Zoltán Kodály became aware of the great need to improve the quality of singing and music training of teachers and children alike, and he began composing for children’s choruses in the 1920’s and required his composition students to do the same. Folk music provided inspiration, as well as the musical basis, for many of the compositions. By 1929 he was determined to reform the teaching of music and to make it an integral part of the education of every child.
In 1929, Kodály said:
"Teach music and singing at school in such a way that it is not a torture, but a joy for the pupil: instill a thirst for finer music in him, a thirst which will last for a lifetime. If the child is not filled at least once by the life giving stream of music during the most susceptible period - between his sixth and sixteenth years - it will hardly be of any use to him later on. Often a single experience will open the young soul to music for a whole lifetime. This experience cannot be left to chance, it is the duty of the school to provide it." (Selected Writings, p. 120)
The Kodály method of teaching music incorporates singing, literacy activities, and folk games to instill a love of music, a knowledge of the folk music of the child’s country, and to develop a strong level of music literacy.