Kodaly Faculty Receives National Award

Ivy receives national award

Posted on March 31, 2017 by Matt Geske

Pictured above: Ivy Rawlins Ward, holding her OAKE Lifetime Achievement Award. 3/24/17


Kodály at Mason Senior Master Teacher, Ivy Rawlins Ward, has been awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award from the national Organization of American Kodály Educators (OAKE). Program Director Robbin Marcus shares highlights about this award as well as this summer’s Kodály program.




We are so proud of Ivy and so excited for this recognition. The Lifetime Achievement Award is the highest honor given by OAKE, our national professional organization, and we can’t think of a more deserving individual!

Ivy received the award at the OAKE national conference in Philadelphia, PA in March of this year. Mason Kodály students past and present contributed their voices to the packet of letters sent in support of Ivy’s award nomination. Here’s some of what they had to say about Ivy as a teacher:

“Of all the things I learned from Ivy, the most inspiring to me was her reminder to always be musical. Even with the most challenging and seemingly mundane exercise: make it musical. Every time she said that, it helped me to find the beauty in what we were singing, and to see beyond the solfége and the individual notes to become an artist with my voice.” – Kate F.


Ivy receiving award accompanied by fellow instructors
Ivy celebrating with GMU faculty members Beth Anne Young (left) and Ginger Albertson (right) at the OAKE conference in Philadelphia last month.


“Ivy challenges her students to do their best in a pleasant and humorous classroom atmosphere. Learning to sing pentatonic and modal scales can be challenging, but Ivy handles it all with such good humor that her students are eager to prove to her that they can do it! I will never forget her presentation of the wonderful folk song, ‘Shoo Turkey’ — or the athletic movement/dance which accompanies the song. Ivy is able to ‘out shoo’ everyone else in the class!” – Alan W.

“(Ivy) graciously imparts wisdom and insight into the traditions of African American singing games with energy and enthusiasm. In the spirit of the Kodály philosophy, she is a true master teacher.” – Julianne M.


Ivy Rawlins Ward teaching Kodaly course
Ivy’s solfége class pauses for a game break.


Want a chance to study with Ivy this summer, along with myself and fellow Master Teacher Vicki Dohrmann? You have two options!

We also welcome Beth Anne Young to the team as our Choral Studies instructor. Beth Anne is no stranger to Mason – she graduated from the program in 2013 and has been shadowing the faculty for the last 2 years. At home in Massachusetts she teaches choir and general music to middle and high school students. Last year she capably guided the students through the last week of choral studies to our final concert, and we are thrilled that this year she is taking the reigns.

Our Levels program continues to grow and develop, as pedagogy teacher Ginger Albertson adds level 2 to her classes this year. Master Teacher Vicki Dohrmann and Ginger are working together to craft the ultimate in pedagogy classes for their students.

Robbin Marcus (Program Director) conducts Harmonia Mundi during the 2016 Mason Kodály final concert:


During Supplemental week, I [Robbin Marcus] am offering Alexander Technique for Music Teachers – a special topic open to all music education students at Mason this summer. Want to learn to get up and down from the floor with ease? Figure out how to not be so physically tired at the end of the school day? This class is for you!

If you have any questions about studying Kodály at Mason this summer, don’t hesitate to contact me at robbin@robbinmarcusmusic.com. For information about the campus, housing and other Mason logistics questions, please contact Mason’s Potomac Arts Academy at potomac@gmu.edu.

Let’s make music together!