Many people seem to be curious about my Dalcroze Eurhythmics work. I enrolled on the Dalcroze Society’s certificate course in Sept 2010, have completed my practical exams and have just to finish my coursework and teaching practise, before I can call myself a ‘Dalcroze Practitioner’. Already, the training is informing the piano lessons I teach, and forms a major component of the musicianship and practical theory classes I teach at Derby Music Centre. I’ve also taught Dalcroze sessions at Birmingham Conservatoire, The Voicebox and at St. Clare’s Special School in Derby.
THE PROBLEM: it’s so difficult to define in words. So, those who haven’t seen it just can’t quite fathom what is it I do!
Is it a dance class? No! Movement to music is the largest aspect of Dalcroze, but it is not dance.
Is it some kind of hippy, interpretative dance thing? No. It’s actually quite technical as well as creative, and focuses on very specific aims.
Is it just a load of fun? Yes – it’s fun. But it’s not ‘just’ that! It’s actually meant to educate people and has been taught at the Royal Ballet school and at Music Conservatoires around the world, to ‘professional’ musicians, teachers, adult amateurs as well as to children and pre-school ages.
What are the aims of a Dalcroze teacher?
-Giving notes their full rhythm and life
- Being able to develop a sense of flow/ line (rather than thinking only vertically).
- The ability to sustain a continuous steady beat.
- Good tone quality. Sense of spring and rebound, release, weight.
- Dynamics. Using muscles to create energy or to restrain energy (eg. loud and quiet)
- Being able to respond quickly through looking, listening or feeling
- Being sensitised to working with other people
- Posture, good alignment, balance, body awareness. To feel secure. Alleviation of parasitic tension.
- To have a sense in our heads of what we’d like our performance or composition to sound/ feel like.