THE KODÁLY PHILOSOPHY(from the Organization of American Kodály Educators website)
The Kodály Concept
Essential and Key Elements of the Concept
- Is a philosophy of education and a concept of teaching.
- Is a comprehensive program to train basic musical skills and teach the reading and writing of music.
- Is an integration of many of the best ideas, techniques, and approaches to music education.
- Is an experience-based approach to teaching.
- We should first learn to love music as human sound and as an experience that enriches life.
- The voice is the most natural instrument and one which every person possesses.
- Kodály called singing “the essence” of this concept.
- Singing is a powerful means of musical expression.
- What we produce by ourselves is better learned; and there is a stronger feeling of success and accomplishment.
- Learning through singing should precede instrumental training.
- It is in the child’s best interest to understand the basics of reading music before beginning the difficult task of learning the technique of an instrument.
- What do we sing?
- Folk songs and games of the American Culture
- Traditional children’s songs and games
- Folk songs of other cultures
- Music of the masters from all ages
- Pedagogical exercises written by master composers
- Singing best develops the inner, musical ear.
- Folk music is the music of the people. There can be no better material for singing than the songs and games used by children for centuries.
- Folk Music has all the basic characteristics needed to teach the foundations of music and to develop a love of music – a love that will last a life time.
- Folk music is the classical music of the people, and, as such, is a perfect bridge leading to and working hand-in-hand with art music.
- Solfège is the best tool for developing the inner ear.
- It is an invaluable aid in building all musical skills:
- Sight singing
- Ear training
- Part hearing
- Hearing and singing harmony
- Perceiving form
- Developing memory
- The moveable do system, highly developed in English choral training, was advocated by Kodály as a tool for teaching musical literacy.
- Use of the pentatone (do, re, mi, sol, la) was recommended by Kodály for early training of children because of its predominance in their folk music.
Music and Quality
- We believe that music enhances the quality of life. So that it may have the impact it deserves, only the best music should be used for teaching:
- Folk music, which is the most representative of the culture
- The best music composed by the masters
- Quality music demands quality teaching:
- Teachers need to be as well-trained as possible
- Teachers’ training must be well-rounded
- Teachers need to develop their musical and vocal skills to the highest degree possible
Development of the Complete Musician
- Kodály training is a complete and comprehensive approach to music education which meets the National Standards for Arts Education as published by MENC, © 1994.
- The development of all skill areas begins very early with simple tasks required of all the students. As knowledge grows, skills are developed further in a sequential manner.
- In addition to music reading and writing which are begun at an early stage, the following skill areas are also developed: part-singing, part-hearing, improvisation, intonation, listening, memory, phrasing and understanding of form.
- An awareness and knowledge of musical styles develops as skills become more proficient.
- Presentation of materials, concepts, and development of skills can be done in a meaningful way only if the curriculum is well sequenced.
- A carefully planned sequence, well taught, will result in successful experiences for children and teacher. Success breeds success – and fosters a love of music.
- A Kodály sequenced curriculum is an experience-based approach to learning rather than a cognitive developmental approach.