Kodály inspired a revolution in the teaching of music in Hungary. He, together with colleagues — among them Jenõ Ádám — established new principles for music education. These principles have come to be known as the "Kodály Method" of music education:
• Music is a prime necessity of life.
• Only music of the highest quality is good enough for children.
• Music education should begin nine months before the birth of the child.
• Music instruction must be a part of general education for everyone.
• The ear, the mind, the hand, and the heart must all be trained together.
The Kodály approach to music teaching is based on the "musical mother tongue" of the students, that is, on their own folk music. This forms the starting point for musical learning which eventually leads to an understanding of and appreciation for music of all styles, genres, and cultures.
According to Kodály, because young children's natural means of musical expression is the voice, music instruction should be vocally based. Children are taught through their own singing games to sing in tune, to improvise, and to sight sing music.
Musical Literacy (see from menu). The ability to read and understand the notation of music is central to Kodály's goal of making children musically independent. His approach to teaching children to read music draws heavily on the English practice of tonic solfa developed by Sarah Glover and John Curwen. In 1950 music primary schools (see from menu) were established. These are elementary schools in which music is taught everyday on an equal footing in the curriculum as mathematics or language.