The general music courses at Saint Joseph School rely heavily on the Concept of Music Education developed by Hungarian composer, Zoltan Kodaly. During the early part of the 1900’s, Kodaly was very involved in collecting and recording folk music in his region of Europe. During this time he became very interested in the music education system in Hungary. After World War II, many of his ideas were implemented in the nation’s school system. Moreover his ideas spread abroad, and other countries began to developing similar programs.
Of particular interest to music educators is the way Kodaly sorted all the folk music from simple to complex music. Some early childhood songs contain only two different pitches and only two different rhythms. (In English, a song like, “See saw, up and down…” is an example of such limited content.) Beginning with such limited building blocks, children can sing, and read, and play, and write the rhythms and melodies of these songs from very early ages.
Early disciples of Kodaly in the United States set about collecting and sorting American Folk Music in suitable curriculum order. After two-note/two-rhythm songs are introduced to students, all other songs are introduced in an order that incorporates only one new rhythmic or melodic element at a time: thus making the development of music literacy logical and sequential.