Cariad Colourstrings is the first and only Colourstrings Kindergarten in Wales. It is a fun but structured approach to enjoying music, developing the inner ear, pulse rhythm, pitch and voice. The method is based on principles that were developed by Curwen in Britain, notably Wales at the turn of the last century. The Hungarian musician and composer, Kodaly, was so impressed by the effectiveness in developing the inner ear through singing that he adapted the method and its use became widespread in Hungary.

More latterly the Szilvay brothers, based in Finland, have taken Kodaly’s methodology and developed Colourstrings, which is now an integral part of Finnish music education and has been absorbed into the education system itself. In the UK there are currently Colourstrings Centres in London, Kent, Glasgow, Manchester and Dublin.

The development of the inner ear so that a child can reliably hear the music he/she is to play or sing, is critical to good musicianship. It makes absolute sense that it must be better for a child to be developed musically i.e. hear pitch, understand rhythm, metre, pulse and read music before they choose and start to play an instrument. After all for string and brass, and to an extent woodwind, the player has to pitch the notes him/herself and to do that properly one must be able to hear them.

The more traditional way of approaching instrumental learning is that everything is taught simultaneously. This is hugely demanding. Music requires more areas of the brain to function than anything else we do. Consider then the physical demands of learning an instrument and it is no wonder children can struggle at the beginning and sometimes be put off entirely.

To have the musicianship established beforehand means that once an instrument is chosen generally the pupil will progress rapidly. In Finland, where Colourstrings is well established, you only have to hear the Helsinki Strings, whose average age is 12, to hear the standards that can be achieved.

There is much research now clearly demonstrating the beneficial effects of music for neurological, physical and IQ development. But, as well as these obvious benefits music is about fulfilment on an emotional level. Self-esteem and confidence will grow and hopefully a love of music that will last a life time.

For further information

Young Children Show Improved Verbal IQ After 20 Days of Exposure to Music Based Cognitive Training “Cartoons” Science Daily (Oct 4, 2011).

First Evidence That Musical Training Affects Brain Development in Young Children Science Daily (Sep 20, 2006).

Testimonials

“The contribution that Colourstrings makes to early years education has been invaluable…the part that Colourstrings will play in the future is of vital importance to the cultural life of this country”
Nicolas Chisholm, Headmaster,
The Yehudi Menhuin School

“Colourstrings is an exceptional method in the training of young musicians and I have yet to experience a more successful approach to the development of musicianship, aural awareness and solid musical principles in the very young.
Derek Aviss,
Trinity College of Music

“Colourstrings is simply an outstanding education in itself. The founders and teachers have recognised that fundamentally all human beings are born musical, and that this natural ability can be easily harnessed for the benefit of society and the individual.

Every child going through colourstrings acquires an acute ear and makes rapid progress on their chosen instrument., as well as singing in tune and performing confidently in public. The Colourstrings method is making a significant contribution to the lives of hundreds of young musicians “
Jonathan Haswell, Producer,
BBC Classical Music TV and Colourstrings Parent