From the Office in Budapest

Dear musicians and music teachers, it is my pleasure to send you greetings on behalf of the International Kodály Society.

During the past two years, we have faced so many difficulties and challenges physically, psychologically, and emotionally. Opportunities to express ourselves, to connect with others, to enhance, to empathize, to lift each other, and to share our joy through music have been lost at every turn. Never before has there been such a profound impact on music education and music culture. Yet, in the midst of these difficulties, we have not lost hope, we have found new possibilities, and we have moved forward.

The loss caused by the pandemic is immeasurable, but the lessons we have learned and the discoveries we have made through this opportunity have already become rich treasures for us. Even with restrictions on travel to foreign countries and even within our own country, various music education programs and seminars are now being offered online, giving us more means than before the pandemic to make international connections regardless of place or time. In fact, many training courses for Kodály music educators from around the world, including the Kodály Institute in Kecskemét, are now available online as well. The "Kodály Online Hangout," coordinated by our Vice President Susanna Saw, is also held monthly via Zoom, where members from around the world can connect with others and learn new things online. This April, the International Kodály Society, the International Choral Conductors Federation, and the World Federation of Music Therapy jointly hosted the "Songs of Resilience and Hope: Music Therapy During a Time of War" online event. Our Board meetings, which used to be held once a year in person, are now held quarterly via Zoom where we can see and interact with each other, through which the connection among the Board members is growing even stronger.

Only recently, we are finally able to gradually return to the healthy musical activities that we had before the pandemic, and I am sure that many of you have been reminded of how creating music with our students or loved ones is able to feed our soul and bring comfort and joy to our spirit. Although this pandemic is not yet over, we have endured and come out of it with greater determination, stronger bonds, and new tools to carry out our individual missions. I personally feel honored and proud to be a part of this wonderful organization.

Next year, the International Symposium will be held in California, USA, and the organizing committee members have already started making many preparations. I look forward to seeing your new discoveries and ideas, deepening our understanding of music education, and deepening our friendship and trust at the symposium. Until then, let us do what we can each day to increase musicality in ourselves and to help others do so.

With heartfelt gratitude and respect,

Shinji Inagi