The Kodaly Method is an approach to music education, developed in Hungary by the Hungarian composer and educator Zoltan Kodaly.
In order for a child to realise his or her full potential, it is necessary that he or she begin musical training at an early age. Kodaly emphasised that children must learn to read music at the same time as they learn to read language. Kodaly felt that children between ages three and seven are most sensitive to music, and therefore good musical instruction is crucial at this time if the musical ear is to be fully developed. Kodaly recommended that musical training begin no later than in Kindergarten and the primary grades.
Also central to the Kodaly Method is the philosophy that, as a child naturally learns his mother tongue before learning foreign languages, so should he learn his musical mother tongue, that is, the folk music of his native language, before learning foreign music. Kodaly believed that the use of native folk music is most valuable in helping children develop basic music skills because of its familiarity to children through real-life musical experiences .
He felt that children are more sensitive to art than adults, and would therefore only reach their full potential through the use of the finest music. Kodaly claimed that exposure to the inferior 'educational music' used in schools as a child would prevent one from being able to appreciate high-quality music as an adult.
A child's brain goes through a process of developing and maturing, its weight almost tripling by the age of three. A baby's brain is very fragile until it becomes covered with myelin, a substance that insulates the brain. When a baby has been profusely shaken, it can actually shake the brain around in the skull and damage areas of the brain (Shaken Baby syndrome). While synapses are continuing to develop during the first year, the brain builds the potential to learn. During the first three years, the brain is storing information and memories that will be the foundation for future learning. If this foundation is blemished, or stifled, it can affect the entire life span of the child.
Knowledge on the early development of the brain informs us that during the first few years of a child's life, extreme nurture and care must be given for their future development. Exposing young children to musical sounds, lullabies and rhymes assists in this development. Hearing music is a sensory experience. Music has a soothing effect on an infant's mood.
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