• Color My World

    How much skill do you need before music is experienced as a creative activity?

  • It’s All a Charade

    The Classic Party Game as Music and Movement Portal for 3rd-5th Graders Last week, I came across a passage in a book by Elizabeth Vanderspar that stopped me in my tracks. (The book was originally published as “Principles and Guidelines for Teaching Eurhythmics” and is now available as Dalcroze Handbook: Teaching Rhythmics.) She suggested playing…

  • Dynamics

    I wonder if some of the other musical subjects are envious of ‘dynamics’. It’s very name sounds like a superpower. How about the others? ‘Duration’ sounds world weary; ‘Augmentation/diminution’ feels like a medical procedure. ‘Meter’ sounds like something a bureaucrat made up. But ‘dynamics’? It’s very name is brimming with life-force energy. (Note: the image…

  • Watching Music, Hearing Movement

    A collection of video about music and movement. Margaret Beals has been performing as improvising dancer for many years. (She is actually a friend of Dawn’s.) Here she is with sitar player and jazz musician Colin Wolcott (who participated in the groups Oregon, The Paul Winter Consort and Codona to name a few). There is…

  • Becoming More Yourself

    Dawn Pratson, Michael Joviala and Michele Herman in Conversation For about 2 years now, Dawn Pratson (dance and choreography) and I (piano and composition) have been meeting every week through Zoom to improvise together. Dawn usually leads us both in a physical warm-up. Eventually I wander over to the piano and start to play. We…

  • Rough Sketch

    Confession: I frequently have a hard time learning my own music. This is probably not uncommon for composers who primarily write music for others to perform, but I am definitely writing for myself. Lately, when I compose it is usually an attempt to personalize a musical subject that I will eventually be working with in…

  • Tonality

    So, yes, the relationship between two tones is not necessarily black and white (see previous post). Tonality puts those two tones into a context which could consist of the many shades of gray, unrestrained technicolor or a tasteful complimentary color pallet. When I use color in a drawing I sometimes have trouble limiting myself. However,…

  • One Small Step…

    Whole and half steps are kind of like air. We tend to not pay too much attention to them unless something unexpected happens. For years they were certainly invisible to me – or rather, inaudible – unless I made a mistake in a musical passage, an easy enough thing to fix for pianists. It didn’t…

  • Picturing Music

    I’ve been thinking about representation lately. No, I don’t need a lawyer. I’m talking about how we ‘picture’ music. As an experiment last week, I asked my kids to draw a picture of rhythms we were working with during the session. I didn’t ask them to use notation. Some of them are too young to…

  • Come Play With Us

    I’m leading drop-in online guided improvisation sessions in February 2023 on Saturdays, 1:00-1:45pm Eastern. To learn more about it and find out how to join, click here. No improv experience necessary and only you (and whoever is in your house!) will hear yourself. A few past attendees were kind enough to write descriptions of what…

Writing about music and music education from a Dalcroze perspective: