Elusive Kodály, Part II: The Hungarian Foundations of the Baby-Toddler Music Industry in the US


  • Angela A. Chong




Zoltán Kodály, Katalin Forrai, early childhood pedagogy, Hungarian preschool music education, baby-toddler music industry, German tradition, Kodály soteriology, music and movement research


This article is the second part of a study investigating how Hungarians have influenced early childhood music education in the United States. In Part One, Chong documented the lesser-known histories of four Hungarian and American female scholar-educators who promoted the early childhood concepts at the heart of Zoltán Kodály's approach to music education. In this study, she traces Kodály’s footprints to private, stand-alone baby-toddler music classes in the US. In the 2000’s, baby-toddler music enrichment exploded in popularity as the children’s activity industry became one of the fastest growing sectors of the US market. Only a handful of local programs are explicitly Kodály-based, such as Sing, Play, Move!, at Holy Names University’s Kodály Center. Chong’s search in the Los Angeles area for quality Kodály instruction for her toddlers led to highly lucrative major US providers of baby-toddler music such as Music Together and Kindermusik. These programs share Kodály pedagogical practices, such as that of singing folk music in the children’s mother tongue, but map histories without reference to Hungary and attribute their approaches to American men not known as Kodály protégés. This paper explores whether the impressive profits and musical excellence of these programs can rightly be attributed to Kodály.






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