MUSICAL MASTERY  Loreen Jacobs is introducing the Kodaly method to local youngsters. Photo submitted

MUSICAL MASTERY Loreen Jacobs is introducingthe Kodaly method to local youngsters. Photo submitted

A 61-year-old Invermere woman is encouraging tots and toddlers to learn about music literacy without instruments.

Loreen Jacobs, a former Calgary-based teacher who now lives in Invermere, will be usingthe Kodaly method, which was developed by Hungarian composer Zolton Kodaly, to educate children between the ages of two and seven years old about music.

I have a Bachelor of Education, taught in Calgary and I took a one-year practicum from Lois Choksy, said Ms. Jacobs, while explaining that Ms. Choksy helped develop and refine the Kodaly method. The Koday method is musical education for young children aimed at music literacy so that people can teach music in an elementary school without a budget for instruments.

The Kodaly method, she added, is a program that has been structured around childhood development. It combines the use of the pentatonic scale, movement and teaches musical concepts through action instead of rhythm, while remaining an affordable option for families from all walks of life.

Theres lots of movement because young children need to move to music in order to sense the rhythm and feel the intonation, said Ms. Jacobs. It uses the pentatonic scale because its much easier for children to sing, which helps them (understand) the intonation we teach concepts through action. We dont label them by saying were going to talk about rhythm or intonation or dynamics. We do it.

Ms. Jacobs explained there are a series of activities including props, such as drum sticks, which are used to teach the dynamics of music without stressing the technical labels in their education.

I have seen this system work, she said. I have seen young children who have never had the opportunity to take a music lesson with an instrument learn to be completely musically literate, which means you can hand them some music and they figure out the key signatures, the time everything. They know how to find A, which is the North American pitch standard, which is one of the things I teach them through a tuning fork and, by the time kids are in Grade 2, they can pick A out of the air to figure out the starting note of the piece and they simply start to sing it. Its wonderful.

She is offering seven classes to six tots between the ages five to seven years old every Sunday, starting on May 8th as well as 10 classes for toddlers between the ages of two and four years old every Monday and Thursday starting on May 16th. However, parents are required to attend the $80 program with their children at Ms. Jacobs home, which is located at 1755 Fort Point Close in Invermere.

Its the first time that Im (offering this program) in Invermere, she concluded. But I did this with my classes when I taught in Calgary so I know that its fun and it works with kids. I also volunteered at Little Badgers in the fall (to teach the program) and it was quite popular.

For more information about the Kodaly method or the Music Literacy for Toddlers and Tots program in Invermere, please call Ms. Jacobs at 250-342-3806.