History of NKE: 1996-1997

In september of 1996, NKE president Kelly Webb-Bamford sent out a ‘Message from the president’, articulating the state of NKE at that time.  Here are some excerpts:

“A special thanks to Kelly Foster-Griffin, (who is expecting in October) and Christopher Maddock for all they have done, mainly most of the work on both workshops.  We appreciate their dedication and donation of time and effort.

Coming up next year, Kathy Hickey will present a workshop on the 15th and 16th of November.  It will target the older Kodaly students and solfege in a choral setting.  […] Since we are a new chapter, we will need as many participants as possible to break even.  Tell your friends and help spread the word!

[…] As i have shared with you, a very small number of people have done the lion’s share of the work and they are tired.  If you believe that all children can learn to sing in tune, become musically literate and that music should be a joyful, playful, learning time, than this chapter is for you!  We need your involvement!  I know that we a re all busy, but most of these jobs don’t require a lot of time.  If you would like to relieve the load of those who are overworked, please, I implore you to call me.

NKE officers at the time were President Kelly Webb-Bamford, President-Elect Lynn Rupp, Secretary Ann Erickson, Treasurer Adrienne Sabo, and Membership chair Sheila Whalen.  Kelly Foster-Griffin and Eve Myers were mentioned as ‘support people’.

November 15 and 16, 1996: Katherine Hickey
“Nurturing the ‘Older’ Kodaly Beginner in the Classroom and Chorus’
Maywood Hills Elementary; Bothell, WA

(from the NKE announcement) Musical literacy for every student is outlined by the MENC National Standards and includes singing, playing, reading, writing, creating, analyzing and evaluating music.  Musicianship skills are developed in the upper grade classrooms and chorus through experiential, age-appropriate materials using movable do solfege, rhythm speaking, movement, games, music listening and other kodaly pedagogical techniques.  Discover how to lead your students to “Discovery Learning!”

February 8, 1997: A Midwinter Sharing
9:00 AM to 1:00 PM; Meridian Park School; Seattle [sic], WA

According to the NKE board meeting minutes from January 12, presenters were given 20 minutes each to share a song list, 1 song and 1 activity, and answer questions.  Ann Erickson provided refreshments.

This workshop was also the first mention I found of Meridian Park Elementary, a location that became a major hub for NKE. [update- make that the second!]

April 5, 1997: Lauren Abernethy and Rita Concannon
“A ‘Splash’ of Solfege”
9:00 AM to 1:00 PM; Highland Park Elementary School

(from the NKE announcement) Teacher training in solfege has many rewards to a school music program, the students involved and to the teacher’s own musicianship.  Solfege develops correct intonation, ear training and sight-reading skills.  The use of hand signs is a great tool that kinesthetically reinforces pitches and is an early form of music literacy for your students.  Hand signs also enable you to visually assess your students reading music.  In this practical workshop, the emphasis will be on ways to use movable-do solfege and other skills and techniques to build in ourselves and our students musicianship, confidence and the love of music.  If you are a beginner and have never taken a Kodaly levels course, or just want to brush off the cobwebs from your old solfege courses, or just interested in finding out more about the Kodaly Concept, then come join in a workshop that will not only be informative, (definitely not scary) but fun!!

Lauren Abernethy currently teaches K-5 music at Highland park School in Seattle.  She began studying and using the Kodaly concept of music education in 1965 and has a Kodaly certificate from the Liszt Academy in Budapest.  She is a past president of OAKE. [1997]

Rita Concannon has a Kodaly certificate from the Liszt Academy in Budapest.  She has taught all levels of music from kindergarten through teacher-training, but she always comes back to K-5, her favorite.  She teaches in the Seattle Public Schools. [1997]

(compiled by Chris Stroh)

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