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Jo McMahon at Kodaly Conference 2022

Canberra to classroom: CMP teacher Jo McMahon sings praises of Kodaly conference

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Not many conferences include a huge singalong, but that’s exactly what you’d expect at the National Kodály Music Teachers Conference  – a professional get-together for singing and music teachers.

Central Coast Conservatorium Children’s Music Program teacher, Joanne McMahon, recently attended the conference in Canberra, supported by the Conservatorium where the theme was ‘Spring into Song’.

“Many amazing national and international Kodály teachers led keynote addresses, musicianship, methodology and elective sessions throughout the four days,” said Jo.

“There were so many practical things presented for the classroom and so much to reflect upon from the keynote addresses, particularly the big issue of the day: how do we get music education and music specialists in all primary schools and preschools?”

Kodály Australia is an organisation of people committed to music for everyone – united in the philosophy developed by Hungarian composer, Zoltan Kodály. Kodály stated that music education is the right of every child. He established that a sequential, cumulative and developmental program, based on an aural-vocal approach, is the most inclusive and effective way to develop musical literacy for people of all age groups.

Jo said one of the best parts of the conference was singing in the Conference Choir after such a long time of not being able to sing in a large group. “As you can imagine  the quality of sound that comes from a choir of Kodály Music Teachers is sublime,” she said.

Speaking at the conference was early childhood methodology presenter, Julie Logan. “In her presentation she talked about the fact that children are born with particular neural mechanisms just for processing musical information and reinforced the importance of person to person interactions through singing games and moving to music to really fire up the brain and stimulate interconnecting synapses,” said Jo.

“She also talks about how more and more studies have found music experiences at an early age have broader cognitive consequences, stimulating development in every area of the brain and facilitating ‘learning how to learn'”.

Jo is one of the Conservatorium’s Children’s Music Program teachers. These music classes, for babies to children aged 10, provide a sequential, developmental aural-based program with lots of fun and music play as well. Students of our CMP program have gone on to continue their music education with one-to-one lessons into high school and further education and continue onto  professional music careers.

To find out more about our CMP Program click HERE.