At Castle Hill we teach Music through the Kodaly Music Education. An approach developed by Hungarian composer and educator Zoltán Kodály, which involves the children learning through singing and playing musical games. By singing simple songs, children gradually learn the elements of music, including pulse, rhythm, pitch, dynamics and tempo. Games reinforce the learning and make the lessons fun, building children’s motivation, enthusiasm and confidence and most importantly, laying the foundation for a lifetime of enjoyment.
The Kodály philosophy fulfils the current National Curriculum and so much more. By learning through developmentally appropriate folk songs and games, an inner felt/heard sense of pulse, pitch and rhythm builds on both an unconscious and conscious level. This is the key to musical literacy, exploration, improvisation, composition, listening, appraising and performance, which are present in all Kodály lessons. The Kodály philosophy develops aural, kinaesthetic and visual learning in all pupils, proving a valuable holistic concept for all abilities.
Kodály believed that musicians should be able to hear what they are playing, therefore the approach develops secure listening skills and excellent music reading skills. Musicianship training begins in the early years, before the children have the fine motor skills needed to master an instrument. At Castle Hill the children begin learning the recorder in year 2 when they have developed the foundations of musical understanding. They continue the recorder in year 3, and the ukulele in years 4 and 5. The children in KS2 also have the opportunity to have extra guitar lessons, ukulele lessons and to join the school choir.