There are various approaches used by educators when it comes to teaching music.

Here are four of the most popular music education methods. 1. The Orff Approach

Public Domain Image from Wikimedia Commons The Orff Method is a way of teaching children about music that engages their mind and body through a mixture of singing, dancing, acting and the use of percussion instruments (i.e. xylophones, metallophones, glockenspiels). Lessons are presented with an element of "play" helping the children learn at their own level of understanding. The Orff Method is a way of teaching children about music that engages their mind and body through a mixture of singing, dancing, acting and the use of percussion instruments (i.e. xylophones, metallophones, glockenspiels). Lessons are presented with an element of "play" helping the children learn at their own level of understanding. What is Orff-Schulwerk? Also known as the Orff Method, Orff Approach or Music for Children; it is a way of introducing and teaching children about music on a level that they can easily comprehend. Musical concepts are learned through singing, chanting, dance, movement, drama and the playing of percussion instruments. Improvisation, composition and a child's natural sense of play are encouraged.

Who created the Orff Approach? This approach to music education was developed by Carl Orff, a German composer, conductor and educator whose most famous composition is the oratorio "Carmina Burana." It was conceived during the 1920s and 1930s while he served as music director of the Günther-Schule; a school of music, dance and gymnastics that he co-founded in Munich. His ideas were based on his belief in the importance of rhythm and movement. Orff shared these ideas in a book titled Orff-Schulwerkwhich was later revised and then adapted into English as Music for Children. What types of music and instruments are typically used? Folk music and music composed by the children themselves are mostly used in the Orff classroom.Xylophones (soprano, alto, bass), metallophones (soprano, alto, bass), glockenspiels (soprano and alto), castanets, bells, maracas, triangles, cymbals (finger, crash or suspended),tambourines, timpani, gongs, bongos, steel drums and conga drums are but some of the percussion instruments used in the Orff classroom. Other instruments (both pitched and unpitched) that may be used include:

y afuches y claves y cow bells y djembe y rainmakers y rhythm sticks y sand blocks

y shakers y tap-a-tap y tick tock y tone block y vibra slap y wood blocks What is a typical lesson like? Although Orff teachers use many books as frameworks, there is no standardized Orff curriculum. Orff teachers design their own lesson plans and adapt it to suit the size of the class and the age of the students. For example, a teacher may choose a poem or a story to read in class. Students are then asked to participate by choosing instruments to represent a character or a word in the story or poem. As the teacher reads the story or poem again, students add sound effects by playing the instruments they selected. The teacher then adds accompaniment by playing Orff instruments. As the lesson progresses, students are asked to play Orff instruments or add other instruments. To keep the whole class involved, others are asked to act-out the story. What about songs and notation? In the Orff classroom, the teacher acts like a conductor who gives cues to her eager orchestra. If the teacher selected a song, some students will be chosen as instrumentalists while the rest of the class sings along. Parts may or may not be notated. If notated, it should be simple enough for the students to understand. The teacher then provides students a copy of the notes and/or creates a poster.

What are the key concepts learned? Using the Orff approach, students learn about rhythm, melody, harmony, texture, form and otherelements of music. Students learn these concepts by speaking, chanting, singing, dancing, movement, acting and playing instruments. These learned concepts become springboards for further creative pursuits such as improvisation or composing their own music. Sample Simplified Format This is a very simple lesson plan format that may be used for young children: y Choose a poem. y Read the poem to the class. y Ask the class to recite the poem with you. y Recite the poem together while keeping a steady beat (i.e. tapping hands to knees). y Choose students who will play the instruments (i.e. xylophones and glockenspiels). y Ask students to play certain notes on cue words. Instruments must match words. y Add other instruments, choose students to play these instruments (i.e. Chinese bell). y Discuss the days lesson with the students (i.e. Was the piece easy or difficult?). y Assess students' comprehension by asking relevant questions. yPut away all instruments. Note: It's important that students maintain correct rhythm and learn proper mallet technique.

Carl Orff Quotes Here are some quotes by Carl Orff to give you a better understanding of his philosophy:

"Experience first, then intellectualize."

"Since the beginning of time, children have not liked to study. They would much rather play, and if you have their interests at heart, you will let them learn while they play; they will find that what they have mastered is child's play.

" Elemental music is never just music. It's bound up with movement, dance and speech, and so it is a form of music in which one must participate, in which one is involved not as a listener but as a co-performer."

2. The Kodaly Method

Getty Images The Kodaly Method's philosophy is that music education is most effective when started early and that everyone is capable of musical literacy. Singing is stressed as the foundation for musicianship and the use of folk and composed music of high artistic value. What is the Kodaly Method?: The Kodaly Method is a way of developing musical skills and teaching musical concepts beginning in very young children. This method usesfolk songs, Curwen hand signs, pictures, movable-do, rhythm symbols and syllables. It was first introduced in Hungary but is now used in many countries, either alone or in combination with other methods. Who created this method?: The Kodaly Method is an approach to music education based on the philosophies of Zoltan Kodaly. Zoltan Kodaly was a Hungarian composer, author, educator and expert on Hungarian folk songs. Although this method wasn't exactly invented by Kodaly, it was developed by his colleagues and students in the mid-20th century based on his teachings.

What were Zoltan Kodaly's goals and philosophies?:
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Elevate the level of teacher training. Improve musical literacy in schools. Everyone is capable and has the right to musical literacy. Singing is the foundation of musical learning. Music education must begin with the very young. The importance of using folk music (native folk songs and folk songs of other countries) and music of high artistic value.


Incorporating games, movement, playing instruments, reading and writing music with singing.


Sequential process following a child's natural learning development: Aural - oral - kinesthetic Written - pictoral - abstract Read - recognized

What types of music and instruments are used in the classroom?: Songs of high artistic value, both folk and composed, are used in the Kodaly classroom. Songs that are in the pentatonic scale are emphasized at the beginning level. According to Kodaly, "Nobody wants to stop at pentatony. But, indeed, the beginnings must be made there; on the one hand, in this way the child's biogenetical development is natural and, on the other, this is what is demanded by a rational pedagogical sequence." Other songs that may be used include chants, dancing songs, lullabies, nursery rhymes, songs for circle games and story songs.

What are the musical instruments used? : The voice is the main musical instrument of this method. In his words, "Singing connected with movements and action is a much more ancient, and, at the same time, more complex phenomenon than is a simple song." Various rhythm and tonal instruments are also used, including xylophones and recorders. What is a typical lesson like and what are the key concepts learned?: Although the Kodaly Method follows a set sequence, the materials used in teaching musical concepts varies depending on the age of the student. The sequence followed may be simplified as: listen - sing - understand - read and write - create. Using this method under the guidance of a certified Kodaly teacher, students can develop listening skills, sight-singing, ear training, learn how to play instruments, compose, improvise, sing, dance, analyze, read and write music. Zoltan Kodaly Quotes: "Only art of intrinsic value is suitable for children! Everything else is harmful.´ ³We should read music in the same way that an educated adult will read a book: in silence, but imagining the sound.´ "To teach a child an instrument without first giving him preparatory training and without developing singing, reading and dictating to the highest level along with the playing is to build upon sand.´

"Teach music and singing at school in such a way that it is not a torture but a joy for the pupil; instill a thirst for finer music in him, a thirst which will last for a lifetime."

3. The Suzuki Method

Public Domain Image from Wikimedia Commons The Suzuki Method is an approach to music education that was introduced in Japan and later reached the United States during the 1960s. Although this method was originally developed for the violin, it is now applicable to other instruments including the piano, flute and guitar. The Suzuki Method is an approach to music education that was introduced in Japan and later reached the United States during the 1960s. Although this method was originally developed for the violin, it is now applicable to other instruments including the piano, flute and guitar. What is the Suzuki Method? The Suzuki method, also known as the "mother-tongue approach," is a method of teaching music that stresses the importance of parental influence and involvement. Parents and teachers work together to achieve a common goal. Parents are expected to attend lessons and serve as nurturing teachers at home.

Using this method students learn: y Discipline y Poise y Confidence y Proper posture y Technical mastery y Musicianship y Proper intonation and phrasing Who created this method? The Suzuki method was developed by an accomplished Japanese violinist and educator named Dr. Shinichi Suzuki. He was born on October 17 (or 18), 1898 in Nagoya, Japan and died on January 26, 1998 in Matsumoto, Japan. Suzuki played for the Imperial Court of Japan and formed the Suzuki Quartet with his siblings. He also became president of the Teikoku Music School and founded the Tokyo String Orchestra. For his many contributions, the Emperor of Japan appointed Suzuki as Order of the National Treasure. What is the philosophy behind this method? This method was based on Suzuki's observation of children when he was in Germany. He observed that children are able to learn their mother tongue with no difficulty. He noted that children who are born in German households naturally learn to speak the German language. In the same manner, children who are born in a Japanese household would naturally adapt their native tongue. He concluded that all children can develop musical ability and the child's environment can greatly influence his/her development.

What are the basic elements of the Suzuki Method? The basic elements of the Suzuki method are: y Children should be exposed to good music at birth. y Children should receive violin instruction at an early age. y It is not only the music teacher who serves as educator; the child's parents or guardians also play a vital role in the child's musical development. y Students learn by observation then imitation y Children become adept with their instruments before learning to read music. y Playing by memory y Attention to detail y Repetition y Aside from individual lessons, students attend group lessons at least once a week. y Public performances What is a typical lesson like? The Suzuki Method follows a set sequence and each instrument has its respective repertoire; beginning from simple and then progressing to more difficult pieces. Using the "Talent Education Movement," children start taking lessons by age 2 or 3. Suzuki students are first exposed to great classical recordings and music pieces that they will eventually learn. Background music will constantly be playing while children are at school to immerse them in music. The belief behind this is that children will learn to develop good musical ears; able to detect changes in pitch, timing, tone, etc. Students learn by observation; they learn as a group. Social interaction and cooperation is fostered among students.

Quotes by Shinichi Suzuki To give you a better understanding of this method, here are some quotes from its creator; Dr. Shinichi Suzuki: "Character first, ability second." "Teaching music is not my main purpose. I want to make good citizens, noble human beings. If a child hears fine music from the day of his birth, and learns to play it himself, he develops sensitivity, discipline and endurance. He gets beautiful heart." "Musical ability is not an inborn talent but an ability which can be developed. Any child who is properly trained can develop musical ability just as all children develop the ability to speak their mother tongue. The potential of every child is unlimited.

4. The Dalcroze Method

Copyright 2008 Steve West (Digital Vision Collection) The Dalcroze method, also known as Dalcroze Eurhythmics, is another approach used by educators to teach musical concepts. This method, which connects music, movement, mind, and body, was developed by Emile Jaques-Dalcroze. Learn more about the Dalcroze method through this primer. What is the Dalcroze Method?: The Dalcroze method, also known as Dalcroze Eurhythmics, is another approach music educators use to foster music appreciation, ear-training and improvisation while improving musical abilities. In this method, the body is the main instrument. Students listen to the rhythm of a music piece and express what they hear through movement. Simply put, this approach connects music, movement, mind, and body. Who created this method?: This method was developed by Emile Jaques-Dalcroze, a Swiss composer, music educator and music theorist who studied with Gabriel Fauré, Mathis Lussy and Anton Bruckner.

More on Emile Jaques-Dalcroze: Dalcroze was born on July 6, 1865 in Vienna, Austria. He became a professor of harmony at the Geneva Conservatory in 1892; by which time he started developing his method of teaching rhythm through movement known as eurhythmics. He founded a school in Hellerau, Germany (later moved to Laxenburg) in 1910, and another school in Geneva in 1914, where students learned using his method. Dalcroze died on July 1, 1950 in Geneva, Switzerland. Several of his students, such as ballet teacher Dame Marie Rambert, used eurhythmics and became influential in the development of dance and contemporary ballet during the 20th century. What are the key elements of the Dalcroze Method?: This method has 3 facets:

Eurhythmics (Greek for "good rhythm") - Musical expression through movement; developing musical skills through kinetic exercises. Students learn rhythm and structure by listening to music and expressing what they hear through spontaneous bodily movement. For example, note values and rhythms are represented by stepping and clapping.

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Solfege (fixed-do) - Helps develop ear-training and sight-singing skills. Improvisation - Using instruments, movement and voice.

What is a typical lesson like?: Although it is generally referred to as a method, there is really no set curriculum. Dalcroze himself didn't like his approach to be labeled as a method. Hence, each teacher uses a different approach based on his/her interests, training and skills while keeping in mind the age, culture, location and needs of the students.

What are the key concepts learned?: The Dalcroze Method helps foster imagination, creative expression, coordination, flexibility, concentration, inner hearing, music appreciation and understanding of musical concepts. What trainings are available to teach this method?:
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Dalcroze Certificate - Requires a Bachelor's degree in Music; may teach children. Dalcroze License - Requires a Masters degree in Music; may teach adults. Diplome - Given after completing studies from the Jaques-Dalcroze Institute in Geneva, Switzerland; may teach other teachers and award certifications.

In the United States, colleges that offer a certificate and license in the Dalcroze Method include: Carnegie Mellon University, Columbia College and University of Maryland, College Park.

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