Zoltán Kodály was a Hungarian composer who collected the best ideas about developing musicianship from around Europe. He liaised with educators around him, notably Katalin Forrai, to develop a philosophy of musical education using singing to prepare, present and practice a sequential approach to acquiring musicianship skills.
'Music belongs to everyone' Zoltán Kodály
For very young children, these sessions ‘prepare’ the basic musical skills of singing and moving to a steady beat are all developed unconsciously through songs and games. Only when children reach school age will these concepts be ‘presented’ and named. There is then a lifetime to ‘practice’ and perfect these musical skills, and many others.
'Music education starts nine months before the birth of the mother' Zoltán Kodály
Kodály recommended using traditional songs and rhymes that stress the natural speech patterns of the culture. In the Early Years, the selected songs are usually pentatonic (using whole-tone scales of up to five notes) and are carefully pitched to encourage children to join in comfortably and safely for their young voices.
‘Music is everyone’s property. But how can we let it belong to everyone? We can, if a small child’s interest in music and his mood for singing a song are not ignored for years on end. We can if he learns his music, not as a foreign language, but as his musical mother tongue; if it is inside him and grows in him from the earliest possible stages of his life' Zoltán Kodály