Curricula, Grades 1 & 2

This curriculum guide is designed for teachers who have studied in Kodaly Teacher Education programs. Based on the design of the Hungarian curriculum mentioned in the Introduction, it indicates the core musical skill development for each lesson. This model has several advantages.

Because it outlines just the music literacy portion of the curriculum, it allows the teacher freedom to include additional songs and singing games from various genres and cultures that are of most interest to the children in the classroom. To learn how to implement the curriculum, please read the accompanying Introduction.

The curriculum assumes that children have had prior musical experiences in kindergarten, with emphasis on beat/rhythm development and in-tune singing. 70 lessons are included, for implementation in a twice a week music program over the course of a school year (45 minute classes are recommended; if 30 minute classes are scheduled, 3 classes per week are recommended).

If music is offered just once a week, students will not be able to progress through the entire curriculum in one year. Three or more music classes per week will provide for more review, the use of the additional materials section, and greater integration of the emotional and intellectual learning that music can provide.

The songs and skill development designated for each lesson can be presented in whatever order best fits with the other materials chosen. It is assumed that the children know these songs well and can sing them without the teacher (unless they are being used as reading material).

The curriculum invites the teacher to think creatively and to search for how other materials fit with those that are recommended. It also has the advantage of being of use in different settings.

Curriculum Contents


Songs are recommended for the skill development related to each element or concept. These materials must be well-known songs which the children can sing independently of the teacher (unless they are serving as new reading material, more common in older grades than in earlier ones). Other songs can be substituted, as long as they have the requisite musical material.


This category indicates the elements and concepts being addressed in the lesson. Teachers will want to review other elements, as well; those designated are the newest learning.

Skill development

This category briefly notes the skill development associated with each element or concept.

Singing games

Many of the songs designated for concept and skill development (the first column in the curriculum) are themselves singing games. However singing games may contain the concept being studied but have more advanced elements that the children do not yet understand consciously. These are listed under the singing games column.

Additional materials

Additional reading exercises, two-part exercises and arrangements are indicated which relate to the skill development level of the lesson. These can be used if there is additional class time, or students are able to move quickly (older beginners).

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