What is Dalcroze Eurythmics

A Dalcroze education is a musical training comprising the basic elements of music: rhythm, dynamics, tone and form. It has three branches: Eurhythmics trains the body in rhythm and dynamics; Solfège trains the ear, eye and voice in pitch, melody and harmony; Improvisation puts it all together according to the student's own invention- in movements, with voice, at an instrument.

For children, and often for adult beginners, these three aspects of the Dalcroze work are integrated in a single class, in which the students move, sing, and play as they engage in a variety of activities involving listening, responding, and inventing.

As the students become more advanced, the three branches are formally separated, each having its own class. However, in the spirit of musical wholeness that characterizes Dalcroze, each class includes all three aspects of the work.

Dalcroze training stimulates, develops, and refines all the capacities we use when we engage in music: our senses of hearing, sight, and touch; our faculties of knowing and reasoning; our ability to feel and to act on our feelings. Coordinating these capacities is the kinesthetic sense, the feedback mechanism of the nervous system which conveys information between the mind and the body. The education of this sense to the purposes of music is at the heart of the Dalcroze work.

This approach, so radical in its inception one hundred years ago, has found its moment in the current explosion of interest and research in music education. The newest discoveries and theories of learning point exactly to the teaching innovations that Dalcroze proposed at the beginning of this century.

Dalcroze Eurhythmics is a unique, exciting, and powerful education in music for individuals of all ages and levels. Rhythmic movement, intense listening, and improvisation unlock creativity, nurture imagination, and open the doors to enriched and enlivened music making. Eurhythmics (literally, good rhythm) places experiential knowledge at the fore. Musical concepts are explored through social and interactive methods that invite the students to trust their ideas and develop their own intuitions.

Dalcroze study has three branches:
1. Eurhythmics trains the body in rhythm, dynamics, articulation, phrasing, and form;
2. Solfège trains the ear, eye, and voice in pitch, melody, and harmony;
3. Improvisation brings all elements together according to the student's own invention -- in movement, with voice, at an instrument.

Emile-Jacques Dalcroze, a Swiss pianist, composer, and educator, created his method of teaching using “rhythmic gymnastics” early in the Twentieth century. In a typical Dalcroze class, the instructor will combine the elements above using rhythm games, songs, gesture, and movement as the key teaching media so that the joy of music is experienced and understood. As a precursor to or in tandem with private music lessons, Dalcroze Eurhythmics will create a platform for accelerated and deep learning in all musicians.


This information is the sole property of Jeremy Dittus.  Any use of this information without his consent is strictly forbidden. July, 2010