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Dalcroze Eurhythmics is a unique approach to Music Education. It is based on the premise that the human body is the source of all musical ideas. This site is the home of Dalcroze Australia - you will find information here about the Dalcroze approach, about ordering books, CDs and other resources, and training happening in your area.

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Dalcroze Eurhythmics

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Dalcroze Eurhythmics

Dalcroze Eurhythmics is a unique approach to Music Education. It is based on the premise that the human body is the source of all musical ideas. Physical awareness, or kinaesthetic intelligence, is one of our most powerful senses, yet it is often taken for granted. Dalcroze Eurhythmics allows us to gain a practical, physical experience of music before we theorise and perform. We learn to move with flexibility, fluidity, and economy in order to play a musical instrument, sing, or conduct, with both passion and skill. This ensures that the whole person, not just the fingers and the brain, is educated in the development of musicianship and artistry.

Émile Jaques-Dalcroze (1865-1950) was a Swiss composer and pianist. In the early years of the twentieth century, he began to research the effect of human movement on musical perception, and the impact of musical elements on movement technique. He called his approach to music education Eurhythmics. It means, literally, "good rhythm".

Dalcroze Eurhythmics has a three-part structure, consisting of Rhythmics, Ear and Voice Training, and Improvisation.

Rhythmics engages the whole body in the physical exploration of the elements of music: we might step a rhythm, show harmonic movement with a gesture, or follow in movement the changing dynamics and tempo of a piece of music. Rhythmics classes focus on the relationship between time, space and energy in music and movement. Our bodies gain a physical memory of moving to music; this refinement of our physical memory ultimately informs and improves our instrumental and vocal performance.

In Ear and Voice training we study pitch through sight singing and ear training. In Australia, movable-doh solfa is used extensively. The Dalcroze Approach incorporates concepts of rhythm and space into ear training; in this way, the duration of pitches, and the distances between them, can be studied in tandem with the pitches themselves. This is known as Rhythmic Solfège.

Jacques-Dalcroze saw Improvisation as an essential musical skill. Improvisation training fosters the development of the musician’s interpretation and creative skills, developing musicians capable of communication. We use the term “improvisation” to refer to all creative musical activities, ranging from written composition to completely free improvisation.

The culmination of the learning done through each branch is found in plastique animée, best described as a kind of living analysis of a piece of music in which students examine, through movement, the elements of energy, character, harmony and form in the piece under study. This is not choreography in the dance sense, but rather an attempt to use a vocabulary of movement and the physical space to illuminate the structure of, and relationships within, a musical work.