What appeals to me most about the Dalcroze practice is our long history and the degree to which we’ve maintained our connection to the origins of the method for over a century. These traditions have survived world wars, economic catastrophes, the Industrial Revolution, and political upheaval.
I can see how our current challenges are fueling innovation, positioning our method for incredible growth here in the twenty-first century. Online workshops, socially distanced in-person classes, podcasts, video content, and other new platforms are emerging and will generate more interest for our work. These innovations, spurred by necessity, are already making our community more vibrant. Of course, we’re relieved to see the path back to in-person instruction, since the full power of this work comes from shared experience. However, in cases where in-person instruction is unavailable, the DSA sees a future role for these formats in growing the practice and realizing our vision of a flourishing American Dalcroze community.
The DSA Board of Trustees has been undertaking several projects to this end. The Dalcroze Lab series has been a successful venture into the online workshop space. Presentations by Silvia del Bianco, Dawn Pratson, and Cynthia Lilley were well attended. A total of 58 people from 15 different countries registered for individual sessions, which accumulated over 300 views. The newly constituted Marketing Committee is tasked with creating messaging and materials to help teachers promote their practices. The Professional Development Committee is doing amazing work in reaching consensus between teacher training programs, having completed, after nine years and countless hours of meetings, a teacher training manual specifying standards for obtaining both the Professional Dalcroze Certificate and the Professional Dalcroze License. The National Events Committee is thinking outside the box to ensure the success of our national conference in January and plans to incorporate some innovations that have arisen in the past year. A newly formed task force for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion has been meeting regularly to craft recommendations on how the DSA can support its current members of color, reach a wider, more diverse audience, and bring Dalcroze Education to people who have not traditionally had access to it. The Finance Committee has launched a fundraising campaign to raise scholarship money for next year, using both the website and social media to spread awareness.
The DSA is showcasing how a method based on physical embodiment can utilize a digital space as well. Thank you for all your support and confidence in us as our organization continues to grapple with what it means to be a Dalcrozian in the twenty-first century and how we can best serve you, the practitioner, in the shifting American educational landscape. As we return to in-person instruction, the social benefits of the method will become even more important to the healing and development of our students after so much isolation. We must not forget that robust singing, physical touch, playful interaction, and cooperative movement are all vital parts of the method. As we reassert these values to our students and administrators, we can also use the experience of virtual teaching to enhance our programs. We believe that the twenty-first century will be our best century yet.