What is the Kodàly approach?
Zoltàn Kodàly was a Hungarian musician and teacher. He took what he saw as the best practices used to teach music to children and combined them to create a practical approach to learning about music.
The music itself has to be of high quality.
“Let us take our children seriously! Everything else follows from this.. only the best is good enough for children.” Kodàly
For this reason, cultural folk music is usually used. It's lasted for generations and gives children a strong understanding of the music their culture is built on. In the UK, the music is mainly in 4/4 for upbeat songs or 6/8 for lullabies.
Sing, sing, sing
Kodàly believed that experiencing music cannot start too early. Singing is the essence of his approach and it is the most organic way of producing music. In class we sing lots of songs that are suitable for children to sing, for example songs that suit a child's vocal range and do not stretch vocal muscles and that aren't too wordy. Instead of using pitched note names, we use Tonic Sol-fa; do, re, mi, fa, sol, la, ti, do.
As easy as 1, 2, 3
Making the music seem easy is really important or it will be written off as too tricky - but this is all in the hands of the teacher with the delivery. Kodàly stressed that teaching step-by-step is important so that children experience something before terminology is added, for example singing loudly then drawing attention to this and bringing in the word, forte.
To find our more, visit The British Kodàly Academy