How Does The Kodaly Method Work?
You may have never heard of Zoltan Kodaly or the Kodaly Method so over the next few paragraphs I'll shed some light on the man and his work in music education.Have you been part of a Kodaly Class? How was it for YOU?
His father was a stationmaster and keen amateur musician, and Kodály learned to play the violin as a child. He also sang in a cathedral choir and wrote music, despite having little formal musical education.
He was one of the first people to undertake the serious study of folk tales,
From 1905 he visited remote villages to collect songs recording them on phonograph cylinders.
Kodály was very interested in the problems of music education, and wrote a large amount of material on music education methods as well as composing a large amount of music for children.
Inherent in the Kodaly method are these basic principles; truths he believed to be present in everyone.
These six principles are:
• The beginning of music happens when human emotions are translated into musical motion
• We experience emotions physically
• Through our sensations of various muscular contractions and releases in our bodies, we sense emotion
• The body expresses internal emotions by externalizing affect through movements, postures, gestures, and sounds. Some of these are automatic, some spontaneous, and others the results of thought and will
• Internal emotions are translated into music through motions such as breathing, singing or playing an instrument
• The first instrument that must be trained in music is the human body
Songs of high artistic value, both folk and composed, are used in the Kodaly classroom.
Other songs that may be used include chants, dancing songs, lullabies, nursery rhymes, songs for circle games and story songs.
What are the musical instruments used?
The voice is the main musical instrument of this method. In his words, "Singing connected with movements and action is a much more ancient, and, at the same time, more complex phenomenon than is a simple song." Various other instruments are also used, including xylophones and recorders.
What is a typical lesson like and what are the key concepts learned?
Although the Kodaly Method follows a set sequence, the materials used in teaching musical concepts varies depending on the age of the student.
The sequence followed may be simplified as:
listen - sing - understand - read and write - create.
Using this Kodaly method under the guidance of a certified Kodaly teacher, students can develop listening skills, sight-singing, ear training, learn how to play instruments, compose, improvise, sing, dance, analyze, read and write music.
Zoltan Kodaly Quotes:
"Only art of intrinsic value is suitable for children! Everything else is harmful.”
“We should read music in the same way that an educated adult will read a book: in silence, but imagining the sound.”
"To teach a child an instrument without first giving him preparatory training and without developing singing, reading and dictating to the highest level along with the playing is to build upon sand.”
"Teach music and singing at school in such a way that it is not a torture but a joy for the pupil; instill a thirst for finer music in him, a thirst which will last for a lifetime."
Are you a Kodaly Teacher or Student?
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