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Hungarian Folk Singing Circle
                        Népdalkör
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Current and Upcoming 

Hungarian Folk Singing Classes

All classes below are taught by Zina Bozzay, unless a guest teacher is indicated.

For general information about the Singing Circle and our classes, click here.

To arrange a class for a specific event, group, or institution, click here.

Join our email list and follow us on Facebook to hear about other upcoming classes, workshops, and events.

 

Basic information about all of our singing classes:

 

Our Hungarian Folk Singing Classes, both in person and online, as one-time workshops and multi-week class series, are held in English and open to participants of all cultural, linguistic, and musical backgrounds (unless indicated otherwise in a specific class description). We welcome experienced singers as well as those with no previous experience in the style. The classes include a wide range of beautiful village songs from across the Hungarian language area, crafted over generations of unbroken oral tradition, and they are taught directly from source recordings of those village culture bearers. They are not composed folk-style songs or modern arrangements of village songs. They include uptempo dance songs to grieving songs, love songs to lullabies, old style and new style, simple and highly ornamented, with beautiful song words and unique regional scales and rhythms. Participants receive village source recordings, ethnographic maps, song word sheets (lyrics), English translations, and background information on the songs and regions. Classes also often include information about vocal technique, traditional instruments, seasonal practices, and the traditional lifestyle and ways of thinking that these songs come from.

Here is an example of what learning and singing back from a source recording looks like. The four class participants in this video are from across the US and aren't native Hungarian speakers. This happens to be a slow ornamented song, but we do simpler ones as well!

Upcoming Dates
 

Click on a class or scroll down for further class details.

View recent classes here (Fall 2023 Classes)

VIRTUAL CLASSES HELD ON ZOOM

FOR PARTICIPANTS ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD

CLASSES HELD IN PERSON IN THE U.S.

  • East Coast tour (April 26 - May 5): New York, New Jersey, Washington D.C.
    Please share with friends in these areas! Thank you spreading the word!
    -----> 
    Click here
    for full descriptions of all East Coast events.

    Sat, April 27: Afternoon Singing Workshop at Spring Wassail, Stone Ridge, NY

    Sun, April 28: 3-5pm Singing Workshop at Jalopy Theatre, Brooklyn, NY
                              6:30pm Táncház at Jalopy Theatre, Brooklyn, NY
                                     Életfa, Fészer Banda, Zoë Aqua, Jake Shulman-Ment, Zina Bozzay, and others
    Mon, April 29: Hungarian Folk Singing Circle in Washington D.C. (Petworth)

    Wed, May 1, 7-9pm: Magyarbődi Singing Workshop, Hosted by the Tisza Ensemble, Washington D.C.
    Thurs, May 2 - Sat, May 4: Presentation and Singing Workshop at American Hungarian Educators                                          Association (AHEA) conference at Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ

    Private lessons in each of these cities (NYC, Upstate, Washington D.C., New Brunswick)

     

  • Csipke Tábor (redirects to Csipke Tábor website for full information and registration)
    Folk singing classes at weeklong Hungarian folk music and dance camp in Michigan

    June 22 - 29
    Contact us here to stay in the loop on the singing classes.

CLASSES HELD IN PERSON IN BUDAPEST

Pronunciation Classes
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HUNGARIAN PRONUNCIATION CLASSES

Engaging small-group classes held on Zoom, open to participants around the world
Various levels, from basic letter sounds to advanced challenges

Level I (60 minutes)

An in-depth class on Hungarian pronunciation, open to absolute beginners as a first introduction to the language as well as those with experience who want to review. This class covers every letter sound, about half an hour on the consonants and half an hour on the vowels, with a few practice words for each letter. Participants receive a detailed pronunciation guide for later reference. This class is typically offered at the start of each singing class series or before a workshop, and is open to anyone to attend, whether or not you are taking a singing class.

Level I Practice Class (60 minutes) (Prerequisite: Level I above)

For those who have attended Pronunciation Level I above, or previously learned all of the Hungarian letter sounds, this class is solely focused on putting it into practice through participants pronouncing words and receiving feedback. We cover everyday words and common words in folk songs to really strengthen all the basic sounds of the language.  If you are struggling with certain vowel sounds, or sometimes mix up which consonants sound like what, join us. It is also a good class for those with more experience to focus in on pronunciation and hear the common pitfalls and corrections.

Level II (60 minutes)  (Prerequisite: Level I above)

This class is designed for those who have already taken Level I or have previous experience with Hungarian, including heritage speakers in the Hungarian diaspora, who are interested in learning further details to fine-tune their pronunciation and understanding. This class covers pronunciation quirks and exceptions often not taught to beginners, such as consonant assimilation, consonant voicing and devoicing, archaic name spellings, and examples of dialect pronunciation. 

Level II Practice Class (60 minutes) (Prerequisite: Level II above)

Corresponding to Pronunciation Level II above, this is a higher-level practice class with more challenging words. It includes more difficult city and region names, multi-syllable words and compound words, words with consonant assimilation, and archaic spellings. This is designed for those who already have some experience with Hungarian (whether in our singing classes or as language learners / heritage speakers) and are clear on what each letter sounds like, and want to overcome their fears and finesse their pronunciation through detailed work and feedback.


 

Classes are held in English by Zina Bozzay, who has been teaching Hungarian pronunciation to non-Hungarian speakers for over a decade. They are small group classes to maximize individual attention.

Upcoming Dates:

Level I - Tuesday, April 9, 6:00-7:00pm Budapest time (9am California / 12pm New York / 5pm England)

We usually offer these classes at the start of each semester, and additionally whenever a few people request it or new people join the singing classes and need it. Please send a message here with the pronunciation class(es) that you would like to take. When a few people have requested a given level, we schedule a class!

Class Prices:

Residents of Hungary: 2000 Ft. per class

International Participants: Sliding scale $10-20 USD per class
 


Register here

Online Singing Classes
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ONLINE HUNGARIAN FOLK SINGING CLASSES
Held on Zoom, open to participants around the world

Some details and logistics for all of the online classes below:
 

Pronunciation: If this is your first Hungarian singing class, consider taking a Hungarian pronunciation class beforehand. In the singing classes we review the pronunciation of the song words themselves but not the basics of the Hungarian letter sounds, which is taught in that separate pronunciation class.
- Class time and class names: Because there are several class times and people are joining from various time zones around the world, each class has a name (Chestnut, Tulip, Rosemary, etc) for the ease of participants figuring out which time is right for them and registering for the correct class! Some time zones are written below, but please double-check your own time difference with Budapest, and note daylight savings changes if applicable. The online classes are live and interactive, and not video recorded for later use.
- Registration deadline: Please register as soon as possible, as space is limited and Zooms links are sent in advance of class.

For the multi-week class series:

- Class size: There is a minimum of 5 registered participants to hold the class, and classes are capped at 25 people.

​- Commitment / Drop-ins: It is strongly preferred for participants to commit to the full class series, but drop-ins are also welcome.

- Private lessons: Participants are encouraged to sign up for one private lesson per 6-week class series in order to receive more individual feedback and guidance in their development, especially returning students (not required, just recommended).

Please check out the FAQs page for more information!

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Songs of Felföld (former northern Hungary)

Tuesdays, January 9 - February 13, 2023

From striking wedding songs to playful karikázó dance songs, in this 6-week class we’ll learn a wide selection of Hungarian folk songs from across former northern Hungary (known as Felföld or Felvidék), including regions such as Zoborvidék and Palócföld, on both sides of the Hungary-Slovakia border. Join us!

 

We have two different class times to accommodate various time zones around the world, and newcomers as well as returning students are welcome in this class. If you are new to Hungarian pronunciation or would like a review, contact us about a Pronunciation Class, and if you would like more practice on the songs, join our Extra Song Practice and Skill-Building Class which is designed to supplement this class series with additional repetition and exercises.

Having offered these group singing classes for over a decade, we see the best results when participants have at least occasional private lessons to get one-on-one feedback and guidance, specific things to focus on as they work on the songs both during the classes and on their own. Therefor we encourage everyone to sign up for one private lesson per 6-week class series (besides those already taking regular weekly/monthly lessons), which is scheduled at your convenience, ideally between weeks 2-5 of the series.

- Chestnut Group: Tuesdays, 9:00-10:30am Budapest time

Europe daytime, Australia and New Zealand evening:

8am England / 4pm Hong Kong / 7pm Sydney / 9pm Christchurch

- Rosemary Group: Tuesdays, 7:00-8:30pm Budapest time

North America daytime, Europe evening:

10am California / 1pm New York / 6pm England / 8pm Israel

TIME ZONE CALCULATOR - Check the class times here by entering your location and each class date!

Class Prices:

                                                              

Residents of Hungary:        
Full class series (six 90-minute group classes) plus one 1-hour private lesson: 25,000 Ft.

Full class series (six 90-minute classes) without lesson: 15,000 Ft.

Drop-in (single class): 3000 Ft. per class

International Participants:

Full class series (six 90-minute group classes) plus one 1-hour private lesson: Sliding scale $120 - 225 USD
Full class series (six 90-minute group classes) without lesson: Sliding scale $70 - 150 USD

Drop-in (single class): Sliding scale $15-25 USD per class

Note: While the sliding scale has both a minimum and "maximum", additional contributions supporting this work are always welcome! If you are able to pay more, it supports the participation of those who cannot.

Register here

 

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Songs of Szék, Mezőség, Transylvania

Tuesdays, February 20 - March 26, 2024

Come dive into the exceptionally rich folk song repertoire of the village of Szék, located in Mezőség in central Transylvania. Not only are the songs and dances of Szék among the most well-known in the Hungarian folk music revival, Szék’s vibrant táncház — folk dance parties with live singing and instrumental music — served as the model at the start of the now world-famous Táncház Movement. We’ll explore slow and uptempo dance songs, freely sung non-dance songs, the folk “birthday song”, and more, in this fun, educational series. Join us!

We have two different class times to accommodate various time zones around the world, and newcomers as well as returning students are welcome in this class. If you are new to Hungarian pronunciation or would like a review, contact us about a Pronunciation Class, and if you would like more practice on the songs, join our Extra Song Practice and Skill-Building Class which is designed to supplement this class series with additional repetition and exercises.

Having offered these group singing classes for over a decade, we see the best results when participants have at least occasional private lessons to get one-on-one feedback and guidance, specific things to focus on as they work on the songs both during the classes and on their own. Therefor we encourage everyone to sign up for one private lesson per 6-week class series (besides those already taking regular weekly/monthly lessons), which is scheduled at your convenience, ideally between weeks 2-5 of the series.

- Chestnut Group: Tuesdays, 9:00-10:30am Budapest time*

Europe daytime, Australia and New Zealand evening:

8am England / 4pm Hong Kong / 7pm Sydney / 9pm Christchurch

NOTE: The Chestnut Group class time is unaffected by the March/April time changes. The whole series will be held at 9am Budapest time, and most class participants are in Europe, Australia, and New Zealand, where there will not be a time change during these 6 weeks. The next series (running April 9 - May 14) will be held at 10am Budapest time, after all of those countries have had their respective time changes.

- Rosemary Group: Tuesdays, 7:00-8:30pm Budapest time*

North America daytime, Europe evening:

10am California / 1pm New York / 6pm England / 8pm Israel

NOTE: This year, North American and European time changes are separated by a three weeks (March 10 and March 31, respectively). Therefor, since currently the vast majority of participants in the Rosemary Group are in North America, the first three dates will be held at 7pm Budapest time and the second three dates will be held at 6pm Budapest time, keeping the class time the *SAME* for all of those in North America. Participants in other parts of Europe will likewise have the class one hour earlier during the second half of the series, as in Hungary. For the next series (running April 9 - May 14), it will return to 7pm Budapest time, and everyone will be back at their original time.

TIME ZONE CALCULATOR - Check the class times here by entering your location and each class date!

Class Prices:

                                                              

Residents of Hungary:        
Full class series (six 90-minute group classes) plus one 1-hour private lesson: 25,000 Ft.

Full class series (six 90-minute classes) without lesson: 15,000 Ft.

Drop-in (single class): 3000 Ft. per class

International Participants:

Full class series (six 90-minute group classes) plus one 1-hour private lesson: Sliding scale $120 - 225 USD
Full class series (six 90-minute group classes) without lesson: Sliding scale $70 - 150 USD

Drop-in (single class): Sliding scale $15-25 USD per class

Note: While the sliding scale has both a minimum and "maximum", additional contributions supporting this work are always welcome! If you are able to pay more, it supports the participation of those who cannot.

Register here

 

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Songs of Moldva (Moldavia)

Tuesdays, April 9 - May 14, 2024

The beautiful traditional village repertoire of the Hungarian-speaking Moldavian Csángós includes ornate plaintive songs, classic ballads, playful weaving songs, and uptempo melodies which have been popularly incorporated into the táncház movementMoldavia (known as Moldva in Hungarian, not to be confused with the country of Moldova) is located across the Carpathian Mountains from Transylvania, in eastern Romania - a region where Hungarian speakers have lived for centuries while not part of the country of Hungary. Their distinctive customs, songs, and use of the language have ancient roots, and are a treasure for us to learn and pass on. In this series we will be especially focused on beautiful songs for springtime.

We have two different class times to accommodate various time zones around the world, and newcomers as well as returning students are welcome in this class. If you are new to Hungarian pronunciation or would like a review, contact us about a Pronunciation Class, and if you would like more practice on the songs, join our Extra Song Practice and Skill-Building Class which is designed to supplement this class series with additional repetition and exercises.

Having offered these group singing classes for over a decade, we see the best results when participants have at least occasional private lessons to get one-on-one feedback and guidance, specific things to focus on as they work on the songs both during the classes and on their own. Therefor we encourage everyone to sign up for one private lesson per 6-week class series (besides those already taking regular weekly/monthly lessons), which is scheduled at your convenience, ideally between weeks 2-5 of the series.

- Chestnut Group: Tuesdays, 10:00-11:30am Budapest time

Europe daytime, Australia and New Zealand evening:

9am England / 4pm Hong Kong / 6pm Sydney / 8pm Christchurch

- Rosemary Group: Tuesdays, 7:00-8:30pm Budapest time

North America daytime, Europe evening:

10am California / 1pm New York / 6pm England / 8pm Israel

TIME ZONE CALCULATOR - Check the class times here by entering your location and each class date!

Class Prices:

                                                              

Residents of Hungary:        
Full class series (six 90-minute group classes) plus one 1-hour private lesson: 25,000 Ft.

Full class series (six 90-minute classes) without lesson: 15,000 Ft.

Drop-in (single class): 3000 Ft. per class

International Participants:

Full class series (six 90-minute group classes) plus one 1-hour private lesson: Sliding scale $120 - 225 USD
Full class series (six 90-minute group classes) without lesson: Sliding scale $70 - 150 USD

Drop-in (single class): Sliding scale $15-25 USD per class

Note: While the sliding scale has both a minimum and "maximum", additional contributions supporting this work are always welcome! If you are able to pay more, it supports the participation of those who cannot.

Register here

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Spring Sing

A one-time North American *evening* class!

Tuesday, April 30

5pm West Coast / 8pm East Coast

For the many people who can't attend the ongoing weekly classes that fall during the weekday in North America, in this two-hour class we'll learn wonderful springtime songs we're currently learning in those classes. We'll learn two songs from start to finish, including pronunciation, translation, and learning the songs directly from village source recordings.

Price: $25 USD

Register here

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ADDITIONAL CLASSES SUPPLEMENTING THE

WEEKLY FOLK SINGING CLASSES

Extra Song Practice and Skill-Building (Current Class Songs)

 

Tuesdays, April 16, April 23, May 7, May 14

Held on Zoom immediately before the Rosemary Group singing class above

6:30-7:00pm Budapest time (9:30am California / 12:30pm New York / 5:30pm England / 7:30pm Israel)

Open to those in the group singing class series (online Chestnut/Rosemary Group classes above, or in-person in Budapest below), this supportive small-group class provides skill-building exercises and additional practice on the songs currently being learned in the group singing classes. The song materials are reinforced through both varied repetition as well as focused vocal exercises and pronunciation work. This is a space for those who would like to spend more time on the songs, give attention to certain elements more slowly, improve their vocal skills, strengthen their listening skills, ask additional questions, and receive more individual feedback on their singing.

Class Prices :

Residents of Hungary:                         

Full class series (four 30-minute classes): 5000 Ft.

Drop-in (single class): 1250 Ft. per class

International Participants:

Full class series (four 30-minute classes): Sliding scale $25 - 50 USD       

Drop-in (single class): Sliding scale $7-13 USD per class

Register here

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END-OF-YEAR REVIEW CLASSES & RECITAL

Tuesdays, May 21 (review), May 28 (review), and June 4 (recital)

 

We will have two weeks of classes reviewing all of the material learned this academic year in the weekly group class series (online Chestnut/Rosemary Group classes above, or in-person in Budapest below), culminating in our recital on June 4. These three weeks are open to all those who took classes this year, including those who didn't participate in all of the class series. The recital can also be attended separately by past class participants and invited loved ones. This period leading up to the recital is also an ideal time for private lessons, whether in addition to or in place of the group review classes.

Price for all three dates:

Residents of Hungary: 7000 Ft.

International Participants: Sliding scale $35 - 75 USD

Register here

Extra Practice
Felföld
Szék
Moldva
Recital
Spring Sing
Budapest in-person
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IN-PERSON SINGING CLASSES

BUDAPEST

  • Monday Hungarian Folk Singing Class (ongoing)

    Variety of songs and regions

    II. District, Budapest - Address given upon registration

    Starting on April 8 we will be learning songs from Moldva for six weeks -- please see the description here!

    This small-group in-person singing class is held weekly on Mondays from 6-8pm, covering a variety of songs from various regions, taught directly from source recordings. Typically it includes many of the same songs and materials as the concurrent online singing classes listed above, which cover a given region for each 6 weeks. Class size is limited and may reach capacity, and advanced registration is required.

    If this is your first Hungarian singing class, consider taking a Hungarian pronunciation class beforehand. In the singing classes we review the pronunciation of the song words themselves but not the basics of the Hungarian letter sounds, which is taught in the separate pronunciation class.


    Price:
    Six-week class series (12 hours class time): 18,000 Ft.
    Drop-in: 3000 Ft. per 2-hour class

    Register here

 

 

  • Hungarian Folk Singing Classes at the
    American International School of Budapest (ongoing)

    For current AISB students and community. Please contact with interest in joining.
     

 
Private Lessons
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Private group classes and large events

PRIVATE LESSONS,

SMALL AND LARGE GROUP CLASSES,

WORKSHOPS, FESTIVALS, & OTHER EVENTS

 

In addition to the public group classes listed above, we teach one-on-one private lessons as well as private small groups (coaching for bands and choruses, dance ensembles learning specific songs for a choreography, friends or family members taking a private class together, small group masterclass on a specific topic, etc.) and large groups (music schools, universities, festivals, táncház, summer camps, conferences, etc.). These classes are held in person in Budapest, in other cities/countries with travel arrangements, and online for people around the world. Please visit the Our Offerings page for more information, or Contact Us to make arrangements.

Consider gifting one of our singing classes

to a family member or friend!  Choose among Hungarian pronunciation classes, one-time workshops, class series, lectures, and more.

 

You may choose a specific class to gift or choose an amount which may be applied at the recipient's discretion. Personalized gift certificate PDFs (shown at right) are available at no extra charge.

Simply fill out the class registration form below and select gift certificate, or send us a message here.

Hungarian Folk Singing Circle Népdalkö
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