Elusive Kodály Part I: Searching for Hungarian Influences in US Preschool Music Education


  • Angela A. Chong




Zoltán Kodály, Kodály scholarship, early childhood pedagogy, US preschool music education, Katinka Dániel, Katalin Forrai, Lorna Zemke, Betsy Moll, Hungarian American music history, systemic preschool reform, baby-toddler music industry


This paper is the first part of two articles exploring whether and how Hungarian music pedagogues have influenced early childhood music education in the United States. Using less-known publications and archived materials, this study moves beyond the well-documented history of the Hungarian pedagogue, Zoltán Kodály’s influence upon American general music education to focus on Kodály’s early childhood concepts, which form the backbone of the Hungarian philosophy of music education. Through the lives and work of the Hungarian and American music educators, Katinka Dániel, Katalin Forrai, Sister Lorna Zemke and Betsy Moll, I delineate a pedigree of distinguished female Kodály protégés professing a passion for Hungarian early childhood music pedagogy that did not mainstream into US preschools. In words spoken by and about these scholar-educators, my research locates the systemic and cultural factors contributing to the challenge of implementing Hungarian musical ideas in US preschools. To round out a description of the elusive Kodály influence on US early childhood music, this analysis also draws upon my own Los Angeles experience in searching for a quality Kodály education for my young toddlers.






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