Deanna Hoermann

Honorary Membership of the International Kodály Society

awarded to Dr Deanna Hoermann of Australia – her contribution to the IKS


Dr Deanna Hoermann’s award rests strongly on three areas of contribution to the dissemination of Kodály's vision. Firstly, and most importantly, Deanna formally introduced and promulgated the Kodály philosophy and pedagogical approach in Australia, particularly through the fields of research, the adaptation of the Hungarian curriculum for Australian schools, through student and teacher education across Australia and parts of Asia, and through engaging support for the Kodály approach through her strategic alliances.

Secondly, Deanna is the Founder of the Kodály Music Education Institute of Australia (KMEIA Inc), the Australian affiliate of the IKS, and one of the major music education organisations in Australia.

Finally, Deanna made a unique contribution to the founding of the International Kodály Society in 1975-76 and was its first President.

In Australia, Deanna’s research program, a 15 year (1972-1987) longitudinal study of her program in Education Department primary schools in a deprived area of Sydney generated enormous interest and was the foundation for the adaptation of the Hungarian curriculum to Australian schools, and of Deanna’s training programs for teachers across Australia. Dr Doreen Bridges’ paper summarising the research results was reprinted in the 2010 Australian Kodály Journal (now available free on the KMEIA website

Deanna has had an enormous influence and impact through her in-service work across Australia. In those early years, for most educators, knowledge of the Kodály Approach was most likely gained through Deanna’s work and her organisational and leadership skills. In fact most of the next generation of leaders would have first encountered the Kodály philosophy and pedagogical approach through Deanna’s research project, her workshops, the visiting master teachers, and the conferences she organised. Her contribution in bringing the Kodály philosophy to Australia is unsurpassed.

Dr Hoermann’s international contribution began during the first IKS Symposium in 1973, at Holy Names College, Oakland, California. A committee was formed to establish the IKS. The Steering Committee comprised Professor Erzsébet Szonyi (Hungary), Richard Johnston (Canada), Margaret Holden (UK), Deanna Hoermann (Australia), and the late Dr. Alexander Ringer (USA).

Deanna had a special role because she was able to enlist her friend the international lawyer Dr (later Professor) John Macanolty, Sub-Dean of the Law Faculty at the University of Sydney at the time, to draft the IKS constitution dealing directly with the Hungarian Government.  Dr Macanolty was in Oxford UK at the time on sabbatical leave and was willing to make several visits to Hungary for the negotiations.

Leadership in the founding, politically sensitive years was a significant role in advancing Kodály’s heritage internationally. Deanna had already established successful connections with the Hungarian Ministry of Culture to obtain approval to bring teachers from Australia for study tours. These connections were valuable for her regular negotiation with the Hungarian government as the first President.

The IKS award recognises Dr Hoermann’s distinguished contribution to education, research, and teacher development in Australia and internationally.

 Ann Carroll, October 2011