Colourstrings is an internationally recognised method of music education which was developed in the 1970s by the Hungarian brothers Gèza and Csaba Szilvay, who are well known to string players and educators the world over.

Colourstrings Music Kindergarten is an approach to early years music education from babyhood to early primary school. Based on Kodàly’s philosophy of music education, Colourstrings gives children the opportunity to enjoy music from the earliest possible age. Attending a class supports the development of a child's musicality as well as their social and emotional skills, their creativity, and confidence.

Colourstrings Music Kindergarten Teacher Training provides rigorous, in-depth knowledge of the Colourstrings approach for children aged from birth to 6 years.

“He who begins life with music will have this reflecting on his future like golden sunshine.” - Zoltàn Kodàly


Colourstrings was created as an approach to strings teaching in Finland in the 1970s by Dr Gèza Szilvay, a Hungarian-born violinist, and called 'Colourstrings' as it uses a visual approach - changing the colours of the music notation. This led to the development of Colourstrings Music Kindergarten, a singing and movement-based approach to teaching young children music, which is now used worldwide.

Colourstrings is based on the principles of Zoltàn Kodàly, a Hungarian composer, educator, and ethnomusicologist who developed a systematic concept of music learning through singing and folksong. Kodàly believed that children should learn the fundamental elements of music through singing games and rhymes, before learning an instrument.

Colourstrings’ child-centred approach aims to strike the perfect balance between excellence and enjoyment of music – and between technical, musical, aural and emotional development. Colourstrings aims for young children to acquire a love of music while developing musicianship and early instrumental skills in a completely integrated way. Everything starts with singing, which helps to develop inner hearing and intonation. Play and imagination are central to the approach, while musical concepts are explored in a stimulating, structured way. Children develop technical skills, a trained ear, and a deep understanding of music, as well as an outstanding ability in the expression of music.

Unique to Colourstrings are the 'Singing Rascals', core repertoire which are used from kindergarten to early instrumental and musicianship training, and in orchestral ensembles. This provides continuity and a sense of security for children and enables a seamless transition from kindergarten to instrumental training. The Singing Rascals have been translated into many languages.

What makes Colourstrings different?

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Colourstrings is not a franchise but an approach to music education that is internationally acclaimed by music professionals and educators.

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Colourstrings teachers are music graduates who have undertaken Colourstrings training (a process which takes at least a year) and who are highly trained in early years pedagogy.

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Live music is key to Colourstrings, with singing and instruments in every class.

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Colourstrings strives to make every child a creative, confident music-maker.

Children who follow a Colourstrings programme will become musically literate before learning an instrument.


Colourstrings Music Kindergarten Teacher Training provides rigorous, in-depth knowledge of the Colourstrings approach for children aged from birth to 7 years.

Introduction to

Colourstrings Music Kindergarten Teacher Training

Training begins with the Introduction to Colourstrings Music Kindergarten course, which provides a detailed overview of the Colourstrings approach and its use with young children. This introductory course forms the first part of the Certificate of Colourstrings Music Kindergarten Teaching (Phase 1) Training. It is suitable for musicians and early years practitioners who wish to teach music in an early years setting, or instrumentalists who wish to understand the foundations of pre-instrumental learning.

Phase One

Colourstrings Music Kindergarten Teacher Training

After completing the Introduction to Colourstrings course, students are eligible to participate in Colourstrings Music Kindergarten Teacher Training (Phase 1). During this course, students complete written and practical coursework, including a musicianship assessment and teaching practicum. Once coursework has been completed the Certificate of Colourstrings Music Kindergarten Teaching (Phase 1) is awarded. Teachers who gain this qualification are eligible to teach Colourstrings Music Kindergarten with babies and children aged up to 4 years.

Phase Two

Colourstrings Music Kindergarten Teacher Training

A further course, leading to Certificate of Colourstrings Music Kindergarten Teaching (Phase 2), allows teachers to teach Colourstrings Music Kindergarten with children aged 4-7 years. Only teachers who have completed Certificate of Colourstrings Music Kindergarten Teaching (Phase 1) are eligible to undertake Phase 2 training.


Colourstrings Scotland Teacher Training Instructors Naheed and Yvonne are two of only four Colourstrings Music Kindergarten Teachers in the world who have undertaken the Colourstrings Music Kindergarten Diploma. Both highly experienced Kindergarten Teachers, they have been delivering Colourstrings Music Kindergarten Teacher Training worldwide since 2013.

NAHEED SHIMALA trained as a Colourstrings Music Kindergarten teacher in 2000 and runs her own classes (babies to 6 year olds) in the West End of Glasgow. Prior to this, she worked for the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Scottish Chamber Orchestra and BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra on education and learning projects throughout Scotland. She delivers CPD sessions for musicians and teachers using Kodàly-based principles and her work regularly takes her to India, South Africa, Italy and Ireland. Since 2009 she has been training teachers at the Mehli Mehta Music Foundation in Mumbai. She is founder and director of the Reel Kids Music Club (CIC) - an after-school provision for primary-aged children to access instrumental and musicianship lessons. She plays bassoon, whistle and saxophone.

YVONNE WYROSLAWSKA has an MA (Hons) Music from the University of Glasgow, a Licentiate in Music Teaching (LRSL) with distinction and a Masters of Education (Learning & Teaching in the Performing Arts) from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. Her postgraduate studies in Kodàly pedagogy have taken her to Hungary, London, New York, and California, where she completed the Organisation of American Kodàly Educators Specialist Certificate at Holy Names University. Yvonne began her Colourstrings training in 2006 and has run Colourstrings Music Kindergarten classes since 2007. Yvonne was responsible for developing Gaelic Colourstrings. She delivers professional learning courses for teachers and professionals working in Early Years, and runs Early Years Music Scotland. Additionally, Yvonne is a ballet teacher, holding a Diploma in Dance Instruction (Cecchetti Ballet) with the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing. Yvonne is currently a doctoral researcher at the University of Edinburgh where her research explores singing and maternal mental health.


2024/25 Training Courses

Introduction to Colourstrings Music Kindergarten Teacher Training (online course) - September to November 2024

Phase 1 Colourstrings Music Kindergarten Teacher Training (online course) - November 2024 to June 2025

Enquire now for more information.

From previous students:

“Thank you so much for all your comments, thoughts, suggestions on all my work, both written and practical. They have been extremely helpful - you run the courses brilliantly.”

“I want to thank you again for your mentorship throughout this certification process. The materials you created and shared have been very helpful and the assignments you requested of me truly helped develop me more as a teacher and student.”