Beth Mattingly of Norman, who is working toward a doctoral degree in music education with an emphasis in Kodály at the University of Oklahoma, has been awarded a Fulbright Grant to conduct research at the Kodály Institute in Hungary.
“The university family is extremely proud of the outstanding academic work of Beth Mattingly. She is an excellent representative of OU as a Fulbright Scholar,” said OU President David L. Boren.
“The Fulbright Grant program for students has sent Americans abroad for more than 65 years. These students not only get to pursue their areas of interest, they will meet, work, live with and learn from the people of the host country, sharing daily experiences,” said Karl Rambo, OU associate professor of anthropology and the university’s faculty Fulbright liaison. “The popularity and value of this program is seen in the increasing number of applicants from across the country – last year, more than 9,000 graduates and soon-to-be graduates applied for grants to study in 155 countries. Beth Mattingly is the latest of a long line of OU students who have successfully competed for these prestigious and life-changing awards.”
Mattingly, who also was awarded the 2013-2014 International Kodály Society Scholarship as well as a scholarship from the Organization of Kodály Educators to be used toward the costs of tuition at the Kodály Institute, will research the professional life and work of internationally noted Hungarian research and early childhood music educator Katalin Forrai, whose life work stemmed from the Kodály approach to teaching music.
The family of Forrai, who died in 2012, donated the music educator’s personal library and professional papers to the Zoltán Kodály Pedagogical Institute of Music and the Library of the Teachers Training College of Kecskemét, Hungary. Mattingly credits Joy Nelson, OU David Ross Boyd Professor of Music and board member of the International Kodály Society, with setting up contacts and making it possible for her to become one of the first people in the world to research this collection of materials.
About half of the collection is written in Hungarian, so Mattingly currently is studying that language and plans to work with a tutor while in that country to further hone those skills.
Mattingly, who has taught elementary music in Kansas and Oklahoma public schools for seven years, said that in addition to completing her research for her doctorate, the year of study at the Kodály Institute will allow her to further immerse herself in the Kodály approach, which is credited with increasing students’ and teachers’ levels of musicianship as well as their musical understanding.
After earning her doctorate in music education at OU, Mattingly plans to teach at the university level, where she will in turn educate and mentor prospective music teachers, thereby impacting the future of music education in the United States.
Students were chosen for the Fulbright Grants after a national competition among more than 8,000 applicants. The Fulbright Student Program, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, supports students for up to a year of research, coursework or teaching practicum in more than 155 countries around the world. It is designed to give recent graduates, graduate students and young professionals international experience.
The U.S. Congress created the Fulbright Program in 1946, immediately after World War II, to foster mutual understanding among nations through educational and cultural exchanges. Today the Fulbright Program is the U.S. government’s premier scholarship program. Fulbright Grants are available to students studying most subjects in the sciences, humanities, social sciences and in professional programs.