Executive Director’s Letter

What’s next?

As we move out of these last few years of pandemic restrictions, this is a question I often ask myself. As the executive director, one of my roles (in concert with the board of trustees) is to listen, reflect, and envision our future. Where are we—as the Dalcroze USA community—now? How did we get here? And most importantly: what’s next?

We’ve learned a lot since March 2020 when our daily routines were interrupted. We discovered new ways of connecting and learning with each other over the internet. And we also confirmed how crucial the in-person experience is for our work. This year, as we approach the question of “what’s next,” we’re making strides to better support, serve, and expand our community.

If you’re a longtime reader of Dalcroze Connections, you’ve no doubt noticed the refreshed design of this magazine already. With more color, more images, and some new regular columns, we hope that there’s something for every kind of Dalcroze reader, whether you’re just beginning your Dalcroze journey or have been a practitioner for decades. 

Looking for fresh ideas for your next improvisation? Turn to page 33. Want to relive the excitement that comes with that first year of Dalcroze teacher training? You’ll enjoy Kuanting Chang’s reflection on page 28. How about examples on how to use physical and/or musical space in your music classroom? Find practical inspiration on page 10. All that and more is in this issue.

This year (under the leadership of new board chair Lori Forden), the board of trustees is developing a new strategic plan to guide our organization into the future. We also welcomed three new members from around the country to the board: Kent Cleland (OH), Melissa Tucker (MA), and Laura Weibe (MN). Are you interested in getting involved? Do you have suggestions for how we can better serve our community? We’d love to hear from you—send us an email.

Fortunately, we’re now able to return to in-person events and get back to a “new normal.” Earlier this month, the New York chapter welcomed Katie Couch (DSA trustee and Colorado-based Dalcrozian) for a workshop on rhythmic modes. And later in October, the soon-to-be Ohio chapter will hold their very first workshop. We hope to see you at a chapter workshop, an immersive teacher training course, or at our national conference.

Of course, in-person Dalcroze study isn’t possible in all circumstances. Perhaps you live in an area of the country that doesn’t have a significant Dalcroze community. Or maybe you’d like to learn from an expert that lives 3,000 miles away. We realized through our pandemic adjustments how strong the appetite is for remote learning. So this year, we’re continuing the Dalcroze Lab online workshop series, featuring 10 different presenters over 8 sessions. If you can’t make it to a live session, selected workshop recordings are available in the new Dalcroze USA Online Store.

This programming is made possible through the support of our membership and generous donors. If you aren’t yet a member of our organization, I encourage you to stick around. (Visit dalcrozeusa.org/join to see what membership has to offer.) Besides receiving discounted admission to events and access to digital resources on our website, you’ll be supporting our mission of sustaining and expanding this unique method of music and movement education.

I hope you’ll agree with me: it’s an exciting time for the Dalcroze community.

This article was originally published in the Fall 2022 issue of Dalcroze Connections, Vol. 7 No. 1.

About Alex Marthaler

Alex Marthaler is a composer, pianist, and educator in Pittsburgh, PA. He is a pianist for modern dance and ballet classes at Point Park University and Carnegie Mellon University. Alex also teaches children's musical storytelling and improvisation classes.