Which Kodály-inspired teacher has been the most inspiring to you?
6.) What is your favorite Kodály levels memory?
7.) What is your favorite teaching memory?
Welcome to Karla, Sue, and Kate!
1.) Tell us a little bit about yourself: My name is Karla Cherwinski. I was born and raised in central Ohio and teach in the district where I grew up - this was not my plan but is how life worked itself out and I wouldn’t change a thing! My family includes my husband, Jim, a self employed musician, stay at home dad and Kodály teacher by osmosis; my son, Nicholas, a 12 year old trombone player, Minecraft gamer and serious thinker for his age; and my daughter, Stella, a 10 year old piano player, artist - especially anything with duck tape and friend to all. We are all animal lovers and have a red doberman named Ruby, a cat who adopted us many years ago named Cali and 3 fish named The Doctor, Stella and Spock. We all enjoy the great outdoors and can be found camping, hiking, canoeing, fishing taking pictures or just reading a good book under one of the many trees in our yard!
2.) Where and what do you teach? I teach at Indian Trail Elementary in Canal Winchester, Ohio - General music for K, 1 and 2nd grade but have taught K-6 general music earlier in my career. I also teach Level III Methodology and Materials in the graduate program at Colorado State University.
3.) How long have you been teaching? This is my 21st year!
4.) Where did you do your Kodály levels? I was fortunate to be introduced to the Kodály philosophy by Dr. Sandra Mathias as an undergrad and have never known any other way to teach. I studied at Kodály Institute at Capital and Kodály Institute in Kecskemét, Hungary.
5.) Which Kodály-inspired teacher has been the most inspiring to you? Dr. Sandy Mathias - my first Kodaly/Orff/Dalcroze experience were all with her! I remember the very first time - My first year theory class was on the stage in Mees Hall at Capital University. Dr. Mathais said - ok take off your shoes and echo me. We all looked at her like she was CRAZY!!! But we did it and I’ve never been the same since!
6.) What is your favorite Kodály levels memory? I think the best is making such good friends and learning and growing as a professional. I have many other memories - but most are not whatI would call fond…. you know….hours analyzing songs, writing and rewriting music on retrievals, practicing and practicing……you get the idea!
7.) What is your favorite teaching memory? There are many over the years - like knowing that one of my students was just going to be a music teacher one day and now she IS! Seeing the joy and love of teaching music in just a few students over my 20 years keeps me going every day! I also LOVE when I take my 2nd grade students (close to 300!!!) to see the Nutcracker Ballet at the Ohio Theater each year. Seeing the look on their faces as they walk into the theater is truly amazing! Let alone the fact that they being introduced to an art form and music that many would never otherwise get the opportunity to see!
1.) Tell us a little bit about yourself: My name is Sue Leithold-Bowcock. I have a BA Music Education and a Masters of Education from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. I have presented workshops and conference sessions for teachers in the Kodaly Approach including at the local, regional and national level. I am a former OAKE Board member and KCM chapter president. I have taught Kodaly Level III at St. Thomas and most recently, Level II Pedagogy and Folksong at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, CO.
2.) Where and what do you teach? I teach grade 1-5 classroom and choral music in District #761 in Owatonna, Minnesota. As the department chair, I have facilitated the development of a Kodaly inspired elementary music curriculum, assessments for that curriculum and have and mentored several district teachers in the Kodaly Approach.
3.) How long have you been teaching? Since 1982
4.) Where did you do your Kodály levels? I received my Kodaly Certificate at the University of St. Thomas in 1992
5.) Which Kodály-inspired teacher has been the most inspiring to you? Lamar Robertson- Lamar was my Level I solfege teacher and Level II Pedagogy teacher. He literally wrote the book on teaching Kodaly in North America. Lamar was able to help his kids achieve music literacy without a classroom and for his learning tools it was a tuning fork and a piece of chalk!
6.) What is your favorite Kodály levels memory? There are many profound moments but one of my favorites is more silly than profound. Alan Spurgeon and I were in Level I together and we would lie about what instructor Ann Kay wrote on our folksong assignments. Alan “It says ‘this is by far the best work in the class’” Sue “Mine says ‘this is even better than Alan’s, in fact the world of music would be incomplete without your presence gracing it”
7.) What is your favorite teaching memory? So many, but here’s one-
My second month of teaching in 1982, I broke up a small scuffle between 2 kindergartners on the playground. Peter was saying “John is a liar, he said he can read but he can’t even write is name on his paper.” I responded “that’s true John” but John said “I can too read! I just don’t know how yet!”
This was an epiphany about teaching kids to sing. All kids (and adults) can sing, some just don’t “know how yet” and it is our calling to teach them.
1.) Tell us a little bit about yourself: Hi! I’m Kate Klotz, and I live in Boulder, CO. I consider myself a Coloradoan, even though life has taken me from New York to Colorado to Washington State and finally back to beautiful, CO. I am married to my husband and best friend, Nathan, who I have known since the 5th grade. He has done a wonderful job of taking on the duties that come with being married to a music teacher- riser moving, glue gunning, and everything in between.
I sort of stumbled into teaching elementary music (and I am so thankful I did!) Like many, I intended to be a high-school choral director. However, it was only a few weeks into my first job as an elementary teacher that I realized I was 100% hooked. Now, I can’t imagine doing anything else. I feel so lucky that I fell into a district of amazing Kodaly teachers and had a Levels program closeby at Colorado State to help me learn the ropes!
2.) Where and what do you teach? I currently teach in the Boulder Valley School District in Boulder, CO. I teach K-5 general music and choir at my school, and I also direct the training choirs for the Boulder Children’s Chorale. Prior to teaching in Boulder, I taught elementary general and middle school choir in Spokane, WA, and elementary music in Longmont, CO.
3.) How long have you been teaching? I am still a newbie...I am in my sixth year teaching. :)
4.) Where did you do your Kodály levels? I completed all three of my Kodaly levels at Colorado State University as part of their Master’s program. My instructors were all fabulous, as you will see on this blog! Aileen Miracle, Sue Leithold-Bowcock, and Karla Cherwinski...I thank my lucky stars for you!
Taking my levels was truly life-changing for me. They empowered me as a teacher, inspired me as a musician, and uncovered a passion that has only continued to grow for helping children learn and love music.
5.) Which Kodály-inspired teacher has been the most inspiring to you? I am amazed by so many Kodaly teachers each and every day. While I can’t pick just one teacher who has inspired me, I will give credit to yet another one of our blog contributors, Amy Abbott, who first exposed me to the Kodaly approach at a district sharing. I can’t imagine teaching without my Kodaly training, and I am so grateful that you opened my eyes to it!
6.) What is your favorite Kodály levels memory? Again, how to decide?! I would have to say that Kati Viragh saying “Is that the best you can do?!” in solfege in her wonderful accent will forever be etched in my mind. I loved solfege.
7.) What is your favorite teaching memory? I love the little, day-to-day victories and smiles that we experience in our jobs. However, one of my very favorite memories is when I was leaving my school in Washington State to move back to Colorado, my 5th grade students prepared and sang “Colorado Trail” a cappella for me on the last day of school as a surprise. I taught in a low-income building where many of my students lived in very challenging circumstances and had little exposure to the arts. In my first year in the building, I had to practically beg to get students to sing. After pouring my heart into teaching them to sing and love music, I remember feeling humbled as I realized that, in the end, they inspired me to love music more.
Welcome to Karla, Sue, and Kate! We are very excited to have them on board. Amy Abbott will soon post about children's literature, and we will soon introduce more bloggers. Stay tuned!