Dr James Cuskelly OAM
James is extremely active in the advancement of Kodály methodology as the President of the International Kodály Society (2015 – present). He is respected for his inspiring keynote presentations at international, national and local music and music education symposia. He not only lectures in Kodály philosophy and pedagogy at numerous universities around the globe, but also runs the Summer School Music Program, alongside his partner Michael Muller, in Brisbane every year since 2009. The Summer School attracts expert lecturers from Hungary, England, Scotland, Malaysia, New Zealand, and America and offers a range of courses that allow musicians, students, educators and community members to engage in high-quality music-making in Jazz, Choral, Musical Theatre, Education, Instrumental and Opera programs. James has been instrumental in the development of courses that allow students to gain accreditation in the Australian Kodály Certificate and these are offered across Australia and the Asia Pacific region.
James embodies Zoltan Kodaly’s vision of allowing people of all abilities, ages and backgrounds to access the best quality music. His humbleness and ability to work with a diverse range of people is lauded, especially in the choral world. His work as the Director of the Queensland Kodály Choir, which is made up of members of the Brisbane community, is a testament of James’ ability to bring communities together.
Dr James Cuskelly is highly regarded for his contribution and service to the teaching profession, music education and for inspiring and mentoring many students and musicians to achieve performance and pedagogical excellence. He has transformed music education both locally and globally. Through his dedication, vision and inspirational teaching, he has empowered a new generation of musicians, music educators and those from non-musical backgrounds to understand the immense value of music in our everyday lives.
James’ conceptualisation of music education has had a profound impact both on music education practice and on teacher training. Demonstrating a rare nexus between theory and praxis, he has remained involved in all levels of teaching throughout his career. He remains abreast of current trends in education and is consistently able to incorporate such ideas into relevant and effective classroom practice. James has been able to formulate music education which honours the traditions of music and music education but which also ensures powerful discipline-specific learning for students. His approach to music education has retained the integrity of the art form through an insistence on rigour and artistry while clearly demonstrating highly engaging and stimulating pedagogical approaches. His teaching has been a significant inspiration for the development of Kodály-based music education throughout Australia and this influence is felt globally through his work in the International Kodály Society.
Honorary Life Members
The International Katalin Forrai Award is presented biennially by the International Kodály Society (IKS) to someone who has demonstrated excellence in Early Childhood Music Education. Gail Godfrey is richly deserving of the 2019 award. She has not only contributed so …
Many of us are privileged to work in schools and communities that offer children and young people opportunities in music education. This is however not the case for all Australians and you may be surprised to learn that 63% of …
Australian Kodály-inspired music education is recognised internationally for its quality and unique approach. The International Kodály Symposium presents an opportunity to share your practice and research with the world, and gain a broader understanding of Kodály-inspired work beyond our own …
The KMEIA National Council met in Perth for 2 days prior to the 2018 Kodály National Conference. The meetings were extensive with discussions and actions focussed on improving services for members and advancing Australian music education. Kodály clearly articulated that …
Research plays an important role in shaping and supporting our practice. In support of evidence-based education, I encourage all members to consider investigating a curiosity inspired by their own Kodaly-inspired practice and contribute to the advancement of new knowledge. One …