Trinka, Jill

Jill Trinka, Ph.D., is well known by children, parents, and music educators as “a dynamic, winsome, and energetic teacher and performer.” Her performances bring new life to the musical and cultural treasures of American folk music as she accompanies herself on the dulcimer, autoharp, guitar, and banjo. She has recorded and written four volumes of folksongs, singing games, and play parties for kids of all ages:  My Little Rooster (1987), Bought Me a Cat (1988), John, the Rabbit (1989), and The Little Black Bull (1996).  These publications and her collaborative recordings with John Feierabend – Had a Little Rooster (2005), Old Joe Clark (2006), and There’s a Hole in the Bucket (2006) – are published by and available from GIA Music, Inc.  Her latest publication, a DVD, is entitled Jill Trinka:  The Bass Hall Children’s Concerts (Ft. Worth, TX), released in 2012.


Dr. Trinka was a 1974-75 Ford Foundation Ringer Fellow at the Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest, Hungary, where she studied Kodály philosophy and practice in music education.  She has taught in public and private schools in IL, NY, CT, and TX, and was on the music education faculties at the University of Central Arkansas, the University of North Texas, and the University of St. Thomas, where she also served as director of Graduate Programs in Music Education.

Dr. Trinka holds a B. S. in music education from the University of Illinois, and Ph. D. in music education with secondary studies in ethnomusicology from the University of Texas at Austin. She has taught in Kodály teacher education programs throughout the United States, and served as director of the Kodály Institute of Texas at the University of North Texas, the Kodály Certificate Program at Portland State University in Portland, OR, and the Kodály Institute at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, MN.  She is a Past President of the Organization of American Kodály Educators and received their Outstanding Educator Award in 2003. Jill was a contributing author to Pearson/Scott Foresman/Silver Burdett’s Making Music, Grades 5-8.

Originally from Oak Park, IL, Jill currently resides in Pawleys Island, SC, where she teaches music education, world music, musicianship, and elementary music methods courses at Coastal Carolina University, performs as a solo folk artist, and sings in the Carolina Master Chorale and the Carolina Master Chorale Chamber Singers. She teaches workshops for music educators throughout the United States and is an artist-in-residence in elementary schools.  She is currently working on a CD of traditional Christmas music from the American South.