The purpose of this thesis is to reflect upon the experiences of Australian music educators who are past students of the Kodály Institute, Hungary. Through comparison and contrast of the author’s autobiographical experience with that of other Australians this thesis reflects upon the nature of these unique journeys.
This qualitative study seeks to examine the three stages (before, during and after) of the journey through analysis of selected participant’s responses to a questionnaire. Selected participants were asked to reflect upon their own experience in relation to the reasons why they were drawn to Hungary, the nature of their experience whilst a student at the Kodály Institute and how this unique experience may have affected them upon their return to Australia.
The idea that both the author and participants’ journey could in fact be considered a musical pilgrimage has emerged through the course of this study. Seen in this context, the before, during and after stages of the journey can in fact be considered preliminal, liminal and postliminal stages of a pilgrimage according to anthropologist van Gennep in his well known treatise The Rights of Passage. In relation to the discussion of pilgrimage, reflections upon the various contexts the well-known Hungarian folk song Esti Dal can be found illustrates the symbolic nature of Esti Dal’s function as a token of dispensation for this author’s pilgrimage.
This notion of pilgrimage is discussed in connection to implications from the research findings as follows: The idea of going back to the ‘source’ which functions as a sacred musical centre, the token of dispensation, the transformed identity of one who has completed the journey, the uniqueness of each journey and the role of personal relationships in securing tokens of dispensation.