What Do We Do in a Kodaly Music Classroom

What does Kodaly Concept mean? 

The Kodály Concept is

  • 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...... and of the NHCE music classroom! 


  • 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.
  • 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

  • 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 - This is one of the most helpful skills a student can develop
                 to become an independent musicianhandsigns

  • Solfège is the best tool for developing the inner ear.
  • It is an invaluable aid in building all musical skills:
    • Sight singing
    • Dictation
    • 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. 

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.

Final Thoughts
“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" 

I sincerely look forward to working with your students this year.  Hopefully this information has given you some insight into our goals and aspirations in the music classroom.      - Mrs. Mayo 

(Information sourced from the Organization of American Kodaly Educators - oake.org) 

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