Since 1993 Edinburgh’s musically informed have been attending Jack and Jill Music Classes in St. Catherine’s Argyle Church, Marchmont. There are three 40-minute sessions: Crotchets and Quavers (6 months - 3 years), Minims (3-5 years) and Polyphony (6 months - 4 years). These morning sessions—now available online— are led by Mary Macleod, one of Scotland’s most experienced practitioners.
About Mary Macleod
Mary is a qualified music teacher and music therapist. She holds an LTCL in Cello Performance and a postgraduate diploma in Music Therapy. For years she worked as a music therapist and cello teacher. It was having children that led her to focus on early years music. This meant extensive training in Kodály and Dalcroze Eurythmics.
Alongside her instrumental teaching practice, Mary works for the National Youth Choir of Scotland (NYCOS) running Kodály -inspired musicianship classes in schools. She also teaches Kodály classes at St Mary’s Music School.
How do children benefit from a Kodály inspired approach?
It was Zoltán Kodály’s belief that music belongs to everybody and that music education should begin as early as possible in order to develop the whole person. He believed that children learn most naturally through song, fun and musical games.
Kodály recognised the importance of the human voice in developing aural skills. Young children need to be able to focus on one sound at a time. So the Kodály-trained teacher models pitch and rhythm using simple note combinations, which children imitate, week after week. Over time, they build up high levels of musical literacy, including pitch, rhythm, and pulse discrimination.
You have been able to run successful virtual classes. How is this?
Singing is an important part of my teaching; the virtual option makes this possible as singing in public places is prohibited just now. As long as the parent or carer is engaged, the child will join in.
There’s often an element of ‘show and tell’ in my classes: a child might spontaneously decide to show me a teddy, for example! So the ‘mute’ option enables a child to take centre-stage, without disturbing the others! And quieter children really come out of their shells!
To find out more: Phone: 07809 154415
“My boys have both loved Jack & Jill classes! There is a fantastic selection of songs and they really enjoy the actions. I’m so delighted to be able to continue doing the classes with zoom! Thanks Mary!!”
“Mary’s Jack and Jill classes are brilliant for us - and our 2-year-old grandchild. Superbly judged for a lovely mix of musical learning, social development and energetic fun.”
“It’s brilliant that Mary plays her cello and guitar for the children - it gives them the opportunity to see string instruments being played in real life, which they don’t always get in other classes. I’m confident that my daughter is getting a great start to her music education in the classes...but most importantly for her, it’s just great fun!”