The intent of this study was to determine if there were similarities between the principles of the Kodály methodology in teaching musical literacy and the principles of the balanced literacy approach to teaching reading. Three theoretical questions were investigated: what are the major principles of the balanced literacy approach; what are the major principles of the Kodály methodology; and what similarities exist between the major principles of the balanced literacy approach and the principles of the Kodály methodology? The nature of literacy and the nature of principles was defined and presented as a framework for this discussion.
Philosophical principles, principles of instructional development, and pedagogical principles in the Kodály method and the balanced literacy approach were investigated. Six philosophical principles of the Kodály method and six philosophical principles of the balanced literacy approach were discussed. Similar philosophical principles include: literacy for all; highly trained teachers as primary decision makers in the classroom; and only authentic literature and songs of intrinsic quality are to the used for instruction. The principles of instructional development are based on a child developmental model in both approaches. Similar instructional development principles state that developmental learning is child-centered, activity oriented, builds upon childrenís prior knowledge, focuses on meaningful experiences, and occurs in an interactive community.
All eleven pedagogical principles in both methods exhibited similar characteristics. Three critical, similar pedagogical principles in both methods are: active learning experiences; a learning sequence that moves from the concrete to the abstract; and a socially safe learning environment.
The common principles in the balanced literacy approach and the Kodály method were striking in their similarities. The absence of controversy between the methods suggest, that when literacy is the goal of education, commonalities in instruction occur across the disciplines of music and reading. Five implications for educators were recommended. The first implication states that music education is an academic core subject when taught using the Kodály inspired method. Second, music teachers should be educated in Kodály methodology and balanced literacy educators should be educated in the balanced literacy approach. Contrived music and books should be eliminated from elementary music and reading classrooms. Early education programs should be funded, and staffed by Kodály educated teachers and balanced literacy educators. Finally, the Kodály methodology and the balanced literacy approach can be naturally integrated because of their mutual pedagogical practice.