Class Descriptions

Chamber Choir

All InterMuse students participate in the Chamber Choir, a teachers' choir specializing in the rehearsal, interpretation, and performance of a cappella choral works. Choral rehearsals help participants apply and consolidate their newly learned skills. On the evening of the last day of InterMuse, the Chamber Choir gives a graduation concert in which all students in all three levels are expected to participate.

Conducting and Scores, Levels I–III

Because choral singing is an integral part of the Kodály Concept, these courses are designed to give teachers a thorough grounding in choral conducting techniques connected to musical analysis and interpretation. Musical literature from many stylistic periods is explored, and Level III emphasizes the interpretation of these different styles.

Kodály Pedagogy, Levels I–III

The pedagogy courses are a detailed study of the art and science of Kodály music teaching in grades K-6. They explore how Kodály teaching practices develop out of authentic folksong and art music as guided by principles of child development. The cultivation of musicality and musical sensitivity, in-tune singing, aural development, and musical reading, writing, and interpretation are explored. Level I focuses on the development of in-tune singing and Kodály applications in kindergarten and grade one. Level II is a special study of how to continue the Kodály Concept throughout grades two and three. Level III carries Kodály-style teaching into the upper elementary grades.

Music Literature

This course is a rediscovery of the origins of authentic folksong and its many roles in the daily life of ancient and modern peoples. Exemplary folksongs, their traditional activities, and related composed examples are used to illuminate the core teaching curriculum used in the pedagogy classes. Participants learn how to recreate traditional musical celebrations; transcribe, analyze and classify folk music; and develop teaching resources based on them. The Music Literature course includes an introduction to the vision of Zoltán Kodály and its impact on school music scheduling, curriculum and teaching.

Sol-fa, Levels I–III

These courses comprise a thorough study of sol-fa (relative solmization), which integrates the development of musical hearing with sight singing, dictation, theory, form analysis and stylistic trends in the history of music. Musicianship skills acquired in the study of sol-fa are essential tools used by music teachers in classrooms, rehearsals, and performances, as well as in preparing materials and lessons for teaching and rehearsing.

Vocal Health and Development

Each InterMuse morning begins with a careful vocal warm-up combined with a course of instruction for maintaining good vocal health for music teachers throughout their careers. These same principles and practices link directly to the other Kodály coursework, the foundation of which is always beautiful, healthy singing.

Specializations

In addition to their regular Kodály certification requirements, all participants choose a specialization track that they follow for all three levels. Participants may return after certification to follow other specialization tracks. The current specializations are as follows:

  • String Pedagogy:
    Hungarian music education has produced some of the world's finest string players and ensembles, including one of the founders of the American String Teachers Association and first editor of the American String Teacher. This specialty is for the professional string teacher wishing to fulfill Schumann's and Kodály's vision of teaching instrumentalists to play with "ear, heart, mind and hand," for which the various volumes of The Complete Musician and their underlying pedagogy comprise this course of study.
  • Junior High/High School Choral, three levels mixed:
    This course emphasizes the Kodály Concept in adolescent and adult choral rehearsals by combining principles of vocal development with Kodály's principles and practices of aural development, music reading and choral performance.
  • Children's Choir Development, three levels mixed:
    In this course, teachers explore the development of elementary school or community choral experiences and literature for children receiving a Kodály musical education. Warm-ups, vocal development, rehearsal techniques, repertoire and programming issues are thoroughly covered. The parallel InterMuse Children's Choir Day Camp provides an opportunity to see the principles in actual practice.

Tool Skills

  • Theory Review:
    A popular course for refreshing and improving theory skills. Although open to all participants, this review assumes that at least one year of college-level theory has been successfully passed prior to attending the InterMuse Academy.
  • Vocal Coaching:
    An individualized, small-group extension of the Vocal Health and Development class for those needing additional vocal attention. Scheduling is worked out with that instructor.
  • In-Tune Singing Workshops:
    Required for all Level I and transfer students, optional for Level II and III students, these practical, hands-on workshops equip teachers to develop healthy, tuneful singing in their students. Supplemental handouts and song repertoire are provided to assist teachers in developing a singing culture at school, or in the studio, community, or home.