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Innovative choir to perform at momentous concert in London

February 8th, 2017

An innovative ensemble of boys is one of seven school choirs from around the UK to be asked to perform in a momentous concert at St John Smith’s Square in London.

Singers at The Grange, who are taught using the progressive Kodály method, will be showcasing the results of their hard work at an event to mark the 50th anniversary of the Hungarian composer’s death.

Zoltan Kodály, who was also a passionate teacher, set up a revolutionary systematic approach to music education where learning comes first through playful singing activity and later through conscious thought processes, through the use of handsigns and singing names (do re mi etc).

Put on by the British Kodály Academy, the concert on March 6 will demonstrate how successful his techniques really are.

Joe Walton, music teacher at The Grange, said: “The work of Kodály has had a great impact on music education globally. Its child-centred, cognitive approach to teaching music is at the centre of our work here at The Grange”.

The Kodály Approach provides tools to develop fundamentals such as pulse, inner hearing, good tuning and sight reading ability.

Mr Walton added: “A lot of the time, children don’t realise they’re learning with Kodály. They are playing singing games, or dancing, or using drumsticks or body percussion to keep a rhythm going. But subconsciously, they’re building up a repertoire of melody and rhythm.

“It’s a sound before symbols approach, which reinforces instrumental learning.

“The approach enables a deeper musicality which is not reliant on rote learning.  For example, Boys build up their ability to hear notated music in their heads before they sing or play it”.

During the concert, the 38-strong Grange Choir will sing a new piece by Bob Chilcott alongside six other Kodály-trained school choirs.

They will also have the chance to sing Welsh lullaby, Suo Gân, on their own.

Mr Walton continued: “It’s a really exciting opportunity for the boys. There will also be a professional Hungarian choir in the concert, which will give them a glimpse into how far they can take this musical approach to learning.”



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