Kodaly Technique

The Kodály Method


Learn more about this exciting method of learning music...

Who was Zoltán Kodály?


  • He was a Hungarian composer, teacher and philosopher who lived between 1882 and 1967. He wrote many famous orchestral pieces (Dances of Galanta and Háry János Suite) and also created the Kodály method of teaching. This teaching method is still used today.

What is the Kodály method? 

  • It is learning through singing and playing games! Gradually, you learn about the elements of music and key musical skills through singing simple songs.

Learning music in this way helps build confidence, enthusiasm and motivation...

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Why singing?

  • Everyone can sing!
  • Singing is one of the most naturally musical things we can do, no instrument is required. According to Zoltán Kodály it is what keeps us human! 
  • This method often uses folk songs as they are simple and easy to remember

Here is an example of how a simple song would be used and developed to eventually draw in other musical and communication skills: (taken from The Kodály Method)

  • Sing the song 
  • Sing and clap the rhythm of the song
  • Sing the song, walk in a circle feeling the pulse of the song in the steps
  • Sing the song, walk the pulse and clap the rhythm of the song
  • Sing the song and using a glove puppet “sing” the alternating lines
  • Just clap the song with no audible singing
  • Sing the song in canon (one group starts singing, the other starts 2 beats later)
  • Sing the song and introduce the “Solfa” hand-signs for the notes
  • Sing the song and clap an ostinato (repeating rhythmic pattern)
  • Clap the rhythm of the song and saying the “Rhythm Solfa”

What is Solfa? 

  • Solfa is a way of teaching music using the “solfa syllables”:

Do - Re - Mi - Fa - Sol - La - Ti 

  • This is called Tonic Sol-Fa - these syllables fit to a note on the major scale. 

do re mi scale

Have you seen the sound of music? Maria uses this method when teaching the Von-Trapp family to sing in “Do-Re-Mi” 

  • There are hand signals that are then associated with each of these notes. (This is what is used in exercise 8 of the singing exercises explained above from The Kodály Method.)

Here is a video to help you put the hand signs into practice: 

Rhythm Solfa

  • There is another type of Solfa called Rhythm Solfa - this is where there are syllables to match note values for example a crochet is ta

(This is what is used in exercise 10 of the singing exercises explained above from The Kodály Method.)

These techniques are then used within the music to help create a greater understanding and overview of the music that is being learnt.


Here is a video with these techniques being used in practice: