• 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)

    Here are more 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 singing voice, while others seem to struggle with the kind of self-consciousness that plagues older…

  • 1st-2nd Grade Dalcroze Skills and Experiences: 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 will master each of these things?…

  • Skills and experiences for 1st-2nd Grade Dalcroze: Movement (Part 1 of 4)

    The focus for this list is movement. In each Dalcroze class, I give a short warm-up at the beginning. The focus is usually on some kind of movement technique, and I often use the warm-up to provide an introduction to the musical subject of the day (for example beat and division, syncopation, simple triple meter,…

  • 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,…

  • Subdivision, Simple Meter

    Note: this is the first in a series of posts about the musical subjects I am working with in my classrooms and thinking about as a teacher and musician. If I continue long enough, I’ll eventually index and categorize them. Each one will include a subject, some notes, descriptions of some activities and  some target…

  • 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…

  • Ostinato of 3 + cross-rhythms

    As fall approaches we begin to think of bonfires, homecoming games and ostinatos with cross-rhythms. No? Ok, me neither, but how about some ostinatos with cross-rhythms anyway? I was hoping you’d say that. I recorded a slow meditative track with an ostinato (repeating pattern) of 3 against cross-rhythms of 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5.…

  • Improvisation Workshop: Finding Your Sound

    Ever hear some music, maybe a jazz pianist who has a great command of the instrument, or a piece by Debussy that seems to take wing, and think, “If only I could improvise like that!” I have felt that many times, and I still enjoy trying to capture and take inspiration from the sounds created…

Writing about music and music education from a Dalcroze perspective: