The Kodály Organization of New York enjoys twenty–two years of leadership in music education. KONY provides a forum for music teachers who wish to teach according to the Kodály concept. Every year KONY presents at least three workshops featuring top musicians from around the world. We also sponsor a well-received choral festival involving choruses from the tri-state area.
Inspired by the vision of Zoltán Kodály, the mission of the Organization of American Kodály Educators is to support music education of the highest quality, promote universal music literacy and lifelong music making, and preserve the musical heritage of the people of the United States of America through education, artistic performance, advocacy and research.
Jerry Kerlin and Susan Glass conceived the Kodály Organization of New York (KONY) at a
meeting at Little Red School House, Greenwich Village, New York City in November,1985.
KONY was founded at a gathering of New York area musician-educators called by Jerry Kerlin
and Susan Glass at Third Street Music School Settlement, New York City, on Sunday, January
12, 1986. The founders understood KONY to be “a professional organization for musician-
teachers in the philosophical and pedagogical tradition of Zoltán Kodály (1882–1967)”. In a
flyer advertising the meeting, Kerlin and Glass wrote:
"Established Kodály programs now exist, and many teachers have expressed the desire to meet, communicate and share. There are many possibilities for such an organization. First, we can exchange materials and classroom experiences (the good and the bad). We can work together to improve our musicianship skills. We can sponsor workshops and bring in guest musicians. We can start a resource library to share choral materials, folk song collections, videotapes of classes, etc. The possibilities are exciting and endless"
The Organization of American Kodály Educators (OAKE) granted KONY “chapter status” at its
conference in Los Angeles, California on March 21, 1987. KONY is located in Region East 1 of
the Eastern Division of OAKE. For over thirty years KONY has sponsored or co-sponsored workshops featuring prominent clinicians in the Kodály community in the United States and beyond.
Presenters as of September, 2017: Tossi Aaron, Janice Allen-Brooks, Peter & Mary Alice
Amidon, Jean Ashworth Bartle, Betty Bertaux, Nyssa Brown, Susan Brumfield, Bryan Burton,
Lois Choksy, Anne Cohen, Naomi Cohen, Nancy Cooper, Susan Mislove Donnelly, Andrew Ellingsen, John Feierabend, Lillie Feierabend, David Gadberry, Frank Gallo, Leigh Ann Garner, Brent Gault, Susan Glass, Mary Goetze, Frannie Goldstein, Cynthia Gorney, Traci Sandler Greenberg, Barbara Grenoble, Esther Liu Harris, Barbara Hart, David Holt, Micheál Houlahan, Mary Ellen Junda, Helen Kemp, Anna (Panni) Kovács, Jerry Kerlin, Craig Knapp, Sara Kramer, Joan Isaccs Litman, James Litton, Andrea Macon, Andrea Matthews, Craig McGorry, Donna Menhart, Betsy Moll, Georgia Newlin, Cathy Page, Kenneth Phillips, David
Pleasant, Ivy Rawlins, Jeff Rhone, Jean Ritchie, Lamar Robertson, Sarah St. Onge, Deborah
Skydell Pasternack, Giocille Shaw, John Anthony Scott, Pamela Simpson, Jean Sinor, Philip
Tacka, Barbara Tagg, Gabriella Thész, Jill Trinka, David Xiques and Nancy Zarowin.
Workshop topics have focused on Kodály pedagogy, sequential curriculum planning,
transitions, musicianship and theory, tradition (folk) music, folk dancing, creating arrangements of folk songs, SmartBoard™, choral repertoire, conducting, voice pedagogy, the changing voice, warm-ups and vocalizes, world musics, ethnomusicology, historical music, application to instruments, older beginners, singing games and dances, jazz, assessments, making manipulatives, Feldenkreis and Alexander Technique. There have even been two concerts—David Holt; Jean Ritchie. KONY presents three workshops per school year; one is in conjunction with the local Dalcroze and Orff chapters.
Our KONY Presidents have been:
Sarah St. Onge - 1988–89 [according to KONY News Vol. 1 No. 1]
Jerry Kerlin - 1990–92
Barbara Hart - 1992–94
Walter Paul - 1994–96
Anna (Panni) Kovács 1996–97
Pamela Haft - 1997–98
Richard Doll - 1998–2000
Naomi Cohen - 2000–2004
Karen Paulson (now Lowney) 2004–10
Madeline Franklin (now Gross) 2010–12
Traci Sandler (now Greenberg) 2012–2014
Craig McGorry - 2014–2016
Jess Beja (neé Goldberg) 2016–18
KONY has also been dedicated to bringing local choruses together for a Spring festival “to
foster quality singing, expressive voices and camaraderie by uniting elementary children in
song”. Typically the choruses get to work individually with the festival conductor. The day
concludes with the joined choruses singing two or three pieces together. The Voices
United!/KONY Sings! conductors have been:
Ms. Cara Bernard - 2017
Mr. Craig Knapp - 2016
Mr. Franklin Gallo - 2010
Ms. Joan Litman - 2009
Dr. Susan Glass - 2007
Ms. Pamela Simpson - 2006
Dr. Helen Kemp - 2005
Mr. Peter Coulianos - 2003
Ms. Georgia Newlin - 2002
Dr. Nancy Cooper - 2001
Dr. Susan Glass - 2000
Ms. Jean Ashworth Bartle - 1999
Ms. Joan Litman - 1998
Dr. Gabriella Thész - 1997
Dr. James Litton - 1996
Dr. Nancy Cooper - 1995
Dr. Mary Goetze - 1994
Ms. Joan Gregoryk - 1993
Dr. Nancy Cooper - 1992
Dr. Kenneth Phillips - 1991
KONY published a chapter newsletter from 1988 to 2014 titled KONY News. It contained
details and descriptions of upcoming workshops and presenters, as well as workshop
summaries; book, video, and web reviews, print music and original articles of interest to the
musician-educator. Initially volunteers had it printed and mailed it out; then when PDF became viable, it was emailed. The first KONY News editor was Deanna Davis briefly, followed by Francisco Núñez briefly. Jerry Kerlin assumed the job for several years, followed by Walter Paul. With the advent of Facebook KONY News was discontinued after Volume 26, Number 2. Each July KONY pairs up with the New York University Kodály Summer Institute to present a workshop for registrants and KONY Membership, with a reception following.
KONY has had a mentoring program to help new teachers through mutual observations and
KONY often hosts a chapter sharing or a “Sip ‘n’ Sing”. Members gather from time to time at a bar for a Happy Hour to get to know each other and enjoy each others’ company. KONY has held parties for its 10th and 20th anniversaries.