A Universal Language: Social Education in Orff Schulwerk, the Kodály Concept, and El Sistema
Haverford College. Department of Music
Place of Publication
Table of Contents
Orff Schulwerk, the Kodály concept, and El Sistemaare three of the most popular approaches to music education used in Western classrooms today. This thesis argues that the philosophies and practical recommendations of these three approaches facilitate social education in addition to musical learning. Building upon the writings of both philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau and evolutionary archeologist Steven Mithen, I explore the inherent social qualities that music-making possesses as a result of its proposed common origin with spoken language. Next, I introduce each approach on its own, highlighting the ways in which they center social interaction and attempt to connect with a greater community or culture. After reviewing the approaches individually, I compare and contrast their respective engagements with active participation, repertoire, instrumentation, and performance. Through this synthesis, I clarify exactly why and how music education can contribute to the social education of its students. I conclude by offering suggestions as to how these approaches might learn from each other in order to increase their social efficacy in the modern world.