“It was the single most emotional, spiritual, and musical trip I have ever been on, and it was the best and most challenging class I’ve ever taken.” - Music Education student
The Division of Music Education continues to offer study abroad experiences in both Austria and Hungary. In Fall 2009, twelve students and two faculty members traveled to Hungary for eight days to experience the country’s rich musical culture and to study at the Kodály Pedagogical Institute (an extension of the Liszt Academy).
The trip was divided between two cities – Budapest and Kecskemét (the birthplace of Zoltan Kodály). The students' time in Budapest was spent touring the city and learning about the musical and political influences that shaped Hungarian culture. The group heard the Budapest Festival Orchestra perform in the city’s Palace of the Arts, they heard the Danubia Orchestra Obuda perform a Chopin Memorial Concert in the historic Liszt Academy, and they attended a stunning performance of Bartók’s Bluebeard’s Castle at the State Opera. The students were also invited to attend a rehearsal of the Hungarian Radio Children’s Choir, under the direction of László Nemes, who also serves as the Director of the Kodály Institute.
The group arrived in the city of Kecskemét just in time to enjoy an authentic Hungarian dinner (very generous portions!). For two days, the students attended workshops at the Institute, led by some of Hungary’s most highly regarded pedagogues. Part of their time was spent observing school music classes, allowing the UNT students to see Kodály’s teaching principles in action with very young children through the most advanced high school students.
The Division’s international initiative continues to thrive! Future plans include a return trip to Austria and possibly new connections with programs in Italy. What do the students say? Go Global!