The YES School of Music employs a teaching method called the Kodály Approach to develop the musical potential of children learning to play the violin, viola, cello and double bass.
The use of words as a means of describing and conceptualising spatial movements can often be more of a hindrance than a help in teaching a young child a musical instrument. Our child-centred approach stimulates the curiosity and imagination of young children through the singing voice and game playing, fostering in students not only the ability to play an instrument, but learning skills in general. Through the Kodály Approach, the students' overall understanding of music becomes as natural to them as the speaking of a mother tongue.
The philosophy of the Kodály Approach is based on the development of the 'inner' ear of the young child. In essence, the child is taught to 'hear' the sound he or she wishes to sing or play in his or her mind before reproducing it vocally, or on an instrument.
This method of teaching has many advantages for the young student's musical development. By imagining the sound before actually playing it, the young musician mentally sings the note at the desired pitch thus allowing the ear to judge each note played or sung on its own merit. The student develops step by step a 'critical' listening ability.
The Kodály Approach is child-centred, engaging the young student in singing games, hand-sign work, stick notation and improvisation, amongst other elements, to aid musical development. The imaginative game playing, devised on the spot by the teacher, and constantly changing 'story' accompanying activities stimulate the cognitive parts of the brain needed for listening, understanding, and evaluating. In this way, the Kodály Approach not only teaches the young student how to sing or play an instrument, but also teaches the art of learning in general.
The satisfaction the child feels at the discovery of each new possibility in producing different sounds and learning a melody on the instrument - from reading music notes to hearing what is written on the music sheet to actually playing the instrument - is what makes the effort involved worthwhile.