2022-2023 Workshop Season Coming Soon!!

Check out our workshops from this past year and years before!

Gemma Arguelles

Child’s Play
Singing Games as the Gateway to Music Literacy

This Live Session has passed.

Gemma Arguelles has taught music learners of all ages as music educator and choir director in the San Francisco Bay Area and the Philippines. She is a frequent presenter at local and national professional conferences and workshops for music organizations including OAKE, ACDA and NAfME. Currently, she teaches PreK-4 music and directs three choirs at The Nueva School in Hillsborough, CA, serves as adjunct music lecturer at the world-renowned Kodály Center at Holy Names University in Oakland and conducts the Vivo Chorus of Young Women’s Choral Projects in San Francisco.

Gemma earned her Bachelor’s degrees in Music Education and Choral Conducting from the University of the Philippines and her Master’s degree in Music Education with Kodály Emphasis from Holy Names University. She has completed all course work for PhD in Music Education at the University of Oklahoma. Recognized for excellence in teaching and service to music education, she was honored with the 2017 OAKE Outstanding Educator Award. She conducted the 2020 OAKE National Conference Children’s Choir in Portland, OR.

Anne Laskey

This is the Way You Build a Bridge
Using the Repertoire to Teach Musical Concepts


Anne Laskey, Professor Emerita of Music at Holy Names University in Oakland, CA, retired in 2015 as director of the Kodály Center for Music Education where she taught pedagogy, practicum and folk music and supervised student teaching in neighboring schools for over 20 years.  Anne holds an M.A. in Music from Claremont Graduate University, and a Kodály Specialist Certificate from Holy Names.  Her previous positions include 12 years as Music Specialist at the Convent of the Sacred Heart in San Francisco and five years as Assistant Conductor of the San Francisco Boys Chorus.  She served three terms on the Organization of American Kodály Educators board, most recently as Higher Education Representative, and was the national program chair for the 2004 OAKE Conference in San Francisco.  Anne received OAKE’s Outstanding Educator Award in 2008, and HNU’s Faculty Award in 2011.  Together with Gail Needleman, she continues research for HNU’s online American Folk Song Collection.  

Nyssa Brown

Reigniting Musical Classroom Communities
Songs, Games, and Activities for a New Beginning

Where do we start in our music classrooms and with students after the past 18 months?  Music classrooms have the potential to be transformative centers for healing, celebration, and unity. This workshop will focus on specific repertoire, games, and community-building activities to help you start this new year fresh.  Using a Kodály-Inspired lens, we’ll weave together getting-to-know-you activities, reflection practices, and techniques for building learner-centered classrooms – all while making beautiful music.  Bring your ideas and questions to this collaborative, supportive, joyful workshop. 

Nyssa Brown is an international music education consultant with Music Ed Forward who works with music teachers around the globe to build innovative, student-centered, community-specific music curriculum. With more than 20 years of teaching experience with both students and adults, Nyssa empowers learners of all ages to build on their current knowledge and envision new possibilities. Nyssa has 17 years of experience in elementary and secondary music classrooms, as well as teaching and leadership experience at the team, school, district, state, national and international levels, including having served on the writing committee for the National Core Arts Standards. 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 American School of The Hague and the International School of Amsterdam in the Netherlands, 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 Courses at Indiana University and the University of St. Thomas. With a focus on strong relationships and collaborative processes, she aims to help transform students, teachers, and communities through music education.

OAKE Western Division Mini-Conference

The Future is Bright

October 23, 2021
Online Zoom Platform
*Recordings will be available for 60 days following the live event

Join the Western Division of the Organization of American Kodály Educators as we share with one another our best practices. With over twenty sessions to choose from, this is an event you do not want to miss! Register as part of our 4 Workshop Bundle Pricing and save! More information can be found on the Western Division webpage here.

Lydia Mills

Singing games in Spanish

This live session has passed.

I am lucky to be part of one of the last generations in the modern world who was able to experience music in its natural essence with his family. My mom used to sing me lullabies and folk songs from her childhood. My grandmother sang and played the piano, my uncles got together to guitar and sing with the family. During recess I would go outside with my friends to play rounds and singing games like Ring Around the Rosie and London Bridge. In the car, together with my brothers we sang long cumulative songs, or songs that their game was to omit certain words in each verse, or to create a new phrase. Singing was not “professional” at all, rather, it was a daily aspect of my childhood and youth life.

At the age of five I met Latin American folklore at La Peña Cultural Center in Berkeley, California. My dad loved this new music and I remember dancing in the living room, listening to the sounds of the panpipes, the charango, the guitar and the bass drum.

At the age of 18, I left my country for the first time to study the folk music of Latin America and learn Spanish. This first trip marked a new stage in my life, getting to know Latin America and studying its music. My studies took me to visit Mexico, Guatemala, Ecuador, Chile, Peru, and Bolivia. Parallel to my studies, my love for working with children had already been born and from the age of 15 I found myself, whether in a kindergarten, in a school or in a summer camp singing with children.

It was in 2001 that I joined my two loves, music and children, studying music education with the Kodály method for a master’s degree at Holy Names University in Oakland, California. They were two years of musical magic knowing the Kodály method and the perfect combination between creating for children a natural environment of music full of joy and at the same time developing in them musical abilities such as in-tune singing and musical reading.

I have been teaching children and young people with the Kodály method for more than fifteen years and I am still enchanted or surprised by the results of this philosophy and method. Children learn music by developing their reading and singing skills in tune through the happiness they feel when singing and playing. And beyond music, children learn discipline, sharing, patiently waiting their turn, appreciating the ideas of others, holding the hand of a classmate, socializing and creating friendship. In the end, the music class becomes a space for musical training and character formation.

Ten years ago I had my first opportunity to teach this method to other teachers. Since then, I have been giving workshops and Kodaly training courses for music teachers in Mexico, Puerto Rico, Guatemala, Colombia, Peru, Ecuador, Paraguay, Argentina and Chile. My commitment to children and music teachers is to spread this beautiful teaching and give support to teachers. My great dream is that music returns to the halls, eventually to the playgrounds and the homes themselves, so that it naturally returns to take its place in family life.