The Kodály approach

Zoltan Kodály was a Hungarian composer who established an approach to music education in the first half of the 20th Century. Kodály claimed that 'music belongs to everyone', and he believed that musical literacy enables people to appreciate and benefit from music in the deepest possible way.

More information about the Kodály approach

Parents looking for a great start for the musical eductaion of their children - look for your nearest Do-Re-Mi teacher, or check out these programs, all endorsed by the Kodály Music Education Institute of Australia (KMEIA).

Teachers wishing to learn about the Kodály approach and how to use it in their own teaching should consider courses offered by KMEIA, including the Australian Kodály Certificate, now recognised as credit for 50% of a Master's Degree at a number of Australian tertiary institutions.

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Kodály's approach to music education proved enormously successful in Hungary, and his principles are now followed by music eductaors throughout the world.  His approach has been adapted very successfully in the English speaking world.

Central to the Kodály approach is the idea that children's songs and folk music should form the core of musical material used in teaching the early stages of music literacy.  

All the songs chosen for Tigers and Teapots have proven themselves in Kodály-based music education in English speaking countries.  Beyond that, the arrangements are aimed to reflect the principles of this approach to music education.

The Learning Spiral
An important concept in music education is the so-called learning spiral.  Put simply, this means that musical material may be revisited at various stages of the learning process, each time uncovering a new layer of understanding.  For example, a song first heard sitting on a mother's lap eventually becomes a song sung by the child.  The same song may then be used for teaching a variety of musical concepts when the child begins formal music lessons.  

The arrangements in Tigers and Teapots aim to serve a number of unique roles in this spiral.  First, they provide the opportunity for children to hear and know the songs.  Later, many of the arrangements may be analysed in class, identifying musical forms, timbres or style, for example.  Finally, the arrangements become performing material for the children - perhaps first as choristers, and then later as orchestra players, or even as the conductor.