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Kodaly & Theory

At the OSA, we believe that learning theory is an important part of music education. It not only helps our students to know more about the music they are playing, but also gives them a better understanding of music in general.  Our theory instruction ranges from Kodaly classes for our youngest musicians all the way to advanced RCM Theory.

Did You Know?

Zoltan Kodály's aim was to teach musical literacy to all.  He saw literacy as the ability to '…hear what you see and see what you hear… performance reveals whether the instrumentalist understands what they are playing.'  The Kodály approach to music education provides developing musicians experience and training in developing music literacy by singing and oral participation.  It helps musicians internalize pitch and rhythm in a unique way – it is another “entry point” to help a music student reach their musical potential. Through a variety of singing games, carefully selected songs, and the use of visual aids and manipulatives, students gradually acquire a more refined sense of pitch and rhythmic vocabulary.

Kodaly Prep: For those who are just starting out. (Ages 4-5) – 30-minute weekly class

Kodaly Level 1: For students who have completed Kodaly–Prep, or older beginners, Novice level. (Ages 5-7) – 30-minute weekly class

Kodaly Level 2:  For students who have successfully completed Kodaly Level 1, and/or by teacher recommendation.  Intermediate level students (approximately Book 2 and up). (Ages 7 and up)  – 45-minute online weekly class.

Kodaly Level 3:  For students who have successfully completed Kodaly Level 2, and/or by teacher recommendation.   Intermediate level students (approximately Book 2/3 and up). (Ages 8 and up)  – 45-minute weekly class.

Note: Level 3 content may take up to 2 years to master depending on the experience of the student.  1 year is spent on learning songs with up to 3 sharps (major/minor keys) and 1 year is spent on learning songs with up to 3 flats (major/minor keys).

Learn more about the Kodaly Approach to music education. See a breakdown of class content in Kodaly Class Descriptions.


As part of our Enrichment Program at OSA, we provide instruction in RCM Theory following the Royal Conservatory of Music Syllabus (2016). We offer RCM Theory classes starting from Level 3 Theory all the way through to Level 8 Theory.  Students learn about Pitch, Rhythm, Key Signatures, Scales, Triads/Chords, Melody Writing, Music History, and Musical Terms through written exercises, weekly homework assignments and feedback, listening, and additional practice exercises.

Did You Know?

The study of music theory is essential to a well-rounded musical training.  The RCM Theory levels correspond with the RCM Practical instrument levels rather than with Suzuki book levels.  Concepts are sequenced to help students develop musical understanding and literacy.

Levels 3 and 4 Theory: Elementary Theory levels (no formal RCM Theory exam from these levels)

Levels 5 to 8 Theory: Intermediate Theory levels  (students may prepare, if they wish,  for a written or online RCM Theory exam upon completion of a level).

Classes can be taken alone or in conjunction with OSA group classes. For students who prefer theory instruction on a different day, or for higher RCM theory and history levels, we offer referrals for private theory instruction.

Contact our registrar for further information. For a more detailed description of what is covered in these theory levels please refer to the official RCM Theory Syllabus (2016).