Colourstrings is a child-centred approach to music teaching, which has evolved from the teachings and philosophy of the great Hungarian composer and pedagogue Zoltan Kodály. Offering high-quality music education from kindergarten to conservatoire level, the aim is to strike the perfect balance between excellence and enjoyment of music – and between technical, musical, aural and emotional development. Musical concepts are explored in a stimulating but structured way. Children receive a ‘musical parcel’ which develops technical skills, a trained ear, a deep understanding of music, as well as an outstanding ability in the expression of music.
A Colourstrings music education provides the finest opportunity for young children to acquire a love of music, and to develop musicianship and early instrumental skills in a completely integrated way. Everything starts with singing, which helps to develop inner hearing and intonation. Play and imagination are central to the approach. Music kindergarten classes begin at 18 months and involve most of the senses, taking the children on a musical journey and exploring the different musical concepts – rhythm, pitch, melody, dynamics, tempo, character, form and style – through singing, clapping, marching and socialising. Pictures, stories and games bring these musical points alive so that children learn subconsciously and effortlessly.
By the age of five or six, children are learning to sight-sing, together with the basics of reading and writing stick notation. It is at this stage that they can choose an instrument to learn to play. From the first instrumental lesson, children are encouraged to perform, compose and improvise while also reading and writing musical notation.
One of the strengths of the Colourstrings approach is the common repertoire. The Singing Rascals series follows through from kindergarten to early instrumental and musicianship classes, and orchestral ensembles. This provides continuity and a sense of security for the children and enables a seamless transition from kindergarten to instrumental training.
The instruments presently taught through this approach are: violin, viola, cello, piano, flute and classical guitar.