The purpose of this study was to determine the similarities and differences between the Kodály-inspired approach to music reading and the Direct Instruction approach to language reading. Three theoretical questions were investigated: what are the philosophical, pedagogical, and instructional principles of the Kodály-inspired approach and the Direct Instruction approach; what are the philosophical, pedagogical, and instructional similarities and dissimilarities between the two approaches, and how might the comparative similarities and shared pedagogy between Kodály-inspired teachers and Direct Instruction teachers create cohesion and support collaboration?
The nature of philosophical, pedagogical, and instructional principles were defined and used as a framework to investigate the specific principles of each methodology. Six philosophical principles of the Kodály-inspired approach and the Direct Instruction approach were discussed. Common philosophical principles include: literacy for all; instruction must begin with the very young; the voice (singing or speaking) is the foundation for musical or language development, and highly trained teachers with a thorough knowledge of the material are the primary decision-makers in the classroom. In both approaches, pedagogical principles are based on a child developmental model and follow a teaching sequence of preparing, presenting, practicing, and creating.
Four similar instructional principles in both approaches include: meaningful learning takes place when the students are actively involved; specific student objectives are formulated as tasks that can be measured by the teacher and serve as a basis for the program; all learning moves from the concrete to the abstract; and each classroom must be a socially safe environment.
Though there were some differences between the two approaches such as the size and make up of student grouping, assessment strategies, and the presence or absence of a scripted lesson; there were common principles that were complementary to both. Some of the implications surfacing from this study include: the importance of collaboration and communication among teachers in all content areas; the need for educators to be mindful of the vocabulary they use in the classroom and question the students often for possible misinterpretation; and finally, the value in any program lies in the effort, understanding, planning, and love put into it by the educator.