Make & Take- January 20th, 2024

Join NPKC as we make some of the manipulatives we learned about during our workshop with Aileen in October. Don't worry if you missed out on the October workshop - everyone is welcome to join us. We can't wait to see what we can create together!


Eastwood Elementary School

500 10th Ave. E 

West Fargo, ND 58078

Cost: $20

Please help us accurately pan for this workshop by filling out the registration form.

Aileen Miracle

October 14th, 2023

Join us for a day of learning about using manipulatives in the music room! Aileen Miracle from Aileen's Music Room and The Music Room Podcast will present different ways she uses manipulatives in her classroom.  
Bio:A little bit about me: I teach K-5 general music and choir in the Olentangy Local School District near Columbus, Ohio, but I've taught K-7 general music, band, choir, and strings over the course of my career. This is my twenty-fourth year teaching; previously, I taught in Lancaster City Schools as well as Utica Community Schools in Utica, Michigan. I received my Bachelor of Music Education from Central Michigan University in 1999, and my Master of Music in Music Education from Capital University in 2003; I was able to complete my masters studies at the Kodály Institute in Kecskemet, Hungary. I am Past President of the Midwest Kodály Music Educators of America, have taught Level I and III for DePaul University's Kodály Program, Level I Methodology and Folk Song Research for Colorado State University's Kodály Program, and Level III Methodology and Folk Song Research for Capital University's Kodály Program.My eighteen year old daughter Jenna plays flute, guitar, and ukulele, and my ten year old Macy loves to Irish dance! Here is a picture of the two of them.

Nyssa Brown

January 21st, 2023

"Inquiry in a Kodaly Inspired Classroom"

How can we structure learning so students are more likely to remember their music learning for years and years to come?  What role can inquiry play in guiding students to become more independent musicians?  This workshop will focus on how we can simultaneously plan for learning targets in the music classroom while making students the center of their own learning.  Using a Concept-Based Inquiry approach, participants will experience a model lesson highlighting the inquiry cycle, guiding questions, and student meaning-making.  The sample lesson will focus on elementary concepts; however, the process can be applied across grade levels, as well as general and ensemble music classrooms.

Nyssa Brown Bio:

Nyssa Brown is an international consultant specializing in professional and curriculum development for music educators. With strength and experience working with Backwards Design and the National Core Arts Standards (where she served as a writer), Nyssa inspires educators to connect best practices in music education to current practices in the broader field of education. This approach integrates music, as a subject area, and music educators into the broader educational community of the school, strengthening the learning for all involved.

Most recently, Nyssa served as an elementary music teacher at the American School of the Hague in the Netherlands, where she was also Performing Arts Coordinator and Elementary Team Leader. She draws on her K-9 vocal/choral music teaching experience in the US and abroad while presenting at local, regional, national, and international conferences on topics that include global music, 21st Century Skills in the music classroom, technology integration, curriculum/assessment writing and professional learning. 

Nyssa served as a Grade 3-5 sub-committee member during the recent development of the National Core Arts Standard. Nyssa served as Music Education Coordinator for Minnesota’s Perpich Center for Arts Education and coached teachers in over 100 school districts across the state of Minnesota. She was one of ten finalists for 2004 Minnesota Teacher of the Year and received a prestigious Milken Educator Award in 2004 from the Milken Family Foundation. Passionate about teaching in a global context, Nyssa taught at the American Embassy School in New Delhi, India and in both Namibia and South Africa, through a fellowship offered by the Eastman School of Music’s Umculo: The Kimberley Project. 

Nyssa is a faculty member of the Kodály Levels Training Courses at Indiana University and the University of St. Thomas. She also serves as an adjunct professor at the University of St. Thomas and Augsburg College. Nyssa studied in Hungary at the Kodály Institute’s summer seminar in 2002. She released her first CD in October, 2000, “Packwood or Paradise” and is currently recording a CD of lullabies. Nyssa graduated from the Hartt School of Music and Hartford College for Women in 1998 with a Bachelor of Music in Education and a Bachelor of Arts in Women’s Studies. She completed her Master of Arts in Music Education at the University of St. Thomas, 2008. She earned her Mastery Certificate in Kodály studies from Kodály Brigham Young University in 2001, and she completed Levels 1 and 2 of Orff training at University of St. Thomas.

Tanya LeJune & Carrie Nicholas

September 24th, 2022

"Kodaly 101 for the 21st Century Music Teacher"

Join Tanya and Carrie, the hosts of the "Music Teacher Coffee Talk" podcast, as we explore what it means to be a Kodály-inspired teacher in the 21st Century. We will take a look into the tenets of the Kodály philosophy, provide resources for both long-term and short-term planning, and experience a variety of songs, games, and activities to support a Kodály-inspired classroom. We will also discuss how Kodály’s philosophy can and should be reconsidered to support student needs in a more modern society through SEL, mindfulness, student choice and voice, creativity, technology, innovation, collaboration, and so much more!

Tanya LeJeune Bio:

Tanya lives in Denver, Colorado, USA and is in her 26th year of music education. She has taught K– 8th grade general music in Jefferson County Public Schools in Colorado and is a Kodály instructor of pedagogy and folksong analysis at the Colorado Kodály Institute at Colorado State University. She has presented music education workshops and in-services for several school districts, universities, Orff and Kodály chapters throughout the United States and for Queensland, Australia. Tanya is past president of ROCKE and past Member at Large for OAKE.

Carrie Nicholas Bio:

Carrie is in her 22nd year as an elementary general music specialist and currently teaches K-5 general music in Lakewood, CO.  She is an active presenter, having shared sessions and presentations for various school districts, county and state music education conferences, and OAKE chapters and conferences. Carrie has also taught Pedagogy and Folk Song Analysis at the Colorado Kodály Institute. Carrie is past-president of ROCKE and the OAKE Western Division.  

Karen Howard 

January 22nd, 2022

"Matters of Diversity in a Kodaly Inspired Classroom"

Participants will learn repertoire from a diverse range of cultures including Ghana, Tanzania, China and more. Considerations of how to meaningfully integrate material into an existing scope and sequence will be discussed, as well as an ethical approach to song research. Vetted aural and written resources will be explored. All of these steps are intended to help participants feel more confident in creating a more vibrant music teaching and learning environment that reimagines diversity in Kodály-inspired classroom

Dr. Howard Bio:

Karen Howard is an Associate Professor of Music at the University of St. Thomas, teaching music education methods, core graduate courses, world music pedagogy, and advising masters theses.

In addition to her university schedule, Dr. Howard is a national and international clinician specializing in children’s music culture, ethnomusicology, creative and folk dance traditions, early childhood music education, assessment, and curriculum development. She has presented at events for the American Orff Schulwerk Association, the Organization of American Kodály Educators, the Society for Ethnomusicology, the National Association for Music Education, the International Society of Music Education, and the American Choral Directors Association.

Her research has been published in the Journal of Music Teacher Education, International Journal of Community Music, and the Japanese Journal of Research in Music Education. Her other published works are available through the Association for Cultural Equity, Smithsonian Folkways Tools for Teachers, General Music Today, and The Orff Echo.

Dr. Howard earned the Bachelor of Music Education degree and Masters of Music Education degree from The Hartt School of the University of Hartford and PhD in music from the University of Washington. In 2003, she was recognized as Connecticut Music Educator Association’s Elementary Music Educator of the Year.

Bio taken from ​

Dr. Leigh Ann Garner

September 25th, 2021 

"Add More Fun to Your Formative Assessments!" As music specialists, we are charged with creating and implementing purposeful activities within a Kodály-inspired instructional sequence.  In this interactive workshop presented by Dr. Leigh Ann Garner, participants will explore practical and purposeful activities that could be employed during the assessment phase of instruction.  In addition, ideas will be presented for the applicability of these activities in preparation and practice phases as well.  Come sing, dance, and play your way into another school year!

Dr. Garner's Bio:

Dr. Leigh Ann Garner is an Assistant Professor of Music Education at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota. Prior to her appointment at St. Olaf, she taught elementary classroom and choral music for 23 years in the Hastings Public School District (ISD#200). Garner also serves as the Director of the Kodály Institute at theUniversity of St. Thomas, where she teaches pedagogy courses Levels I and II, Folksong Analysis and Materials, and KodályMaster Class. 

A sought-after clinician, leader, and facilitator, Garner teaches interactive workshops throughout the United States specializing in early childhood music, Kodály-inspired pedagogy, curriculum development, standards-based assessments, and undergraduate music pedagogy. In 2016 she was honored as a Teacher of Excellence, and respectively in 2017 as an Employee of the Semester by the Hastings School District.

Over the past 20 years Garner has served in leadership roles at the state and national level for a number of music organizations. Currently, she serves on the Teacher Education Committee of the Organization of American Kodály Educators. In 2019 she and colleagues throughout the country co-authored Kodály-Inspired Benchmarks for Grades 3-5 that align with the National Core Arts Standards.

Garner is also the co-author of Music and Movement: a music curriculum for children ages one-five. Her most recent publication, Cultivating Creative Musicians is a resource designed for elementary music teachers. In addition, she is a contributing author for MacMillan McGraw/Hill music textbook series. Garner holds an EdD from the University of St. Thomas, an MA in Music Education from the University of St. Thomas, and a BA in Vocal Music Education from St. Olaf College.

Ricky White

March 27th, 2021

Ricky White, CEO of First National Consultants, presented the original teachings and history of the Native American Drum, Drum beats, song structure, and types of songs.

Ricky White Bio:

Ricky White, Niigonanakud, is Anishinabe from Whitefish Bay First Nations in Ontario, Canada. He is Pizhew or Lynx Clan and a lifetime member of the renowned drum group, the Whitefish Bay Singers. As a result of growing up on an isolated reserva<on, Ricky retained deep knowledge of the Anishinaabe language and culture and those teachings continue to guide his spirit and work today.

Over the last 22 years, Ricky has served as an Ojibwe Language and Culture Teacher, Assistant Principal, Principal, Executive Director of Education, and Superintendent of Schools. He was exposed to world class professional development, especially in the area of school improvement, school climate, and reaching students that our school systems struggling with.

Ricky has shifted his professional career to generously sharing the blueprints of best practices for student success and working to help turnaround schools, programs and communities. He started a consulting company fittingly called “First Nations Consultants ” and is now sharing his strategies all over Canada and the United States to inspire and unite his methods and messages for enhancing education.

Ricky’s accomplishments go far beyond schools and classrooms. He was recognized as the next leader of the Anishinabe Nation of Treaty #3 (1989), Minnesota Indian Education Teacher of the Year (2001), Minnesota Indian Education Administrator of the Year (2013), and is now a sought after emcee for pow- wows, gatherings, conferences, keynote addresses, radio, television, and other public speaking engagements.

Ricky White is prepared to help you and he is proud to serve and share during this virtual professional development experience.

David Row

January 30th, 2021

The ukulele is an amazing tool for teaching in the elementary music classroom but getting started can be a daunting task.  In this workshop we’ll talk through ukulele basics, what and where to buy, lesson scaffolding, tips, tricks, and a lot more.  By the time we’re done you’ll be playing along with ease and will have the skills and knowledge to get going with students.

David Row Bio:

From David's Blog

"I love teaching music to kids! This school year marks my 10th full year as an educator in public schools.  I make music with 500 brilliant, elementary school students on a daily basis at Prairie Ridge Elementary School in the DeSoto School District just outside of Kansas City.

I’m a Nebraska native and Midwesterner at heart.  I graduated from Greenville College (IL) in 2008 with a Bachelor’s Degree and then went to the University of Missouri – Kansas City Conservatory where I earned my Master’s Degree studying Choral Conducting and Music Education (2011).  I completed my Orff Schulwerk certification at Baker University in KS and I can’t say enough about how happy I am to have taken all three Orff levels and a master class!

​When not teaching or writing about teaching here on the blog, I do my best to connect with other music educators around the country.  I have presented clinics and workshops throughout the country at the local and state levels.  I am a past president of the Mid-Michigan Orff Schulwerk Association and am an active member of the American Orff Schulwerk Association.  Check out my newest adventure by looking in Apple Podcasts for 'Make Moments Matter:  A Music Education Podcast!'"

This Bio was taken from David Row's Blog​

Michael Chandler

October 10th, 2020

Let’s Improvise: Using Traditional Materials to Elicit Student Creativity”, presented by Dr. Michael Chandler, will allow us to explore traditional folk songs, speech materials, and playground games that offer endless possibilities for music making and for developing student creativity through play. It was through such materials that Zoltán Kodály nurtured the music education of children in Hungary. Participants in this fall workshop will experience using the media of Orff Schulwerk (speech, singing, movement, and instruments) to encourage student creativity and improvisation through using similar traditional materials. We’ll explore techniques that encourage and motivate students to enjoy that which is traditional while also making music that is their own.

Dr. Michael Chandler Bio:

Michael Chandler is an Assistant Professor of Music and Coordinator of Music Education at Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tennessee, where he teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in music education and supervises student teachers. Michael taught music and movement to children in Texas public schools for 16 years and was named Teacher of the Year at two different elementary campuses. His student ensembles have performed by invitation at the Texas Music Educators Conference in San Antonio in 2013, 2007, and 2005. Michael has taught workshops and conference sessions in 38 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and Australia and has taught all three levels of Orff Schulwerk basic and recorder in AOSA-approved teacher education courses across the United States. He is the author of Everyday Recorder, Recorder Everyday! a classroom resource for introducing the recorder in Orff Schulwerk classrooms. Michael’s publications have appeared in The Orff Echo, The Southwest Musician, and Update: Applications of Research in Music Education.