I could even result in chaos in the

I chose to do a reflection on Woodford’s
article Is Kodaly Obsolete, because it
allowed me to think critically about the benefits and the drawbacks of the
Kodaly methodology. A few key topics that stuck out to me were Kodaly’s values
on teaching music as a core subject, and the difficulties of maintaining true musical
authenticity.        

I appreciate how Kodaly’s methodology aims
to have music be taken seriously and taught as a core subject. As the article
states “music involves an integration of intellectual aesthetic, emotional and
physical modes of knowing and that it can contribute to the development of
the whole child”(Woodford, 2000, p.10). As an individual who has been heavily
influenced by music and a musical education, it is easy to blindly agree with
this particular mindset, because it has such noble intentions; however blindly
agreeing with one type of pedagogy can be a dangerous act. When educators blindly
accept one particular methodology it results in a lazy teaching style, due to
the misguided belief that they do not feel the need to do additional work to
teach their students. This could even result in chaos in the classroom due to
these educators believing their teachings are absolute (Horsley, 1999). Chaos
in the classroom often is the result of a traditional pedagogy taught as a
linear system, meaning that students are expected to be like a blank slate and absorb
what they learn as absolute truth. The students are simply expected to be
sponges that absorb their lessons, which in the end, results in them not
learning how to think for themselves. At the end of the day, it is imperative
for music teachers to recognize that students need to learn how to think
independently, and form their own opinions, which I believe cannot be achieved
if they are only exposed to one type of methodology.

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            Another topic that
caught my interest was the dilemma the Kodaly methodology faces in its attempts
to strive for musical authenticity. Time and time again, music educators have
altered the folk music of other cultures to suit their own needs and desires
(Woodford, 2000), which ultimatly results in a failure to be truly authentic.

Considering that we now live in a society where many different races and
religions interact with each other on a daily basis, it is imperative that
music educators honor and celebrate the diversities of folk music. It is
because of the polyglot culture we live in that I believe a purest methodology
such as Kodaly, is much harder to use without turning away those who do not
have deep roots in Western culture. The issue with Kodaly being so deeply
rooted in the Western standard is that it limits the everyday educator from
branching out and teaching about a wider range of music. However a truly
dedicated music educator will be able to use the Kodaly methodology as well as
integrating a different pedagogy or even their own methods into their
teachings. In fact I believe it is essential in this day and age to integrate
various methodologies into ones teaching, as it will allow for a more
well-rounded education. It could even inspire students to come up with their
own teaching styles, which could ultimately lead them to be critical and
independent thinkers (Choksy, 1999).

            After reading this
article, I have begun to understand the dangers of basing a teaching style off
of only one type of methodology. I believe that Kodaly is still a useful tool,
but should be used amongst other forms of pedagogies as well.

Resources

Woodford, P.

(2000). Is Kodaly Obsolete? Alla
Breve Newsletter of Kodaly Society of
Canada, 24(1), 10-18.

 

Horsley, S. (1999). Chaos in Music Education. Canadian
Music Educator, 41 (1), 7-11. First Place winner of the Canadian Music
Educators Association National Undergraduate Essay Competition

 

Chocksy, L. (1999). The Kodaly Method II: Folksong to Masterwork. Upper Saddle River,
NJ: Prentice Hall

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