Diving into Dalcroze at the Longy Dalcroze Institute

My experience attending the first week of the Longy Dalcroze Institute surpassed all of my expectations!  Each day was a “deep dive” into not only the practice of Dalcroze Education, but a chance to workshop ideas, observe and discuss Dalcroze methods and overall become immersed in the world of Dalcroze.  I am grateful for the Dalcroze USA support of my attendance at the institute.

The energy generated by our shared experience of daily classes with other musicians and music teachers created a true Dalcroze community of learners.  Each day’s movement class was a great way to “get into our bodies” before the specialized classes. I especially enjoyed the pedagogy classes in tandem with the daily sample classes taught by Jeremy Dittus.  All the classes were wonderfully presented, engaging and multi-faceted. My notebook is full of ideas to use in my own teaching.

One highlight for me was the workshop nature of the pedagogy class.  We were given a specific topic such as “quick reaction” and each student shared a sample lesson in this area.  I enjoyed seeing the different ideas and trying them out. The workshop nature enabled us to discuss possible pitfalls and try different strategies.  In keeping with the experiential learning of Dalcroze, this nature of learning helps us understand that our lessons and activities need to be designed in a way to accentuate the skill or “experience” of a particular musical concept.

Another aspect of my study at the institute was the supportive community in our solfége class.  We were all pushing beyond our comfort zone and growing as musicians. This opportunity to push each other was very inspiring.  I want to thank the faculty for crafting such great lessons for us to learn from. I continue to review much of the material presented at the institute.  It just shows how comprehensive an approach Dalcroze really is! I want to share with any musicians considering Dalcroze study is that it will widen your view of what music is all about. It has opened many new ways of thinking about experiencing music.  

My study of Dalcroze which began around three years ago has fueled an ongoing devotion to developing my own comprehensive musicianship. Notably, I am now an active composer. In my work as a composer; I always try to get inside the musical ideas and ask myself – how is this part of the music functioning and how does it relate to the other parts.  My intensive work at the Dalcroze Institute this summer continues to provide practical tools and inspiration for my daily work as a musician, composer, arranger and music educator.

Dalcroze Society of America Memorial Scholarships help future Dalcroze teachers study at accredited Dalcroze teacher training programs in the United States or abroad. Please consider a donation to support the DSA Memorial Scholarship Fund.