The University of St. Thomas

Music

Evens, Colleen

Evens, Colleen

A Theoretical Investigation of the Principles of the Kodaly Methodology of Teaching Music Literacy and the Principles of the Reading/Language Arts Power Standards in Teaching Reading Literacy
collscello@aol.com Colleen Evens
Abstract

The problem of this study was to investigate the similarities and dissimilarities between the principles of the Kodály methodology in teaching musical literacy and the principles of the Reading/Language Arts Power Standards of literacy.  Moreover, it was the intention of this investigation to identify commonalities in which to inform music and reading teachers in a way to share cross-curricular instructional practices. 

This theoretical research included an examination of the principles of literacy in the Kodály methodology and the Reading/Language Arts Power Standards.  Theoretical questions served as the framework for the investigation in this study, and are stated throughout each chapter.  Chapter two’s narrative includes the general characteristics of literacy and the characteristics of literacy in  music and reading.  The nature of principles was addressed in chapter three.   The characteristics of a principle, philosophical principles, pedagogical principles and principles of instructional growth were defined and examined.  Chapter four is an exploration of the Kodály methodology dealing with the philosophical principles, pedagogical principles, instructional growth principles, and components of musical literacy.  The nature of principles of the Reading/Language Arts Power Standards is presented in chapter five.  The theoretical questions investigated included philosophical principles, pedagogical principles, instructional growth principles and components of literacy based on the Reading/Language Arts Power Standards.  Similarities and dissimilarities were examined and reviewed based on the commonalities of literacy discovered in the Kodály methodology and the Reading/Language Arts Power Standards.  A theoretical comparison concluded this thesis, finding similarities and dissimilarities to exist between the Kodály methodology of teaching musical literacy and the Reading/Language Arts Power Standards in teaching word literacy.

The Kodály methodology is highly structured and sequenced, while somewhat different, the Power Standards are derived from a systematic and balanced approach based on essential understandings for student success.  Implied in the Kodály methodology is the belief that all children have the ability and right to be musically literate.  In like manner, according to the Illinois Learning Standards for English Language Arts, the belief is that these standards are for all students to gain proficiency in the language skills that are basic to all learning, critical to success in the workplace and essential to life as a productive citizen. 

Another similarity between the Kodály methodology and Reading/Language Arts Power Standards was discovered. The Kodály methodology is characterized by a well-sequenced and structured musical experience, which precedes symbolization.  The concepts are structured to follow child-development patterns, both physically and intellectually.   Similarly, the progression followed for reading and writing mirrors the Kodály methodology: proceed from the known to the unknown or the total experience to the individual experience, and from activities to symbols.

Finally, the organization of learning experiences for Kodály and language arts serve as the primary foundation for the teaching methods selected and used in the areas of instruction.  Likewise, the formulation of objectives, and the selection of experiences and activities that are appropriate to the class and will contribute growth toward the objectives, build on the curriculum, musical literacy or reading and writing literacy.
Thesis Supervisor
Dr. Carroll Gonzo