The study of music is an essential part of the holistic education of young children and a key component of the curriculum of a Holy Child Academy student. The music program at Holy Child is predicated on two principal methods of instruction, the Orff Method and the Kodaly Method.
The Orff approach is a way of introducing and teaching children about music on a level that they can easily comprehend. Musical concepts are learned through singing, chanting, dance, movement, drama and the playing of percussion instruments. Improvisation, composition and a child's natural sense of play are encouraged. Carl Orff’s ideas were based on his belief in the importance of rhythm and movement.
The Kodaly Method is an approach to music education, developed in Hungary during the mid 20th century. It was named after the Hungarian educator and composer Zoltan Kodaly.
The Kodaly concept of music uses a child-developmental approach, and it introduces the skills in harmony with the capabilities of the children. In this approach, the children are first introduced to the concepts of music through various experiences such as singing, listening, or movement. Only after the child becomes familiar with the concept of music, he or she learns how to compose it. The concepts are reinforced through various methods such as movement, games, songs and exercises.
The concept was explained to the children with the help of the traditional educational music games of that time. According to the research and studies, it has been proved that the Kodaly Method improves rhythm skills, intonation, music literacy and the aptitude to sing and perform music in progressively more complex parts. They learn to sing and play using syllables for pitch and intonation, as well as corresponding hand signals which reinforce harmony and complex music reading.
Any young student can learn the rudiments of music in a fun, enlightening way. The Orff system is one of the best methods for teaching young minds about the many aspects of music, from singing and dancing in rhythm, to playing instruments and reading melodic notation. Students utilize percussion instruments such as xylophones, boomwhackers, and small hand-held instruments to create rhythm, repeat patterns and learn to read music notation. In addition, lower school students are introduced to music history, composers, music notation and sight reading as well as a variety of genres of music. They learn to play a multitude of instruments individually and in groups, in a fun and exciting manner.
Middle school students continue to develop their love and understanding of complex music with a more advanced approach. They continue to learn about music history, composers, a variety of genres incorporating all of the instruments they learned and utilized in lower school. In addition, they are exposed to bucket drumming, hand bells, and work on a larger scale to create collaborative performances of challenging repertoire. They also learn to build their very own instrument (a dulcimer) as a culmination of their musical experiences at HCA.