About the Kodály approach

Like language acquisition, musical skills and concepts are best learned through an 
aural/oral approach and immersion in sound. After this the student associates this sound to a symbol, whether that be notation or a concept.


A Kodály inspired classroom would have:

  • Active music making in every class

  • A singing-based approach to learning musical concepts

  • The use of a function-based movable doh system

  • The use of a function-based rhythmic solfege

  • Development of partwork skills through group 
performance and individual “Sing and Play” tasks

  • Analysis of music according to the concepts of music (pitch, duration, 
structure, tone colour, texture, dynamics/expressive techniques)

  • Learning activities based around the question: 
 “You may know it, but can you show it?”

Young children learn through doing, playing and singing. Musical elements are experienced before being named and once learned are practised, and thoroughly understood before new elements are added, in a well researched pedagogical sequence, within a framework of folk songs and singing games.

The pedagogical sequence and vocal, play based approach, originally developed for children has also  been adapted for older beginners. Although older children and adults can understand intellectual abstractions, most older beginners flourish within a learning environment that emphasises aural learning, supported by kinesthetic and visual tools.

When music is taught or learned using Kodály’s approach, skills vital to advanced music making such as “inner hearing”, rhythmic co-ordination and harmonic hearing are strongly developed at an early stage.

Tools of the Kodály approach include relative solfa, (moveable do, re mi etc.) the use of hand signs and rhythm names, These tools are most effective when used within a well planned logical sequence.

Teachers trained in the Kodály approach are challenged to continually improve their own musicianship and teaching practise, with long and short term planning that keeps learners at the centre. The training is rigorous yet completely non competitive. Teacher training is challenging, liberating, musical, and transformative

More about the Kodály approach to musicianship by Lucinda Geoghegan (pdf)