There are countless approaches to the delivery of school music, perhaps as many as there are music educators. There are a range of programs and organisations, each with their own ways of bringing more music into schools or give students new opportunities, and many of these are listed in our Australian Music Directory. There are also many approaches that teachers in schools can use in their regular music lessons and we’ve outlined a few popular and innovative approaches below.
The Kodály Approach
A philosophy developed by Hungarian composer, Zoltan Kodály, this is a sequential, cumulative and developmental program, based on an aural-vocal approach. According to Jennifer Samild from the Kodaly Music Education Institute of Australia (NSW branch), “Kodaly believed that children should first learn their own musical mother tongue – the folk songs of their own cultural heritage. It is through this musical mother tongue that the skills and concepts necessary to achieve musical literacy can be taught. As these skills develop, children are given the opportunity to study and perform Art Music of all periods and styles.”
Developed in the 1920s and 1930s by the German composer and educator Carl Orff and his colleague Gunild Keetman, The Orff approach “This approach encourages the student to develop their own compositions from their thoughts and creativity. In a sequenced music education program, the Orff approach recognises the importance of rhythm in children’s early musical experiences. This is fostered through movement and dance as well as singing, speaking rhythmically and instrument playing.”
Musical Futures is an enquiry based approach to teaching and learning that aims to bring non-formal teaching and informal learning approaches into more formal contexts, in an attempt to provide engaging, sustainable and relevant music making activities for all young people. Musical Australia has partnered with Musical Futures Australia on our Songwriting Workshops for Teachers.