Saturday, May 23, 2015

Why Teaching with the KODALY METHOD Works



Kodaly teachers all know the importance of the Kodaly method for helping children to learn how to sing and get the full experience of music education. It's an amazing philosophy that embraces the whole child. I'm inspired by Zoltan Kod├íly and his revolution in the teaching of music that began in Hungary. 
Some of the key points of his method are:
•    Music is a prime necessity of life.
•    Only music of the highest quality is good enough for children.
•    Music education must begin nine months before the birth of the child.
•    Music instruction must be a part of general education for everyone.
•    The ear, the eye, the hand, and the heart must all be trained together.

I know this guy looks a little goofy--but he's got a great big smile on his face, he's eager to learn--ears and eyes and hands ready! I'm calling him my Heart Man

LEARNING WITH EYES, EARS AND HANDS:

The last point really resonates with me as a person. I think children learn anything better when we address "the ear, the eye, the hand and the heart..." As a teacher and a creator I've tried hard to integrate those key learning experiences into every lesson. Sometimes it's the "feet" instead of the "hand", but I always engage kids in listening, singing/playing and feeling through movement, dance, or rhythmic exercises like body percussion or echo rhythm clapping. Why did our ancient ancestors dance their way through most of their cultural activities and celebrations? It was their way of expressing the emotions of the event. So why not use some SIGNS to help students learn?
Inner Hearing Signs and More {Freebie} 
MUSIC ROOM SIGNS
So one thing I do is create visuals for my students.  I feel like my students really pay attention to my lessons because I use engaging and fun presentations in power points or other media . I think it's important to create visuals for students so they "see" what you're talking about, and I love to see my students walking out the door practicing their Kodaly "hand signs", or the dance steps or body percussion. I really believe that these are their favorite lessons.  I doubt that they will say that the day I gave them the assessment test was at the top of the list. So including eyes, ears, hands and feet in lessons is a critical part of success as a teacher. 
ENGINE, ENGINE
is a great visual lesson and also a very kinesthetic lesson. 
Engine Engine Number Nine: A Chant for Steady Beat and Rhythm
You can get a free lesson plan and presentation HERE
One of my favorite lessons is RAIN, RAIN GO AWAY.
Here are some Free visuals you can get to help teach this lesson.
Rain Rain Go Away Manipulatives

 I also believe that games are another way to help kids learn things. Whether singing, sports related or board and card games, kids skills are improved. Why? Because they are doing more than one thing at a time-making brain connections by engaging those brain cells and activating them. Teachers help make those brain connections and make them stronger by giving kids experiences to use the brain connections. It's like a muscle--we use it or we lose it. It's why I believe in creating and employing activities that engage kids in a variety of experiences. We know from child development studies that children's brains learn the fastest between 0 and 10 years of age. So the more eye, ear, hands, feet and heart experiences we can give them, the more successful they will be at developing  skills. 
How about this free Game to help students read rhythms and compose songs?
Roll a Rhythm: A Game for Composing and Reading Rhythms
"Doggie Doggie" is every kids every time favorite!
Doggie Doggie- Beat, word rhythm, fun game! Kodaly FREE
You can get it free here: 
INFORMATION AND TRAINING:
Here are some Links to some sites that might be helpful to you to learn about the Kodaly method and training.
Clearwater Schools  offers a downloadable PDF file with the KODALY TEACHING BASICS.  

Some of you might be checking out KODALY TRAINING for the SUMMER. Here's the link to those sites.
And this site; MY SONG FILE offers some good explanations and resources as well.
Here's a YouTube video of Erin McDermott that explains the methodology and gives some insights as to the importance of learning for young children.

Check out:  OAKE for workshops and seminars.

If you're interested in my Hand Signs-they also come with some games you can play too!







KODALY GAMES HAND SIGN POSTERS 
I included POSTERS and Game Printables and Directions.
Happy Singing!











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