Teacher of Teachers:

Essays in Honour of Lois Choksy

Eugene Cramer & Jeanette Panagapka
Editors

 


I. Pedagogy

Jeanette Panagapka
Models of Teacher Education or Re-Education in the Kodály Method of Teaching Music Education
 
Sharyn Favreau
The University of Calgary Kodály
Summer Diploma Program
 
Connie Wang
Professor Choksy's Priceless Gift to the Chinese
 
David Brummitt & Karen Taylor
Daily Listening to Music: A Non-Directed Approach
Accepting and Valuing Art Music:
Serendipity and Optimism
 
Claude McLean
Variables Affecting Musical Preferences of Young People: Instructional Implications
 

II. Folk Music and Ethnomusicology

László Vikár
Along Kodály's Path
 
Ki Adams
Newfoundland Folk Song Collections: Whose Knowledge Is It?
 
Maureen Chafe
Remarks on Newfoundland Folk Music Literature
 
Frank York
Cultural Identity and the Kodály Philosophy
 
Jill Trinka
Folk Songs "In the Voice" and "On the Page"
 
Jerry-Louis Jaccard
Same-Singer Same-Song Variants: The Wellspring of Predictability
 

III. General

France David
De la perception auditive à la cognition
 
László Eosze
Zoltán Kodály's Budavári Te Deum
 
Eleanor Locke
Living Music
 
Erzsébet Szonyi
My Friend Lois Choksy: A Blend of Pedagogy and Personal Reminiscences
 
Carol Harris
Administration as Pedagogy or as New Management?:
Principles and Practices in an Era of Restructuring
 
A. Richard Johnston
Kodály Zoltán: An Appreciation
 

A Brief Biography

Lois Choksy enjoyed a distinguished teaching career spanning fifty years, first in Baltimore, Maryland, then at Holy Names College in Oakland, California, and for her final nineteen years, at The University of Calgary where she retired as Head of the Music Department in 1988. Inspired by a summer course in Esztergom, Hungary, she spent the 1970-71 academic year at the Liszt Academy in Budapest where she studied with Erzsébet Szönyi and László Vikár and observed as many master teachers as possible.
 
As a researcher and author she worked assiduously to adapt the Hungarian method of teaching music developed by composer, ethnomusicologist, and teacher, Zoltán Kodály, to the English language context using North American traditional music and pedagogical strategies appropriate to North American children. Prentice-Hall has published seven books authored by Lois Choksy which are widely used as standard textbooks for music education courses throughout the English speaking world. It is through these publications that her untiring search for the best musical example and procedure is revealed. Two of these books have been translated into Japanese and Chinese. A third revision of The Kodály Method was published in 1999 along with a new book, Kodaly Method II Folksong to Masterwork.
 
Lois Choksy's teaching exemplified the link between artistic integrity and effective teaching practice that is the mark of the true musician/teacher. Her activity as a teacher included public school children, gifted students at the Mount Royal College Conservatory of Music, classroom and music teacher colleagues, and undergraduates and graduates at the university level. Professor Choksy developed the Summer Graduate Diploma Program in Fine Arts at The University of Calgary, through which numerous music educators across Canada and abroad received advanced training in music education. As well, she supervised more than 30 graduate students to completion of a Master's degree in Music with a Kodály emphasis, a program which she designed. Many of these graduates now hold leadership positions in school districts and universities. Other Kodály summer programs have been developed based on the model she pioneered at The University of Calgary drawing their faculty, in part, from the graduates of the Calgary program. Her influence continues through them.
 
In her last five years at The University of Calgary, Professor Choksy fostered the growth of the string program, and charted the course for approval of a Ph.D. in Music with specialization in Music Education, the first degree of its kind in English Canada.  She was also instrumental in the realization of the Rosza Centre, a fine new concert hall on the University of Calgary campus, which opened to the great delight of musicians and critics in November, 1997.
 
Lois Choksy was on the organizing committees of the Organization of American Kodály Educators (OAKE), the International Kodály Society (IKS), and the Alberta Kodály Association (AKA). She served as president of the Kodály Society of Canada (SC) from 1984 to 1988, and as Secretary-Treasurer of the International Kodály Society form 1985 to 1993
 
Lois retired in the spring of 1998 to the Sunshine Coast in British Columbia where she operates a Bed & Breakfast with her friend and colleague, Jeanette Panagapka (http://www.capricebb.com/).  There she enjoys her garden and the company of guests, both two- and four-legged, new acquaintanances and former students and colleagues.  And, she continues to write books. She has published three books under the pen name Blair McDowell. Her new books, The Memory of Roses, Delighting in Your Company, and Sonata are available through her website (http://www.blairmcdowell.com/Home.html).
 
The final word goes to Blair (Lois):
 
I travel a lot. I usually spend the month of October in Europe, Greece or Italy, 
and the winter in a little house I built many years ago on a small non-touristy Caribbean Island. 
I have worked and studied in many places—Hungary, Australia, the US and Canada, 
and have lectured in most of the States and Provinces as well as Taiwan and various cities in Europe.  
I enjoy being surrounded by cultures other than my own. 
I enjoy my own as well—but variety is indeed the spice of my life.
 
I keep busy—and I love my life. I love meeting the people who come here 
to the west coast of Canada and stay in my B&B. 
I love traveling after the tourist season is over. And I love writing. 
My interests? Music, especially opera, reading everything in print, and writing.  
And walking on the beach and swimming. 
At one point I had hoped to swim in every major sea and ocean. 
I've realized that may not be possible in one lifetime—but trying has been fun!

 

 


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