Kodaly method & Music Pedagogy

I saw another music platform advertise the Kodaly method so looked into it. Has anyone used it before? It emphasizes ear training, uses solfege and folk songs, and singing intervals. Seemed similarly to what we’re doing here. Wonder how much David has been inspired by this music pedagogy

I think David mentions somewhere that he was influenced by lots of things, but his intention (I think) is to give us efficient training wheels in the IFR exercises as described in the book he wrote. Training wheels are temporary, and the goal is to take them off and ride freely. The brand of the training wheels are not what’s important, as long as they work (although some may be more efficient than others).

It’s akin to the what Charlie Parker said, “You’ve got to learn your instrument. Then, you practice, practice, practice. And then, when you finally get up there on the bandstand, forget all that and just wail.”


I used a version of Kodaly in the first Musical-U course I did (Foundations of a Musical Mind, a 6 week on-line course). That course was the thing that proved to me that I wasn’t the tone deaf non-musical no-hoper I’d been led to believe for over 50 years. In addition to the aspects you mention there are also kinasethetic aspects (i.e. associating movements with the tones & intervals).

Then I discovered IFR. For me IFR is an elegant, all encompasing, holostic, philosophy of music. I find it more appealing than the Kodaly approach, & I find I prefer numbers to solfege.

Yes there are similarities, but there are bound to be - they are both trying to achieve similar goals within the same field. Another appproach is “Music Learning Theory”, developed by Dr Edwin E Gordon.

Both the Kodaly & Gordon approaches were initially aimed at teaching children from a young age, but have since been used with adults.

Different approaches will suit different people.

Edited to correct typo.


Love that quote @hender99 :smiley:

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Love this discussion! I’ve studied Kodaly a little bit, and Gordon (also just a little). I think the “audiation” that Gordon emphasizes is the same goal we have in IFR. From the little I know of piano teachers who use Gordon-inspired methods, they have some things in common with “sing the numbers”. Lots of melodic and rhythmic pattern repetition. They do exercises very similar to melody paths also (with a focus on chord tones). Unlike IF4 which starts with I & 4 chords, they start with 1 & 5 as easier to distinguish, but they teach in a slow, systematic way. I don’t think they have as much emphasis on creative exploration to internalize the #s, but I could be wrong.

In any case, it’s always interesting to me that just having “something” to hang our hats on with intervals can help, whether it’s numbers, syllables, the IF4 visual, movements, etc.

I often ask people about the pros & cons of solfege versus numbers. I like numbers, but sometimes wonder if it’s just because that’s what I learned first. I also like how #s are then easier to connect to chords (in a way). But my favorite is when I can forget about the #s and just find the melody notes I want on the piano, which now happens – sometimes, miraculously, from time to time (not always).

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