MP logo MP title

László Gönczy: The Kodály Concept: Difficulties of understanding and application in Hungary

Kodály`s concept of musical education has been receiving constant international attention. However, its application in Hungarian schools raises several problems. The present paper gives an overview of the scope and origins of these problems based on the literature on Kodály`s educational ideas. Since a genuine, definitive methodology of his own is lacking, the sources discussing Kodály`s educational views need to be inventoried. His views constitute an open, expandable system, the appropriate adaptation of which to the given educational conditions should be an ongoing the task for music education. Nevertheless, the adaptive efforts of music educators in this regard have not proven satisfactory so far. The study reviews the available results of the most important analyses of the effectiveness of the Kodály Concept, which indicate that it has significant developmental effects on social and cognitive achievements as well as on creativity. The findings also suggest that intensive music education may compensate disadvantages rooted in low socio-economic status. The problems of application can be attributed to various factors. The communities of neither music educators nor decision makers in educational policy have clarified the logical and hierarchical structure of the constituents of the concept. Consequently, they often try to achieve results while disregarding its original educational goals and most important methodological elements. Societal conditions are not beneficial for school-based aesthetic education, either, which suffered serious harm in recent decades because being often considered as negligible, dispensable field of education. Yet research indicates that music education, in addition to its immediate emotional and cognitive benefits, has developmental effects on social skills that are increasingly needed in the recent societal crises.

MAGYAR PEDAGÓGIA 109. Number 2. 169-185. (2009)

Levelezési cím / Address for correspondence: Gönczy László, Pécsi Tudományegyetem, Művészeti Kar, H–7624 Pécs, Damjanich u. 30.


Magyar Tudományos Akadémia