The Three “Ps” (Preparation, Present, Practice) Kodály Fundamentals

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What ARE the Three “Ps”

One of the first things an aspiring Kodály teacher is taught when embarking upon any Kodály course are the Three Ps - Prepare, Present and Practice. These three things form the basis of the process we use to teach ANY and EVERY element of music. Our belief is that students should KNOW everything about a new musical concept BEFORE they learn the actual name and that, once named, that concept is then practiced in as many ways as possible FOREVER!

 

 

 

Be-Prepared-257x300Preparation - teaching everything there is to know about a particular musical element without actually naming it!

  • Students learn repertoire that includes the new element appropriately placed;
  • Students discover a new sound and how it relates to what they already know about melody/rhythm;
  • Must happen slowly and in very small steps and must include constant reinforcement;
  • Makes use of visual/physical and aural activities to ensure that all types of students have a chance to “get it”;
  • Don’t move onto the next step until MOST of your class understands;
  • Traditional teaching usually puts this in the reverse order.

Present / Make Conscious - naming the already known element

  • A very minor step in the whole process – simply naming the note.

 

practicePractice - self explanatory!

  • Set up in three phases – early, middle and late;
  • Goes on forever in as many different possible ways as you can find/ create;
  • Covering performing, reading, writing and creating (improvisation and composition).

 

Preparation

How to prepare a rhythmic element:

Aurally – can you hear it?

  • Students discover a new rhythm in known songs;
  • Students identify on which word(s) the new rhythm is found;
  • Students discover the characteristics of the new rhythm (e.g. semiquavers
    would be discovered as more than two sounds on a beat then as four
    equal sounds on a beat).

Visual – can you see it?

  • Students will recognise and express the visual symbol for the new rhythm;
  • Students may compare the new rhythm to known rhythms visually (use of ostinato using known rhythms);
  • Students write and recognise the written version of the new rhythm.

Physical – can you feel it?

  • Using body percussion;
  • Clapping ONLY the new rhythm;
  • Clapping on everything EXCEPT the new rhythm.

How to prepare a melodic element:

Aurally – can you hear it?get smart

  • Students discover a new note in known songs;
  • Students identify on which word(s) the new note is found;
  • Students discover the characteristics of the new note in relation to the notes they know e.g. so would be discovered firstly as higher than mi then as a skip higher than mi.

Visual – can you see it?

  • Students will use pitch patterning to show the melodic contour including the new note;
  • Students will learn the handsign for the new note;
  • Students will recognise and express the visual symbol for the new note using stick notation;
  • Students will learn the placement of the new note on the staff in relation to known notes: “If mi is in the second space and so is a skip above mi then so will belong in the third space etc”.

Physical – can you feel it?stone music note and ladder on white background - 3d illustration

  • Showing melodic contour in the air;
  • Pitch patterning - showing the pitch of notes on the body e.g. shoulders are so and waist is mi;
  • Hand staff – five fingers are the lines of the staff;
  • Use of handsigns;
  • Use of tone ladders.

Present
Make the knowledge conscious – name it!

autumn melody. abstract musical background. 10 EPS

Rhythm: Students learn the rhythm/time name of the new note:

“When we hear four equal sounds on a beat we say “ti-ka-ti-ka. This is its rhythm name”.

Students learn the English AND American names:

“Musicians call this rhythm “semiquavers” or “sixteenth notes”.

Melody: Students learn the solfa name of the new note: so and associate it with the handsign:

“When we hear the note a skip above mi it is called so.

Students learn the letter names of the new note when written on the staff.

Practice

Early Practice Activities:

  • Re-do present lesson with other repertoire;
  • Clever echo activities;
  • Solfa knockout.

Middle Practice Activities:

  • Recognise song from rhythm/ staff notation/ stick notation;
  • Song scramble;
  • Reading flashcards;
  • Bingo type games;
  • Sight reading;
  • Write known songs as stick notation/on the staff;
  • Transcribe stick to staff notation and vice versa;
  • Dictation activities.

Late Practice Activities:

  • Transpose from one do to another;
  • Compose short rhythms;
  • Compose melody to add to rhythm given;
  • Rhythm snake games;
  • Improvise short rhythms/melodies.

 

 

 

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