The fourth morning of the trip was spent at the Kós Károly Primary School; a ‘singing school’. This means that prior to joining children are assessed for their musical abilities to determine which path they follow within the school. Those selected, have four forty-five minute music lessons per week plus two choir sessions. Even those not chosen for that pathway have two forty-five music lessons each week.
We observed two sessions: Primary One (6-7 years) and then Primary Two (7-8 years). Both sessions started with the children at desks focussing on developing their pitch, beat, rhythm, and dictation skills. So much focussed work was fitted into such a short period of time, all flowing seamlessly and logically from one activity to the next.
Then the children moved to the carpeted area for activities involving listening to recorded classical music and then playing musical games developing the ideas from the start of the lesson.
This proved to be yet another thought-provoking visit. Whilst I am never likely to have the joy of spending that much time each week with a group of young musicians, it was enlightening to see what can be achieved with the right environment and excellent teaching.