The Kodaly Method

Biography

Zoltan Kodaly (1882-1967) developed a distinguished and unique approach to musical education, which is appropriate for all ages with emphasis on the preliminary stage beginning at Reception class age and under.

Kodaly (pronounced Ko-die-ee) developed his technique because at the time his Hungarian identity was being undermined by German and Austrian influence in the country at the time. Kodaly focused on this country’s folk-song heritage to bring a sense of unity back to Hungary’s citizens. Kodaly and his long life friend, the composer Bela Bartok, studied and extensively researches Hungarian folk songs.

This led to his education principles being solely focused on the human voice being used as an instrument and as a tool for learning. He also includes using the Solfa (from Italy) system and hand-sings technique by John Curwen (U.K).

sol-fa hand signs

sol-fa hand signs

Kodaly Concepts in Education

Kodaly believed that musical education even at a pre-school age was not only vital but also crucial to an important period of age development for music. Early music preparation for a child not only aids them musically but also can develop their reading and writing skills, for later on at school. The musical skills that are developed at pre-school are age:

  • Inner hearing and memory
  • Pitch range awareness
  • Dynamic range awareness
  • Rhythmic sense

Singing games and rhymes can enhance different aspects of childhood development:

  • Intellectual-develops speech, increase child’s vocabulary and introduces concept of numbers and colours etc.
  • Creativity-encourages movement and imagination
  • Emotional-forms independence, self assurance and a sense of release
  • Social-encourages friendship and discipline
  • Physical-builds on motor skills, spatial awareness and co-ordination