• Guided Improvisation Sessions

    As we returned to (mostly) in-person teaching and learning, I found myself wondering if I could create a short class that would actually work best remotely. I thought about things the internet does well, like encouraging a feeling of connectedness while simultaneously allowing users to be completely isolated. To exploit this paradox, I began teaching […]

  • 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 […]

  • Ensemble Skills for 1st-2nd Grade (Part 4 of 4)

    This is the final part of a series on skills, goals and objectives for 1st-2nd grade Dalcroze classes. The lists from the previous posts on movement, rhythm and pitch would not have been out of place in many other introductory theory, ear training or music or movement fundamentals classes. I regard this final category, ensemble […]

  • 1st – 2nd Grade Skills, Experiences and Objectives Associated with Pitch (Part 3)

    Well, “next week” turned into two months! The teaching season has heated up, but I’m finally continuing my curricular lists for 1st-2nd grade. This time the focus is on pitch. Rhythm skills for kids this age are a lot more predictable for me than pitch skills. Some kids have an easy, natural relationship with their […]

  • 1st-2nd Grade: Skills and Objectives Associated with Rhythm (Part 2 of 4)

    Second in a series of posts describing what a typical class might cover during the year. Now we get to the heart of the matter. This is a formidable list, and not all that different from a list I might make for adult classes. Does this mean the children mastered each of these things? No. […]

  • What will 1st-2nd Graders Experience in a Dalcroze Class? (Part 1 of 4)

    At the end of each year, I send the families of my Dalcroze students a list of the kinds of experiences I have tried to provide their children over the course of a year. As we head into another academic year, I thought it might be interesting to use this as list of ‘coming attractions’. […]

  • Letter to 1st and 2nd Grade Families

    note: here’s an end-of-the-year summary for the families of my 1st and 2nd grade Dalcroze classes. I refer to a list of skills and experiences. It’s a bit long for a post, but if you are intersested, I’m happy to send you a copy. Dear 1st and 2nd grade families, The 1st and 2nd grade […]

  • Meter

    Part of a series of posts on the ‘musical subjects‘ I am working with in my classrooms and thinking about as a musician and teacher. I often turn to Walter Piston when I want some inspiration for teaching or for my own practice. Here’s what he says about meter in his book, “Counterpoint”: “In itself, […]

Writing about music and music education from a Dalcroze perspective: