How Kodály-inspired music education can help

“In setting out a clearly sequenced and ambitious approach to music teaching, this curriculum provides a roadmap to introduce pupils to the delights and disciplines of music, helping them to appreciate and understand the works of the musical giants of the past, while also equipping them with the technical skills and creativity to compose and perform”
From the foreword to the Model Music Curriculum (MMC): Rt Hon Nick Gibb MP
Minister of State for School Standards

The MMC sets out sequences of learning in key areas which, when taken together, all contribute towards the steadily increasing development of musicianship. (MMC p. 5)


Kodály summarised his philosophy of education in one word – SINGING – and it’s top of the list

Why Singing?

  • It’s available to everyone at no cost – everyone can sing!
  • The child catches the SOUND of the musical language which leads to a stronger understanding of the SYMBOL in music literacy
  • Develops the inner ear – the brain gives meaning to the sounds. Education in language and experience has taught us to think in words – similarly, Music Education built on singing can help us to think in sound
  • If the child sings prior to playing an instrument they will have a greater understanding of the music: The intonation will be better, the playing will be more musical

Is Kodály work only about singing – what about the other areas of the MMC?

  • Kodály inspired music education includes LISTENING activities – creative ideas encourage children to participate in ACTIVE LISTENING rather than PASSIVE LISTENING
  • Music literacy is taught in a child friendly sequential manner – from the simple to the complex – from the sound to the symbol. The pathway to literacy starts with the simplest intervals/rhythms and builds to more complex reading using a progressive, structured sequence of learning.
  • COMPOSING: when the child understands the sound world of music and has been introduced to the notation, then composition has true meaning and understanding rather than abstractly writing something which is disconnected from sound.
  • PERFORMING: solo or group performance will be more meaningful and successful if the music comes from within: the children read it, sing it, and before playing they are able to imagine the sound they produce. Then play what they can already hear. Otherwise, music becomes a de-coding exercise and the playing is frequently unmusical

So Kodály inspired music education can help me develop a progressive curriculum covering the main areas of the MMC?

Quite simply – YES!         


You have a number of options:

Model Music Curriculum Mini-Series 1: Five one-hour sessions over five weeks. Ideal for general class teachers, led by Lucinda Geoghegan.

This five-session series will give a very brief insight into Kodály Inspired education and how it links with the MMC. It will give some ideas of where to start and how this pedagogy supports the progression in the MMC. If you are new to Kodály inspired education and are looking to put your “toe in the water” to get some ideas then this course is for you.
Session One: Key Stage One: Singing and Musicianship (beat/rhythm)
Session Two: Key Stage One: Singing and Musicianship (pitch)

Session Three: Key Stage One: Listening/Composing/Performing
Session Four: Key Stage Two: Singing and Development of further Musicianship skills
Session Five: Key Stage Two: Listening/Composing/Performing

Model Music Curriculum Mini-Series 2: Ideal for music specialists with or without Kodály knowledge, led by Rebecca Berkley.

Interested in further CPD Accredited courses? Read more about our Foundation Course and Certificate Courses.