The Kodály 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.
Essential and Key Elements of the Concept
- 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.
“If we ourselves sing often, this provides a deep experience of happiness in music. Through our own musical activities, we learn to know the pulsation, rhythm, and shape of melody. The enjoyment given encourages the study of instruments and the listening to other pieces of music as well.”(Kodály, 1964)
- 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.
“The compositions of every country, if original, are based on the songs of its own people. That is why their folk songs must be constantly sung, observed, and studied.” (Kodály, 1964)