I just saw an interesting announcement about a one-day workshop to be held in Bedford, England, on 4 February. It’s called ‘Wider Opportunities Through Kodaly’.
The composer, Zoltan Kodaly, revolutionised music education in Hungary (early 1900s) by developing a system of music education which started by helping young children to absorb the melodic and rhythmic characteristics of Hungarian folk music through singing and rhythmic activity and, as they grew, the musical materials to which they were exposed became gradually more complex, following the same developments that occurred in music history.
It’s always fascinating to analyse a great composition, to strip away the surface details and to see the universal musical ideas that give it structure and emotional appeal. The Kodaly approach encourages an intuitive involvement in music and young musicians who have been raised on Kodaly ideas frequently amaze audiences with their musical maturity.
It’s not unusual for these virtuoso young performers to share a platform with very young children, who are involved in the performance by means of the simple ideas on which the piece is constructed. Similarly, the composer, Paul Nordoff, developed ways of involving children with autism and other special needs. These are examples of what I was trying to express (very badly!) in my last blog. It’s a good job that music has no need of words to make its meaning clear!
For details of the Kodaly workshop, visit www.waterhouse-music.co.uk