(Reprinted from Perspectives, Vol. 1, No. 3, Summer 2006, pp. 6-7)
University of Texas at San Antonio
Dalcroze Eurhythmics has been employed as a teaching tool for developing artistry in musicians, dancers, and actors for nearly one hundred years. The vision of Emile Jacques-Dalcroze was to have the young artist experience the nuances of musical elements far beyond the printed page and to express these nuances kinesthetically, cognitively, and emotionally. During a Dalcroze class, participants work individually or in ensembles to realize improvised and composed music through physical representation, singing, and improvisation. In essence, the body is being treated as the first instrument.
It is interesting to observe the body and the brain at work in a Dalcroze class. Seldom are participants required to coordinate feet, hands, and voices, and react to the musical environment around them. When working…