dalcroze eurhythmics


  • As stated concisely by Claire-Lise Dutoit in her “Music Movement Therapy,” successful eurhythmics lessons have the following three attributes in common: “The vital enjoyment
    of rhythmic movement and the confidence that it gives; the ability to hear, understand and express music in movement; [and] the call made on the pupil to improvise and develop freely his own ideas.” Influences on the development of eurhythmics
    Before taking a post teaching theory, Émile Jaques-Dalcroze spent a year as a conductor in Algiers, where he was exposed to a rhythmic complexity that helped influence him to pay special attention to rhythmic aspects of music.

  • Eurhythmics classes for all ages share a common goal – to provide the music student with a solid rhythmic foundation through movement in order to enhance musical expression
    and understanding.

  • In this setting, the objectives of eurhythmics classes are to introduce students with a variety of musical backgrounds to musical concepts through movement without a specific
    performance-related goal.

  • He believed exposure to music, an expanded understanding of how to listen, and the training of gross and fine motor skills would yield faster progress later on in students’
    musical studies.

  • The youngest of students, who are typically experiencing their first exposure to musical knowledge in a eurhythmics class, learn to correlate types of notes with familiar
    movement; for example the quarter note is represented as a “walking note.”

  • Performance-based applications While eurhythmics classes can be taught to general populations of students, they are also effective when geared toward music schools, either
    preparing students to begin instrumental studies or serving as a supplement to students who have already begun musical performance.

  • As he mentioned in the foreword of his “Rhythm, Music, and Education,” he sought the “connection between instincts for pitch and movement…time and energy, dynamics, and space,
    music and character, music and temperament, [and] finally the art of music and the art of dancing.” Because of the nature of his goals in expanding music education, his ideas are readily applicable to young students.

  • • Storytelling: The teacher invents a story or uses a familiar storyline to incorporate rhythmic concepts • Ball games: Students pass a ball around in different ways, exploring
    naturally occurring rhythm and developing motor skills • Games with sticks: The students jump across a series of sticks on the floor, learning to coordinate body parts and their associated rhythm.

  • • Drum activities: The students participate with small drums, getting to reproduce rhythm in an instrumental context Ages 7+ (activities can be adapted to different age groups)
    • Swings: The teacher plays music improvised in a preset metrical pattern.

  • As he taught his classes, he noticed that his students deeply needed an approach to learning music that included a kinesthetic component.

  • Sample activities Ages 3–6: • Warm-up activities: The students isolate and shake each body part, each one accompanied by different music.

  • In response to his observations, he asserted that in order to develop rhythmic ability in his students, he must first, and as early as possible in their development, train
    them in exercises that utilized the entire body.

  • He believed that in order to enhance and maximize musical expression, students needed to be trained early on to listen and appreciate music using both their minds and bodies.

  • The study of syncopation, a broad term that can involve a variety of rhythms that fall unexpectedly or somehow displace the pulse, is also essential in a rhythmic education.

  • It focuses on allowing the student to gain physical awareness and experience of music through training that takes place through all of the senses, particularly kinesthetic.

  • An objective of his was to “musicalize” young children in order to prepare them for musical expression in future instrumental studies.

  • In particular, their collaboration resulted in eurhythmics often employing games of change and quick reaction in order to focus attention and increase learning.

  • This shows that eurhythmic classes can benefit a child’s sense of rhythm.

  • Eurhythmics often introduces a musical concept through movement before the students learn about its visual representation.

  • In younger students, the movement aspect of a rhythmic curriculum also develops musculature and gross motor skills.

  • This sequence translates to heightened body awareness and an association of rhythm with a physical experience for the student, reinforcing concepts kinesthetically.

  • This vocabulary can be introduced and utilized in a number of different ways, but the primary objective of this component is to familiarize students with rhythmic possibilities
    and expand their horizons.

  • Effectiveness of Dalcroze eurhythmics A group of 72 pre-school children were tested on their rhythmic ability; half of the children had free-play (35–40 min.)


Works Cited

[‘1. Zachopoulou, Evridiki, Vassiliki Drri, Dimitris Chatzopoulou, Theordoros Elinoudis. The Application of Orff and Dalcroze Activities in Preschool Children: Do They Affect the Level of Rhythmic Ability? Physical Educator; Spring2003, Vol. 60 Issue
2, p51, 7p. Academic Search Elite. EBSCOhost, UWEC McIntyre Library, Eau Claire WI 1 December 2006 researchgate.net • Hansen, Kristen S., “A Musical Game for Every Age-Group.” Teaching Music, Vol. 9 Issue 1. EBSCOhost. UWEC McIntyre Library Eau Claire
WI. Dec. 1 2006 • Mead, Virginia Hoge, “More than Mere Movement: Dalcroze Eurhythmics.” Music Educators Journal Feb 1986 v72 n6 p42-46 ERIC EBSCOhost. UWEC McIntyre Library, Eau Claire, WI. 1 December 2006 • Johnson, Monica Dale, “Dalcroze Skills
of All Teachers”, Music Educators Journal. ERIC. EBSCOhost. UWEC McIntyre Library, Eau Claire, WI 1 December 2006 • Swaiko, Nancy. “The Role and Value of a Eurhythmics Program in a Curriculum of Deaf Children.” American Annals of the Deaf Jun74 119,
3, 321-4. ERIC. EBSCOhost. UWEC McIntyre Library, Eau Claire, WI. 1 December 2006. • Waller, Johnny, and Steve Rapport. Sweet Dreams: the Definitive Biography of Eurythmics. Toronto: Stoddart, 1985. ISBN 0-7737-5026-6 • Jaques-Dalcroze, Emile. Rhythm,
Music & Education. London & Whitstable: The Riverside Press Ltd., 1967. (First published 1921) • Findlay, Elsa. Rhythm and Movement: Applications of Dalcroze Eurhythmics. Evanston: Summy-Birchard Company, 1971. • Bachmann, Marie-Laure. Dalcroze Today:
an Education through and into Music. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1991. • Dutoit, Claire-Lise. Music Movement Therapy. London: The Riverside Press Ltd, 1965. • Jaques-Dalcroze, Emile. Eurhythmics Art and Education. London: Chatto & Windus, 1930. Photo
credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/wbaiv/13530786873/’]