A Key to Great Musicianship

I’ll be taking on a new enterprise this fall besides my coaching clients– teaching the Kodály Method to 5-8 year olds in a local school. I’m being employed to train teachers alongside kids in the method, and I’m really looking forward to it.

Two of my best years of musicianship training took place in London starting about twelve years ago. I’ve always been able to do aural exercises extremely easily, as I have perfect pitch, but had never found a great way to assist others in learning dictation, sight-singing, being able to hear music inwardly, etc. Now, with the help of the great teachers David Vinden and his wife Yuko (who both trained in Hungary, the birthplace of the Kodály Method), I learned all of this and more, using the Kodály technique. And the best part about this training was that I could feel my own aural abilities being stretched to the full– being asked to play a single line of a Bach melody as a three part-canon on the piano, attempting to tap an ostinato whilst sight-singing using the alto clef and sol-fa syllables (do, re, mi, etc.)…. and having tremendous fun in the process, thanks to my wonderful teachers.

Of course, I’ll be starting much more simply with my Kindergarteners. The idea is to start with two notes only (soh and mi) and introduce new notes and concepts gradually. I’m hoping I have as much fun with the kids as I did in my own studies. And I’m hoping to give them the very best start as musicians. Of course, five years old is the best time to start, but it’s never too late. If you’d like to know more, one great place to start is http://www.oake.org/ .

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