Different music programs for children

There are different approaches used by educators when it comes to learning music. Some of the best ways to teach children music are to use the child's innate curiosity and teach children the way they learn best, similar to how children learn their mother tongue.

Every music program has a system, a basic philosophy with clearly defined goals and objectives. These methods have been used for a long time, so they have been time-tested and proven to be successful. 

Music programs and their variants are used by music teachers in private lessons and around the world. Here are the four most popular programs of music education: Orff, Kodaly, Suzuki and Dalcroze.




Who created it?

This approach to music education was developed by Carl Orff, a German composer, conductor and educator. His ideas were based on his belief in the importance of rhythm and movement. Orff shared these ideas in a book titled Orff-Schulwerk, which was later revised and then adapted into English as Music for Children. 


The philosophy behind the Orff approach

The Orff Schulwerk music program approach is a method of teaching children about music that engages their mind and body through a mixture of singing, dancing, acting and the use of percussion instruments. For instance, the Orff method often uses instruments like xylophones, metallophones, and glockenspiels known as the Orff Instrumentarium. 


Fun facts about the Orff music program

There is no standardized Orff curriculum. Orff teachers design their own lesson plans and adapt it to suit the size of the class and the age of the students and Orff teachers use many books as frameworks.Lessons are presented as play elements that help children learn at their level of understanding, emphasizing artistic integrations with stories, poetry, movement and drama.






Who created it?

Zoltan Kodály  is a Hungarian composer. His method follows through with each building lesson on the last one. Singing is emphasized as a foundation for music education.


The philosophy behind the Kodály approach

The philosophy of Kodály music program is that music education is most effective when it is started early and that everyone is capable of music literacy using folk and music compositions of high artistic value.


Fun facts about the Kodaly music program

Both Kodály and Orff believed that discovering the innate pleasure and beauty of music should be what musical education revolves around. However where the Kodály method uses existing music as its basis, Orff is largely improvisational. The original method that Kodály pioneered was created with children’s development in mind. With the method, young children unconsciously learn the basic musical elements: solfa, rhythm, hand signs, memory development, singing, and more.





Who created it?


The Suzuki method was developed in the mid-twentieth century by Japanese violinist Dr. Shinichi Suzuki. The Suzuki music program is an approach to music education that was introduced in Japan and later arrived in the United States during the 1960s. 


The philosophy behind the Suzuki approach


The philosophy behind the Suzuki music program is a belief that with the right environment and circumstances, most people can learn to play an instrument. This philosophy uses listening, imitation, and repetition to help people learn to play a musical instrument as if it were their native tongue and is often referred to as the mother tongue approach.

Dr. Suzuki’s philosophy, which he also referred to as “talent education,” focuses on music’s ability to inspire the spirit and create well-rounded human beings with an appreciation for beauty.

Through listening, repeating, memorizing, creating vocabulary like music, he becomes a part of the child. In this process, parental involvement is beneficial to the child's success through motivation, encouragement and support. This reflects the same kind of parental involvement that helps the child learn the basics of their mother tongue.


Fun facts about the Suzuki music program


Although this music program method was originally developed for the violin, it is now applied to other instruments, including piano, flute and guitar.

The Suzuki approach is geared towards children and uses 4 key components: 

1. A mix of group and private lessons

2. Listening to a lot of music

3. Repetition

4. Parental involvement





Who created it?

Émile Jaques-Dalcroze was a Swiss music teacher and composer who originated the eurythmics system of musical instruction. In his youth Jaques-Dalcroze studied composition, and by 1892 he was professor of harmony at the Geneva Conservatory.


The philosophy behind the Dalcroze approach


At the heart of Dalcroz's philosophy is that people learn best when they learn through multiple senses. Dalcroze believed that music should be taught through tactile, kinesthetic, auditory and visual senses.

The Dalcroze music program, also known as the Dalcroze Eurythmics, is another approach used by educators to teach musical concepts. Eurythmics begin by training the ear, or solfeggio, to develop the inner musical ear. This differs from Kodali's use of solfege in that it is always combined with movement.


Fun facts about the Dalcroze music program

Dalcroze's music program is made out of three key components: Eurhythmics, Solfège and Improvisation. This music program is created as education for all ages, from young beginners through adult professionals.




Baby Piano Music Program

Baby Piano Music Program combines some key elements of all four of these programs. Much like the Orff approach we use the baby pianos, as it is more natural to use fingers to press the keys. This is why we can start the kids as young as two in our Step 1 program. Using mallets requires more developed small motor function. 

As Dr. Suzuki, we believe that everyone can learn to play an instrument if the right approach is taken and that listening to music in our classes should inspire and create an appreciation for beauty. 

We use solfege and rhythm as a base component to our music program and teach the theory behind music in a child friendly way - through games and play. 

Our teachers are firstly early childhood specialists that understand early child development and use music just as a tool to enrich their growing minds. 


We agree with Kodaly that music should be started early! This is why we offer classes from birth! 


Baby Piano is our early childhood music program but after that kids can enroll into a variety of different instruments and take lessons as part of a small group or one on one, just depending on what best suits your family’s needs. 

Baby Piano is just one of the music programs that we offer at Kingsway School of Music.