The Research Question
The original central research question that I formulated in fall 2013 was:
Is it possible to build a Kodály-based curriculum for Dutch elementary schools, making use of mostly Dutch song material?
During the research my research question has changed. The original question was rather a rethoric one for me personally, because I actually already believed that the Kodály-method could be adapted in The Netherlands. And of course there are many songs in Dutch which could serve as a preparation for musical learning in a comparable way as in Hungary. So actually my focus slightly changed.
In the last two years I was teaching musicianship and solfege in many different situations and with different age groups. I realized more and more that the actual teaching, the lesson preparation and the practical teaching experience was my research. There I could test chosen repertoire for its power for achieving musical learning goals, there I could further develop metholodogical steps. And the outcomes of one experience with a certain age group influenced another experience with another age group. So already my whole teaching practice was one big research. This is why I began to refine the research question:
Is it possible to collect suitable repertoire for Dutch elementary schools and Higher Professional Music Education to give Kodály-inspired musicianship lessons?
Still I was not really satisfied with this way of putting it, but as far as I got with my research up to then, it came most close. When I discovered that actually the repertoire itself is the main focus of my research, I formulated the research question in its final state:
Is it possible to collect repertoire for Kodály-inspired Music lessons in Dutch elementary schools?
If there would not be enough repertoire of sufficient quality on which a Kodály-inspired curriculum could be built, then it would be impossible to adapt the Kodály-method to The Netherlands.
The final research question is actually not covering all the teaching fields I was working for in the last two years. But mainly I was working out lessons for children aged from 6 to 12 years and for conservatoire students from the Prepatory and first year of Higher Professional Music Education. I also worked with Young Talent students aged from 13 to 18 years, and also there I also applied Kodàly methodology. So the research was a very fundamental one and is still going on. For this paper and for the Research Presentation I had to limit the research description to the younger age group from 4 to 12 which is actually the age group attending Dutch elementary schools.