Dalcroze For Children · Teaching

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’.  

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, etc.). Of course, movement happens throughout a eurhythmics class, and some of the items are core movement objectives that we aim to visit and refine throughout the year.

Skills and experiences associated movement:

  • Execute any kind of locomotor movement with grace and ease
  • move isolated parts of the body with ease
  • change between
    • isolated parts of the body to whole body movement
    • top half and bottom half of body
    • symmetrical and asymmetrical positions
  • move
    • with spatial awareness
      • hi/low/front/back
        • using oppositions
      • of pathway
        • curvy
        • straight with quick turns
    • with different lengths of stride
    • with awareness of the room and the group
    • with spirals
    • with awareness of how joints articulate in the body
    • with expansion and contraction
  • vertical vs horizontal space
  • Figure 8 in different planes (horizontal, vertical, sagittal)
  • using body weight to push, roll, turn and tumble across the floor.
  • using gravity to create momentum (e.g. with swinging arms)
  • use hands and feet separately and simultaneously in simple ways
  • use gesture to express a wide variety of tempos and dynamics, in place
  • move effectively
    • independently
    • with a partner
    • in small groups
    • with the whole group
  • Create and remember sequences of movement (up to 5)

Stay tuned for lists about subjects related to rhythm, pitch and more.

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