Aural Skills and Music Theory

Koninklijk Conservatorium Den Haag
Kodály-based musicianship courses are practice-oriented and place a strong emphasis on the acquisition of musical skills related to the acquisition of theoretical knowledge and the development of music analytical skills. Musical skills that are developed include the following: expressive singing, active music listening, sense of rhythm, metre and form, melodic hearing (modal, tonal, atonal context), polyphonic skills and harmonic hearing, writing, reading, musical memory, generative musical skills (improvisation, composition), score reading and transposition (vocal and instrumental). The practical work is characterised by a great demand for high artistic standards during the study and final performance of the material. It is essential that the acquired knowledge and skills are all transferred into practical music making carried out with personal artistic responsibility. The assigned material is generally acquired through a series of activities aiming at developing student’s musical hearing abilities, mainly singing and/or piano playing. Besides the practical work and the development of musical skills in a complex and intensive way, the study programme of the musicianship classes focuses on the development of analytical skills, both aurally and in written format. The musical material selected for the musicianship classes include master works of classical music literature and a selection of compositions written for pedagogical purposes, especially Kodály’s two and three-part singing exercises. Students develop their own practical musicianship skills needed for high quality music teaching: stylistic understanding, melodic, polyphonic, harmonic and analytical hearing, musical imagination, singing in tune, improvisation, music reading and writing skills. Students practice their musicianship skills through singing, moving, sing and play, performing different kinds of melodic, harmonic and rhythmic activities in different musical styles and genres (classical, folk, popular, jazz etc.). Techniques used in Kodály music teaching are actively learned: relative solmisation, hand signs and rhythm language.
entrance exam
At the end of the course, students: ▪ show a high level of skills in musicianship and musical literacy; ▪ are able to use a highly developed musical personality in their music teaching practice; ▪ have knowledge of the methods for learning and teaching musicianship skills

Further information

  • assessment
    Other (Portfolio and practical exam)
  • level
  • Completed Semester
    2 and 4
  • How many semesters does the course last?
  • hours per week
    90 minutes
  • Link of the course
  • Target group of course
    Other (Master students in Music Education)
  • credits
  • Type of Course
  • Degree Level
  • e-learning-elements
    digital portfolio assignments
  • Course
  • students #
    6-15 students
  • Hours per year
    Hegyi, Erzsébet. 1975-1979. Solfege According to the Kodály Concept, volume 1 & 2. Kecskemét: Kodály Institute. Hoffman, Richard. 2009. The Rhythm Book. Franklin, Tenessee: Harpeth River Publishing. Hojsgaard, Erik. 2016: Rhythm: Advanced Studies. Kardos, Pál. 2005. Intonation and Vocal Training in Choir. Kecskemét: Kodály Institute. Kodály, Zoltán. 1972. Choral Method – Revised Edition. London: Boosey & Hawkes. Morris, R. : Figured Harmony at the Keyboard Part 1 & 2 Szönyi, Erzsébet. 1974 (1954). Musical Reading and Writing. Budapest: Editio Musica Budapest.
  • evaluation grid
  • evaluation grid
    and document


Suzanne Konings

current position

Head of Music Theory

Daniël Salbert

current position

Music Theory Teacher


Koninklijk Conservatorium Den Haag


Be a part of our european project !

This European project (KA 203 Strategic Partnership) created by Salvatore Gioveni promotes cross-border collaboration in the field of Music Theory through sharing knowledge and transferring pedagogical innovation. It thus responds to a lack of centralised source and framework to deepen reflection by means of cross-disciplinary study at European and international level.

There is a significant wealth of educational practices from one country to another in this sector, especially in terms of harmonic musical notation and analysis. However, HMEI's are facing the nonexistence of a European network for pedagogical staff in Music Theory so far. To improve the situation, the project will among other things develop several intellectual outputs such as Online Platform (IO 1), an EU Bibliography (IO 2), a Repository Courses (IO 3), a Multilingual Glossary (IO 4) and an Exchange Online Learning Platform.

Besides the Conservatoire royal de Bruxelles as leader and manager of the project, the following partner institutions are involved: Music Academy S. Moniuszki Gdańsk (Gdańsk, Poland), F. Liszt Academy of Music Budapest (Budapest, Hungary), Estonian Academy for Music and Theatre (Tallinn, Estonia), HfMTh "Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy" (Leipzig, Germany).

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