The Methods Behind Musicologie Junior

Kay BarkerMusicologie JuniorLeave a Comment

About the Author

Kay Barker

Kay Barker is a teacher and musician with degrees in vocal performance and psychology. She co-founded Musicologie in 2014 and has toured nationally with her band Bella Ruse opening for artists like Sarah McLachlan and Heart.

At Musicologie we’ve always focused on developing young beginners’ native musical instincts through consistent, structured exposure and group participation. Learning music is like learning a language. Immersion and experiential learning, especially at a very young age, is key. Musicologie Junior introduces concepts, rhythms, melodies, as well as body movement and motor skills in a way that’s appropriate for a wide age range. Kids participate as they want and are able, and see behavior being modeled by adults and peers around them.

We’ve developed our program by combining and modifying three major music education methods to create a diverse, one-of-a-kind experience.



Dalcroze was developed by Swiss educator Émile Jaques-Dalcroze to promote rhythm and musical expression through movement. Rhythmic movement, solfege (do, re, mi…), and improvisation are used to train the body to be an instrument. The goal is to teach the ear, the body, and the creative mind to work as one.

In Musicologie Junior each week, we incorporate elements of Dalcroze by moving dynamically to music as we sing and listen. We build each child’s understanding of basic rhythm by running, walking, skipping, and reacting to changes in tempo and dynamics. We use drums and storytelling and our own bodies in rhythmic play and exploration.



The Kodaly method is a widely used approach to music education. This approach slowly builds musical confidence and proficiency in children using folk music and the pentatonic scale in listening, singing, and movement. (Kodaly was familiar with the work of Dalcroze and also uses movement as a tool for internalizing rhythm.) Students learn solfege, Curwen hand signs, and rhythm syllables (ta, titi) as a precursor to reading written music.

In Musicologie Junior, we use songs and rhythms borrowed from Kodaly and, through play and singing, begin to introduce toddlers to solfege and rhythm.



The Orff Approach (or Orff Schulwerk) is also commonly used in schools to teach the basics of music to children. It aims to treat music as a language and incorporates folk music, movement, speech, and performance. Xylophones, marimbas, glockenspiels, and percussion instruments are often used to reinforce modal and pentatonic melodies. Orff- just like Kodaly- introduces note reading and solfege.

In Musicologie Junior, we learn songs used by Orff and experiment/improvise with a wide range of percussion and melodic instruments each week.

Our Approach to Toddler Classes

It’s important to us (and should be to you!) that your child’s musical education is built on tried-and-true methods of musical learning. By blending concepts and curriculum of all of these approaches, our Musicologie Junior classes build each child’s innate sense of rhythm, melody, rhyme, speech and movement!

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