Course Outline



Elementary Music Links






The Big Three






The three most commonly practiced elementary music pedagogies in the United States are:




stresses a cappella singing and music literacy





focuses on active student involvement in music making through speech and ensemble activity


Dalcroze Eurhythmics



devoted to eurhythmics


Notice that the phrases above are VERY general and certainly do not tell the whole story.  Those who are dedicated to one pedagogy spend many years, and a lot ofto be professionally trained and certified.  If you know someone who is certified in one of these pedagogies (Kodaly, Orff, etc.) - be impressed!


Follow the links below and learn a bit more about each one.



Dalcroze Eurhythmics


In an excellent book entitled, Teaching Music in the Twenty-First Century by Choksy, Abramson, Gillespie, Woods, and York, each of the authors is an expert in his/her particular pedagogy.  The book describes each pedagogy in some detail, and at the end, there is a section that compares the methods.  The authors state:


     The authors of this book believe that no combination of methods can be as effective a teaching approach as a knowledgeable use of any one of them in the hands of a teacher with sufficient training.  To clarify this, perhaps some basic comparisons among these four commonly used approaches should be made.

     In their overall goals there is no conflict whatsoever.  All four have as their ultimate goal the enhancement of life; the development to the fullest extent possible of the innate musicality that exists in every human being.

     That there is more than one possible route to such a goal is self-evident.  The purpose of this chapter is not to suggest that one route is superior to another, but rather to examine the congruences and differences among the various methods, so that more intelligent choices can be made by teachers; and also to illuminate the irreconcilable differences, where they exist, and the futility and inefffectuality of jumping from one of these ways of teaching to another . . .


     It is not possible to combine the approaches of Jaques-Dalcroze, Kodaly, Orff, and Comprehensive Musicianship in any but the most superficial manner.  How can one combine


a system that uses rhythmic movement accompanied with voice, percussion, or piano improvisation as its earliest experiences with a system that uses only unaccompanied singing of folk song as its earliest experience?

a system that introduces notation via singing at age six with one that introduces it at age ten via instrumental experiences?

a system that makes use of jazz, pop, rock, non-Western music, and synthesizer sounds with a system that allows only authentic folk song and great art music?


How can one combine methods whose basic beginning instruments are different:


     the ear and body and voice (Jacques-Dalcroze)

     the unaccompanied singing voice (Kodaly)

     the spoken word or chant, and the Instrumentarium (Orff)

     any and all sound sources (CM)


The lesson from this may be that teaching elementary music is more than just deciding what to do today.  The best teachers have a global plan - a big picture.


There are definitely other pedagogies that have significant followings.  For example, Edwin E. Gordon's Learning Theory


Learning Theory


Can you think of others?







Created and maintained by Vicky V. Johnson



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