The Kodaly Concept of Music Education
Who is Kodaly & How will his ideas benefit your child?
“Teach music in such a way that it is a joy for the pupil; Instil a thirst for finer music in him; a thirst which will last a lifetime.” – Zoltan Kodaly
Zoltan Kodaly (1882-1967) composer, philosopher, and music educator devoted much of his creative efforts to the musical development of his native Hungary. His efforts began with folk song collection (1905) and as he became increasingly aware of the need to improve the quality of singing and training of music teachers and children, he began to compose for children’s choruses (1920). Folk music provided the inspiration and basis for many of his compositions. By 1929, Kodaly was determined to make music an integral part of the education of every child.
Kodaly did not write a teaching method, but he did have very strong philosophical ideas about the state of music education in Hungary and what its future directions should be.
His basic beliefs included the following:
- Music education is necessary for the development of the total man.
- Music is the birthright of every child, not just the musically gifted.
- The voice is the best teaching tool because it is “free and accessible to all”.
- Children understand best what they experience, hence a participatory approach.
- “Only the best is good enough for the child…” The most tasteful materials of the highest quality-folk music of the mother tongue.
- Singing should be A Capella (unaccompanied), as is traditional with folk music.
- Part-Singing should begin early because it is a tremendous aid to intonation.
- The musical education of children rests in the hands of their instructors.
Therefore, they must be the best possible musician-educators.