Leeds Graduate Caitlin Mayall wins Cecilia Vajda Memorial Scholarship

Music and Spanish graduate Caitlin Mayall has recently been awarded the Cecilia Vajda Memorial Scholarship to study at the British Kodály Academy.

Caitlin says of the background to the award; “Cecilia Vajda was the first person to bring the Kodály method to the UK. Zoltán Kodály was a Hungarian music revolutionary who wanted music to be accessible to all the children of Hungary, regardless of their economic background….. Children taught with the Kodály method should expect to have a lot of fun, develop social and emotional skills and confidence, experience singing beautiful music, learn to sing in tune and read and write musical notation…”

“I’m going to complete the Level 1 Certificate Course in the Kodály Method of music teaching next year and hope to be able to provide a Kodály-based national music curriculum to primary schools in Leeds and the surrounding area”.

During her time at Leeds Caitlin was a member of many societies, notably LUUMS and the Jazz and Blues Soc, and she also led the LUUMS chorus in her second year; “which required a lot of work then, but has definitely shaped my future career path and made me passionate about choral conducting…”.

Caitlin says of her passion for choral conducting; “I aim for a clean sound, where you can’t tell one voice apart from another, and for the singers in my choirs to really understand and connect with each piece; when you give your heart and soul to music as a singer, that’s when the audience feel something amazing has happened – that’s when they get goose bumps and go away feeling uplifted….”

Another passion for Caitlin is making music accessible to everyone, and she is keen to teach sight reading skills to young people and children who have a passion for singing as this can enable them to progress onto learning to play an instrument.

Since graduating from Leeds Caitlin taught for Durham Music Service, where she directed members of the National Youth Choir GB Chamber Choir in a project creating short singing podcasts for primary schools – available on iTunes as ‘Durham Music Singing Podcasts’. Caitlin then went on to complete her PGCE at Leeds, and she now works for Barnsley Music Service as a vocal teacher and music teacher for primary schools, as well as teaching Spanish 2 days a week.

Caitlin also runs the Leeds Vocal Movement (LVM); “LVM has just become a charity – we are an active and social choir for young adults aged 18-35. We are completely inclusive: we don’t audition and we welcome singers of all abilities. We provide a continued musical education for our members, for example we teach singers to read music, use proper vocal technique, learn about different composers, and they learn music with the Kodály method.”

Caitlin’s future plans include working towards LVM becoming a Kodály training choir for young people in Leeds, as they already use lots of Kodály in current sessions.

Anyone interested in getting involved with the LVM can visit their website www.leedsvocalmovement.co.uk or to find out more about Caitlin’s work see www.caitlinmayall.com