Heather Atkins, music teacher at Oak Mountain Elementary School, recently completed the requirements for certification in the Kodály Concept, an approach to music education that was developed by Hungarian composer Zoltán Kodály.
The Kodály Concept is a philosophy of education and concept of teaching that is used to train students in basic music skills and teach the reading and writing of music. It begins with the singing voice, utilizing culturally relevant musical material to teach concepts such as rhythm, melody, form, and expression. In a Kodály classroom, children engage in activities that reinforce skills related to cognitive, social, and emotional development.
According to Dr. Becky Halliday, Director of the University of Montevallo Kodály Institute, certification is a rigorous process that requires a two-week commitment over three summers.
“During the course, Mrs. Atkins engaged in pedagogical activities, folk song research, skill development in choir and conducting, and ear-training activities meant to further the development of her own musicianship,” said Dr. Halliday. “The completion of these activities required extensive work outside of class that included curriculum development, lesson planning, and musical score study. “
“We are beyond proud of Mrs. Atkins’ accomplishments. She is such a dedicated music teacher and a lifelong learner,” said principal Debbie Horton. “Not only has she completed this rigorous training, but she is also now pursuing her National Board Certification in Music.”
Horton said Atkins works tirelessly to provide Bluebird Choir for third graders before school twice a week. She also offers after school enrichment classes for Bluebirds on Broadway.
“These two groups perform wonderful programs for their parents and student body,” Horton said. “She leads our Christmas sing-along for the entire school which is a huge favorite tradition for the past 8 years.”
Over the past several years, Mrs. Atkins has taken our Bluebird Choir to entertain the residents at Lakeview Estates Assisted Living Facility. The residents are always so appreciative and grateful for the performance and the company of our students. The students are so fascinated with the adults and the stories they share.