Music Through Movement
A music and movement Eurhythmics class inspired by the work of Jaques-Dalcroze.
Classes available (all classes are 45 minutes in length):
Music Through Movement (ages 3 ½-5)
• Thursdays: 2:00-2:45 PM
• Fridays: 2:00-2:45 PM
Winter Session (8 weeks): January 23/24 to March 12/13
Dance Center Evanston
1934 Dempster Street
Evanston, IL 60202
$160 (single student)
$135 (each student sibling discount)
To register, please contact:
Music Through Movement classes are drop-off classes.
What is Dalcroze Eurhythmics?
“The aim of Dalcroze Eurhythmics is to enable pupils, at the end of their course, to say, not “I know,” but “I have experienced,” and so to create in them the desire to express themselves”
Eurhythmics was invented by Émile Jaques-Dalcroze in Switzerland around 1900. “Eurhythmics” literally means “good rhythm” or “good flow.” Dalcroze Eurhythmics classes teach students to learn about music through movement. Through games and creative imagery the students train their bodies to respond to changes in the music and make connections to musical concepts through their movements.
I’m not sure if my child is ready for private music lessons; how will Dalcroze Eurhythmics classes help prepare them to learn an instrument?
Dalcroze Eurhythmics classes are an excellent way to prepare a child to study an instrument and to build a life-long love of music. Dalcroze Eurhythmics classes are designed to guide children as young as 3 ½ to experience music in their entire bodies. Children will gain an increased sensitivity to music and a sense of pulse that will give them a huge advantage when they start studying an instrument. They will also be able to relate what they learned in Eurhythmics class to what they learn in private music lessons with a sense of joy and pride. Above all, Eurhythmics classes will make learning about music a fun and inspiring experience.
Why should I enroll my child in Dalcroze Eurhythmics if they are already taking private music lessons?
Private music teachers have a limited amount of time with every student each week and usually only have time to focus on teaching technique specific to the instrument and on learning repertoire. Development of musicality (including an inner sense of pulse and rhythm, an understanding of musical line and flow, creativity and individual ownership of musical ideas, and the ability to communicate emotions, intentions, and meaning through one’s playing) is rarely addressed until the student has been studying their instrument for several years; until then the teacher usually relies on the student absorbing the tenets of musicality through listening to recordings and to the playing of their teacher and fellow students. Dalcroze Eurhythmics is unique in addressing the development of musicality from the earliest stages of learning. Since social interaction and group exercises are an integral part of Dalcroze Eurhythmics, students also develop a heightened sense of non-verbal communication that vastly improves their ensemble skills in orchestra and chamber music.
How is Dalcroze Eurhythmics different from other Music and Movement classes?
Like many early childhood music classes, Dalcroze Eurhythmics centers around helping children relate to music in a joyful way that will inspire a life-long love of music. Classes are process-oriented, not goal-oriented. Eurhythmics differs in that each class is centered around a musical concept that the students put into their body in a variety of ways in whole-body movement and gestures. The children embody the music that the teacher improvises instrumentally and vocally. Improvised music allows the teacher to highlight the chosen musical elements and to follow and adapt to the children’s movements.
The learning process is the opposite of how most educators teach: instead of teaching by giving verbal explanations and instructions (“This is a whole note and it has four beats. Count to 4!”) or by showing and telling the students to mimic (“This measure sounds like this: play it like me”), the students are given very brief instructions and/or demonstrations on what to do when the music starts and learn by exploring how to move their bodies in response to changes in the music (“When the music starts, I want you to move like a dragonfly flying through the air, but when the music changes, find a friend and tap your pretend antennae to the music”). The body is the instrument and the music is the teacher. The teacher evaluates whether the students have grasped the musical concept based on their movements. Only after the children have experienced moving in a variety of ways does the teacher guide the students to verbally articulate what they have learned by asking them to relate their movements to the music. This approach gives the students a sense of ownership in what they have learned and leads them to a deeper understanding of the musical concept. Classes are sequenced with concepts and skills that build upon one another.
How does Dalcroze Eurhythmics teach improvisation and why does it matter?
Improvisation is a scary concept to many trained musicians. Most instrumentalists have spent years of study and hours and hours of practice striving towards the idea of perfection. Perfection in the early stages often means playing exactly like their recordings or their teacher’s interpretation of their pieces. As the students get older and are expected to produce their own musical ideas and play “musically” they often are caught up in anxiety and experience a lack of confidence in their abilities. Dalcroze Eurhythmics teachers guide the students to explore their own natural inclinations to create, imagine, and improvise as they move, gesture, and sing in response to music. Since most musical concepts are introduced with games and a spirit of play, the students feel safe to experiment with various imaginative ways of “improvising.” Improvising is not just about picking up an instrument and composing music on the spot: it is about creation. We begin in Dalcroze Eurhythmics with improvising through movement in response to the music that the teacher improvises at the piano (or other instrument); i.e., the children might explore how to move as a starfish vs. a shark vs. a jellyfish in response to three different kinds of music. The play-based environment provides the students a sense of security and allows them to show their own ideas of how to interpret and represent music through movement. This improvisation of movement leads to students gaining confidence in experimenting with making their own musical and artistic decisions in their instrumental playing.
Dress code for Music Through Movement classes:
·Comfortable clothing to move around in (no tight jeans; students wearing dresses or skirts must wear shorts or pants underneath; no footed tights)
About the teacher:
Megan Bauer graduated from Oberlin Conservatory with a degree in Violin Performance in 2004. She has been teaching violin since 1999 and founded her own studio in Evanston in 2006. Megan began training in the Dalcroze method with Jeremy Dittus in 2015 and has attended five Dalcroze Academy summer sessions at the Dalcroze School of the Rockies in Denver as well as weekly lessons over Skype with Dr. Dittus since 2015. Megan has passed all Improvisation, Solfège, and Eurhythmics exams (levels 1A through 3B) necessary to complete her Dalcroze Certificate; she will earn the Certificate after passing a final teaching video examination this spring.