Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Solfeggio: The Kodaly Method

The Kodaly Method
Zoltan Kodaly (pronounced [KOH-die], Hungary, 1882-1967) was a revolutionist who changed the attitudes of teaching music to children. His addition of hand signs and use of 'patterning' are means for the goal of developing the music within the child.

Hand Signs
Kodaly went a step beyond solfeg syllables and added hand signs to each syllable which represent the function of each step of the major scale. In this way, full body involvement is utilized because the hands can 'feel' the major scale. Thus, while singing in solfeg, the child is producing the pitch with his voice, hearing it with his ear, and reinforcing that pitch relationship with his hands. Further, the hand signs were structured in such a way, that each one accurately links the pitch to its function within the scale like this:
When singing the solfeg syllables, the hands begin near the waist with DO and each consecutive sign is slightly higher than the previous one, with the octave DO being a height near your forehead. Hand signs must always communicate pitch height to be completely effective.

Tomorrow, the awesome method of Patterning, and how it develops Inner Hearing, and Tonal Center.
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