Master of Music, Music Education Specialization, Kodály Option

Master of Music, Music Education Specialization, Kodály Option

The Master of Music, Music Education Specialization, Kodály Option is designed for elementary classroom music teachers, independent music instructors, and secondary music teachers interested in developing their teaching, conducting, musicianship, and depth of knowledge about music education.

A unique aspect of the program is that it enables students to earn national certification in Kodály music teaching through CSU’s Colorado Kodály Institute while earning a master's degree. The Colorado Kodály Institute (CKI) is one of the select programs endorsed by the Organization of American Kodály Educators. CKI faculty are among the top experts in the United States, and the University Center for the Arts location, at the foothills of the Rockies, provides an inspiring setting for personal growth.

Summer-only Residency

The Master of Music, Music Education Specialization, Kodály Option is designed to be completed over a time span of three summers with a minimum of 30 total credits (the degree is officially conferred at the end of the fall semester following the term in which all course work has been completed), with several online and/or evening courses required to be taken during the school year. Students have the option, therefore, of living remotely during the school year and traveling to Fort Collins for the core summer coursework.

The majority of participants in this degree program teach either part or full-time during the school year, gaining relevant experience while pursuing the graduate degree. As a result, they are continually assimilating real-world teaching experiences into their academic coursework.

Applicants are expected to be State-Licensed Music Teachers* and demonstrate excellent musicianship and interpersonal skills. *Exceptions may be made by the Music Education area on a case-by-case basis.

Colorado Kodály Institute (CKI)

CKI is a dynamic training center for elementary classroom music teachers, independent music instructors, and secondary music teachers interested in taking their teaching, conducting, musicianship, and depth of knowledge about music education to new heights. Students from across the U.S., Mexico, Korea, Sweden, and Saudi Arabia are involved in the annual summer seminar.


Two Training Programs:

Master's of Music, Music Education Specialization, Kodály Option

  • Online graduate degree program with summer residencies
  • Gain National Certification in Kodály music teaching while earning your Master's degree
  • Option for online courses during the school year
  • Assimilate your real-world teaching experience and your academic coursework
  • One of the few Master's programs in the United States centered on Classroom Music Teaching

Kodály Music Teaching Certification

  • Earn National Certification in Kodály music teaching
  • Three levels of coursework are required for Certification
  • Endorsed by the Organization of American Kodály Educators (OAKE)
  • Study with national experts in conducting, choir, pedagogy, and solfege
  • Brand new University Center for the Arts in the foothills of the Rockies

Sample Curriculum

  • Music Pedagogy and Folksong Literature
  • Folksong Analysis, Retrieval, and Research
  • Solfège/Musicianship
  • Conducting
  • Choir
  • Special Topics

Additional Information

Summer Seminar Faculty

Tanya LeJeune, Level I Pedagogy

Tanya LeJeune, Level I Pedagogy

Ms. LeJeune is in her eighteenth year of teaching general music in Jefferson County Public Schools in Westminster, Colo. She holds a M.M. in Music Education degree with Kodály emphasis degree from Colorado State University and is past president of ROCKE. Ms. LeJeune has presented music education workshops and in-services for OAKE, CMEA, Jefferson County Public Schools, Adams County 50, Adams County 14, AOSA Rocky Mountain Chapter, Broomfield Preschool, Colorado Christian College, and Metro State University. She current serves as Member at Large on the Board of the Organization of American Kodály Educators.

Amy Abbott—Level II Pedagogy 

Amy Abbott—Level II Pedagogy 

Ms. Amy Abbott is in her 17th year of teaching elementary music, spending the past 13 years in the St. Vrain Valley School District. She earned her B.M. degree in Music Education from the University of Colorado at Boulder and her M.M. in Music Education with Kodály Emphasis from Colorado State University. She has Kodály Certifications from Portland State University, where she studied with Jill Trinka, Susan Brumfield, Vicki Loebell and Sean Dëibler, and from CSU, where she studied with Sue Leithold-Bowcock and Ann Eisen. She has presented at the Colorado Music Educators Association conference, Oregon Arts Alliance State conference, the Regional Organization of Colorado Kodály Educators, and St. Vrain Valley School District Professional Development Days. She has served on the R.O.C.K.E. Board for over 7 years and received the Jared Polis  Foundation Teacher Award in St. Vrain Valley.

Amy Abbott—Level II Pedagogy Amy Abbott—Level II Pedagogy Carrie Nicholas—Level III Pedagogy

Ms. Nicholas has been an elementary general music specialist for two decades and currently teaches K-6 general music at Molholm Elementary School in Lakewood, Colorado. She received her bachelor’s in Music Education from Illinois Wesleyan University and a master’s in Music Education with Kodály Emphasis from Colorado State University. Carrie received her Level III Kodály certification from CSU in 2005, where she studied with Jo Kirk, Sue Leithold-Bowcock, Ann Eisen, and Karla Cherwinski. She is an active presenter, having shared sessions and presentations in the Adams 14 School District, Jeffco Public Schools, the CMEA (Colorado State Music Educators Association) state conference, the OAKE (Organization of American Kodály Educators) national conference, and the OAKE Western Division mini-conference. Carrie is a proud member of OAKE. She is past-president of ROCKE (the Regional Organization of Colorado Kodály Educators), and is currently serving as Western Division president of OAKE. Carrie enjoys co-hosting the podcast Music Teacher Coffee Talk with her friend and fellow OAKE/ROCKE member Tanya LeJeune.

Kati ViraghKati Virágh, Solfége & Musicianship

Ms. Viragh performs as a member of the Hartford Symphony and is adjunct professor of Theory/Ear Training at The Hartt School within the University of Hartford. Ms. Viragh trained at the Béla Bartók Conservatory of Music and the Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest, Hungary. As a violinist, she was a member of the Hungarian National Opera when she was invited to join the Orchestra Symphonica Tenerife in Canary Island, Spain. Since 1990, she has been a resident of U.S., and formerly performed as a member of the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra. She is also a founder of the Viragh Trio. In addition to teaching at Colorado State, Ms. Viragh teaches in Kodály programs at Nebraska Wesleyan University, Nebraska State University, Wichita State University, and New England Conservatory.

Bonnie Jacobi—Director

Bonnie Jacobi—Director

Dr. Jacobi is associate professor of Music Education at Colorado State University. For more than twenty years, she has taught music to children throughout Florida, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Texas, and directed thirteen children's choirs that have performed at professional venues. In 2008, she founded the Meadows Community Youth Chorus in Dallas for elementary-aged children without music in their schools. Dr. Jacobi holds a D.M.A. in Music Education from the University of Houston, an M.M. in

Piano Performance from the University of Texas at Austin, and a B.A. in Music from Mount Holyoke College. She earned her Kodály Certification from Indiana University and McNeese State University and holds a Dalcroze teaching Certificate from the American Eurhythmics Society. Dr. Jacobi has published articles in General Music Today, Music Educators Journal, Kodály Envoy, American Music Teacher, and the Journal of Historical Research in Music Education.

Ciara Coleman, director with the National Youth Choir of Scotland

Ciara Coleman, Choir/Conducting

Ciara Coleman is a director with the National Girls Choir of Scotland, is an instructor with the Kodály Society of Ireland, holds her Master’s from the Liszt Academy, where she specialized in choral conducting and developing a school-based curriculum. Ciara also directs an adult choir, which she founded, at the University of Edinburgh.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Who participates in a Kodály Institute?

There are many different types of students that participate! The Colorado Kodály Institute is designed for students who want to become the best musician they can be and the best teacher they can be!

Participants in our program have included: elementary classroom music instructors, middle school ensemble instructors (i.e. choir), independent music instructors, community choir directors, and even students with a performance background who wish to pursue music teaching in the future. Additionally, secondary music instructors (i.e. Band) and even special education teachers have found Kodály teaching to be useful.

To be considered for the Certification Program:

  • Applicants should hold a B.M. Music Education degree and State Teacher Licensure (in some cases, applicants holding a B.M. Music degree and music teaching experience may be considered)
  • Applicants should hold one or more years of classroom music teaching experience

Where will the classes be held?

The classes will be held at the state-of-the-art University Center for the Arts, located at 1400 Remington Ave., on the CSU campus.

Where can I park?

During the summer, parking is FREE in Q, W, X and Z lots. There is also street parking in front and on the sides of the UCA.

How do I register for the program?

Register for the program.

What about lodging?

There are dorms available for rent during the summer. They operate similar to hotel rooms. The school usually blocks off a section for Kodály-only students. We will also notify you of any discounts that fellow students may find with the local hotels/motels.

What items do I need to bring to the Institute on a daily basis?

A laptop is helpful but not required. Additional suggested items include: Pens, pencils, a highlighter, white-out, note-taking material, a large three-ring binder with tab folders, tuning fork, sweater for cold, air-conditioned classrooms, water bottle, jump drive (for homework assignments), sticky notes, index tabs and healthy snacks. You will also need to bring the books required for the Level coursework you are taking. For this reason, a rolling crate or rolling briefcase is often helpful.

Is lunch provided?

Lunch is not provided by the school, however, we will take orders in the morning and pick up lunch daily from local eateries, delivered to the music building so that you don't waste lunch hour searching for parking places and waiting in line for lunch! Of course, you can always bring a sack lunch. Unfortunately, microwaves are not available.

How much time should I allot for homework?

Due to the short length of the courses, there is a substantial amount of homework assigned every night. You are earning 5 graduate credits and will therefore be expected to focus almost entirely on your coursework for two weeks straight.

At the conclusion of the program, can I expect to graduate with my Certificate?

Kodály Certification is awarded through OAKE when a student has successfully completed all three Levels and can demonstrate expertise in their musicianship, conducting, and Kodály teaching. Upon successfully completing Level 1, students may be promoted to enter Level 2. Upon successfully completing Level 2, students may be promoted to enter Level 3. Promotion is determined on an individual basis by the Institute Faculty and Director according to the standards and guidelines set forth by OAKE.

Are there any course obligations during the school year?

Yes, although the majority of obligations are fulfilled during the two-week Summer Institute. Upon completion of both Levels 1 and 2, students are required to make a videorecording of themselves teaching students using Kodály principles. Specific instructions regarding this recording will be provided by your instructor. Additionally, students are strongly encouraged to prepare and perform one piece of solo repertoire on their principal instrument (can be voice as well) or as part of a chamber music group in the Summer Concert. Coaching is provided during the first week of the Institute. Students pursuing the M.M in Music Education Specialization, Kodály Option have separate requirements during the school year from students in the Certification track.

Can my family/friends come to the Closing Concert?

Yes! Please invite your friends, family, colleagues, principal, children, etc. We would love to share your accomplishments and a little bit of the Kodály teaching principal with your family and friends! There is nothing better, after an exhausting two weeks, than to have you loved ones present to see you perform and graduate from your level.

p.s. the concert is FREE!

I need to leave early the last day, is that a problem?

Unfortunately, your attendance during the ENTIRE Institute is crucial and essential. If you were to miss a half of day, it would be equivalent to missing almost a week or more of a regularly scheduled class. Because our program is endorsed by the Organization of American Kodály Educators (OAKE), we are held to follow their curriculum standards strictly and this includes the number of coursework hours. Please plan to be present and prepared every day of the Institute. We pack in amazing amounts of information during these 2 weeks and we don’t want you to miss out on any of it!

Sample Schedule
Graduate Student Resources


Bonnie Jacobi

Associate Professor of Music; Music Education; Director of Colorado Kodály Institute

(970) 491-3106

Summer Seminar Dates: July 17-31, 2021

Tuition and Registration

  • Degree rate: $2,925 (5 credits: $585/credit)
  • Non-credit Kodály Certification rate: $1875

Note: Full-time, out-of-state students pay a separate tuition rate. The tuition prices listed above do not include textbooks or materials.



NAfME National Chapter of Excellence Award for Recruitment



The Kodaly approach has taught me that we have to approach music from a humanistic point of view, for a child’s experience. It has made me less rigid and brought more joy into my classroom. ~ Carolyn Warpinski

My lesson plan[ing] is so strong now. It’s so clear. It’s so concise. I feel much stronger in my ability to build a diverse lesson plan. ~ Elizabeth Aronson

I have learned to weave literacy concepts through any teaching situation (adult choir, elementary/general, middle school orchestra, as examples!) because of the Prepare-Present-Practice structure that enables flexibility, yields understanding, and brings joyful and playful learning. My colleagues and instructors have taught me so much in a sharing, collaborative experience. ~ Lauri Hogle