Kodály Summer School

Musicianship (Solfège) Workshops

Level One
Anne Murphy

This is aimed at those with no previous solfège experience. All participants will learn to read melodies from hand signs, stick notation and the stave in both do and la pentatonic. You will gain an understanding the structure of, and intervals within, the pentatonic scale as well as understanding and using Kodály rhythm names. Participants will sing examples in unison, canon and parts as well as playing singing games. Working on coordination, inventing short pentatonic melodies and ostinato, this is mix of whole class work and small group work.

Level Two
Lynne Clark

After brief revision and consolidation of pentatonic work, the class will gradually move into the major and minor scales (natural, harmonic and melodic forms). Participants will sing in unison and parts from hand signs and notation, including some songs and games suitable for use in the classroom, plus short pieces and extracts from wider vocal, choral and instrumental repertoire. Willingness to join in and have fun is essential!

Level Three
Lucinda Geoghegan

This class will work with the diatonic scale in canons, two-part sing and play/sing and sign, rhythmic work with different ostinati patterns and coordination exercises. You will gain an understanding of major and minor primary traids, two-part harmonic work (melody and bass line) and a brief introduction to modes.

Level Four
Árpád Toth

This is aimed at those who have covered the concepts in Level Three and want to move on. Working further with diatonic and modal melodies, you will gain an understanding of the concept of moveable do and modulation within melodies. The class includes harmonic work, coordination exercises and ensemble work.

Level Five
James Cuskelly

This class will focus on:

  • further consolidation of diatonic music;
  • chromatic melodic materials;
  • diatonic harmony including chord progressions with both root position and inversions;
  • chordal singing and dictation and melodic improvisation using set chord progressions;
  • continued study of baroque and classical materials;
  • intensive practice of all pentatonic scales and intervals — exercises, reading and writing, dictation and memorisation;
  • modal musical materials;
  • ensemble work included canons from the Classical Canons collection from the Baroque and Classical periods.

Level Six
László Nemes

This musicianship class offers the opportunity for the development of participants’ musical hearing with the help of the relative solfa system at a more advanced level. Material includes a selection of Kodály’s pedagogical compositions: (1) pentatonic material with metric and melodic challenges (changing metre, compound metre, asymmetric compound metre, wide range melodic lines, different pentatonic modes), (2) examples of two-part imitative counterpoint (canon, free imitation, real, tonal and modal answers, motet-like structures, fugue). Special emphasis is placed on the development of stylistic awareness through the study of harmony and form of selected works from the art music repertory from the Renaissance period to modern and contemporary music. The topics vary year after year (2017: Frédéric Chopin’s Nocturnes, 2016: Songs by Franz Liszt, 2015: Purcell’s King Arthur).

Education Partner


The Kodály Summer School is supported by our Education Partner, NASUWT Scotland.