Active Music Learning Research Group

The primary aim of this interdisciplinary research work is to elaborate how we can integrate movement creatively into the classroom practice of music lessons in the lower primary grades.

We all share the firm belief, that movement (either directed or freely improvised) coupled with singing or music listening enhances the absorption of music, the development of the musical abilities, skills, inner imagination, creativity to a large extent  thus contributes to the children’s joyful involvement, lesson activity and the desire to musical expression. 

What was the ultimate goal of Kodály? Let music belong to everyone! Music lessons should be a joy and not a torture! However, we have to keep in mind consistently what Kodály said about the singing as the core element of any music lesson, the quality of music we offer to our children and the way to build the learning process through games, singing activities. We have to find the right ways to integrate movement in the most appropriate and effective way into the music lessons to create an inspiring learning environment for the children of the 21st century and to equip our teachers with the appropriate methodological tool and the right musical repertory.


How this research project became an interdisciplinary one? Besides the elaboration and analysis of two teaching models (integrating movement in different ways), and their application under classroom conditions, we test and analyse the children’s skills and abilities with appropriate computer-aided psychology tests, moreover, we involve the newest findings of cognitive neuroscience, and conduct electrophysiological measurements in order to find evidences for the different activities in the brain. While the early findings of the transfer effect of music are widely accepted today, we also have evidences that movement coupled with music making helps the conceptual understanding of the musical processes and through the differentiation of abstract schemes it helps in the development of linguistic, aural, visual skills before learning how to read. (Ferguson, 2005; Rohwer, 1998, Schellenberg, 2005; Miendlarzewska és Trost, 2014; Moreno et al., 2011; Tierney és Kraus, 2013), 

The working group consists of representatives from all areas described above. It is led by László Norbert Nemes, comprised of the experts of the Kodály Institute of the Liszt Academy and its Kokas Research Group, and the researchers of the Brain Imaging Centre of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences.

The Hungarian Academy of Sciences provided a grant for the preparation and validation works between 2014-2016 and currently the second phase (2016-2020) is taking place. 


Objectives:

The research aims at developing two new teaching models: 

  • Teaching Model 1: This model uses the creative singing games and movements systematically during singing and music listening to develop the general musical skills.
  • Teaching Model 2: This model investigates how we can create an evidence-based music listening via using elements of Klára Kokas’s creative music pedagogy, i.e. the free movement improvisation and how to create an environment for improving musical skills built on creative singing.   

How does the development of cognitive abilities such as speech, intellect, executive functions work, and how do neurocognitive functions related to creativity, empathy and speech perception change following the first implementation of the two models? 

In the Brain Imaging Centre through electrophysiological measurements early manifestations of neural entrainment is tracked in different frequency bands (beta: 15-25 Hz, gamma: 20-60 Hz) and in steady-state evoked potentials (SS-EPs); and the team is looking for evidence for sensorimotor coupling between auditory and motor brain areas. 



The Final Report is due by the end of 2020. Once the project will be finished, it will produce the following outcomes: a detailed description of the validated models, various teaching manuals on their application in classroom conditions, a great number of lesson plans for evidence-based music lessons, a renewed musical repertory, numerous games and choreographies and all activities recorded in video demonstrations.  


Scientific publications in English as per May, 2020:

Maróti, E., Barabás, E., Deszpot, G., Farnadi, T., Norbert Nemes, L., Szirányi, B., & Honbolygó, F.: The Effect of Movement Instruction in Music Education on Cognitive, Linguistic, Musical and Social skills. In: Proceeding ICMPC14 (14th biennial International Conference on Music Perception and Cognition), July 5-9, 2016. San Francisco, CA. 544. http://www.icmpc.org/icmpc14/files/ICMPC14_Proceedings.pdf 

Maróti, E., Barabás, E., Deszpot, G., Farnadi, T., Norbert Nemes, L., Szirányi, B., & Honbolygó, F. (2018). Does moving to the music make you smarter? The relation of sensorimotor entrainment to cognitive, linguistic, musical, and social skills. Psychology of Music, SAGE Publications. 06/05/2018 First Published 0305735618778765. http://journals.sagepub.com/eprint/BiCfYK7rzyv9tka2pMQF/full

Maróti, E., Honbolygó, F., & Weiss, B. (2019). Neural entrainment to the beat in multiple frequency bands in 6–7-year-old children. International Journal of Psychophysiology, 141, 45-55. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31078641  

Lukács, B., & Honbolygó, F. (2019). Task-dependent mechanisms in the perception of music and speech: domain-specific transfer effects of elementary school music education. Journal of Research in Music Education, 67(2), 153-170. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0022429419836422 

Borbála Lukács, Emese Maróti, Kata Asztalos, Ferenc Honbolygó (2017): The short-term effects of elementary school music education on the development of musical and linguistic abilities. Lecture. In: Work in Progress Student Symposium 2018, ELTE PPK Budapest, 18 December, 2017. 

Borbála Lukács, Ferenc Honbolygó (2018): The short-term effects of elementary school music education on the development of musical, linguistic and intellectual abilities. Poster. In: Cognitive Development Center Central European University (ed.) BCCCD 2018: Budapest CEU Conference on Cognitive Development: Program and Abstracts. BCCCD 2018, CEU, Budapest. 4-6 January, 2018. 

Borbála Lukács, Emese Maróti, Kata Asztalos, Ferenc Honbolygó (2018): The impact of movement-based classroom music education on cognitive development in first-grade children. Poster. In: Communication, Pragmatics, and Theory of Mind: X. Dubrovnik Conference on Cognitive Science, 24-28 May, 2018, University of Zagreb, Dubrovnik, Croatia. 

Borbála Lukács, Emese Maróti, Kata Asztalos, Ferenc Honbolygó (2018): Associations between musical and linguistic abilities in first-grade children: The short-term effects of a movement-based elementary school music education program. Poster. ICMPC15-ESCOM10: 15th International Conference on Music Perception and Cognition and 10th triennial conference of the European Society for the Cognitive Sciences of Music, 23-28 July, 2018, University of Graz, Graz, Austria.

Borbála Szirányi (2018): Role of movements in lower elementary level to teach any new rhythm and melodic element or formal unit. Workshop at the Kodály National Conference in Perth (New Horizons Diverse perspectives Shared Journey). Perth, Australia, 1 October, 2018. 

Borbála Szirányi (2018): Music listening with the integration of movements in upper elementary or secondary school level. Workshop at the Kodály National Conference in Perth (New Horizons Diverse perspectives Shared Journey). Perth, Australia, 4 October, 2018. 

László Norbert Nemes (2018): The Kodály Institute’s role in the development of school music education and teacher education in Hungary and beyond. Keynote speech. In: „Music pedagogy in the 21st century in the footsteps of Kodály” International symposium, Liszt Academy of Music, Budapest, 15-16 December, 2018.

Ferenc Honbolygó – Kata Asztalos (2018): Effects of the Active Music Learning Models – an empirical study. Lecture. In: „Music pedagogy in the 21st century in the footsteps of Kodály” International symposium, Liszt Academy of Music,  Budapest, 15-16 December, 2018.

Edina Barabás – Borbála Szirányi (2018): „How to integrate movement into different musical skill-building areas in "normal" and "singing" classes. Lecture. In: „Music pedagogy in the 21st century in the footsteps of Kodály” International symposium, Liszt Academy of Music, Budapest, 15-16 December, 2018.

Katalin Körtvési – Gabriella Deszpot (2018): Applying the Kokas pedagogy in the teacher training programme of the Liszt Academy. Lecture in the „Progressive paths in teacher training” section. In: „Music pedagogy in the 21st century in the footsteps of Kodály” International symposium, Liszt Academy of Music, Budapest, 15-16 December, 2018.

Gabriella Deszpot – Tamara Farnadi (2018): Klára Kokas's pedagogy in the dynamic music-learning model. Lecture in the „Progressive paths in teacher training” section. In: „Music pedagogy in the 21st century in the footsteps of Kodály” International symposium, Liszt Academy of Music, Budapest, 15-16 December, 2018.

Borbála Lukács – Emese Maróti – Kata Asztalos – Ferenc Honbolygó (2018): The short-term effects of Active Music Learning on the development of literacy in the first school year. Lecture. In: Work in Progress Student Symposium 2018, ELTE PPK Budapest, 17 December, 2018. 

Borbála Lukács – Emese Maróti – Kata Asztalos – Ferenc Honbolygó (2019): The short-term effects of Active Music Learning on the development of literacy in the first school year. Poster. In: Language and Music in Cognition: Integrated Approaches to Cognitive Systems. International Spring School. Cologne (Germany) 2-8 February, 2019.

Kata Asztalos, Ferenc Honbolygó, Borbála Lukács, Emese Maróti (2019): An analysis of the effects of the ’active music learning’ method. Lecture. In: XVII. Evaluations in Pedagogy Conference, Music Education section. Szeged, (Hungary) 12 April, 2019.