I’ve never considered myself to be a “dancer,” and was never comfortable moving until I was in undergrad, and learned how to incorporate movement into my teaching. It was just never something I myself was exposed to growing up.
Emile Jacques Dalcroze. The Man. The Myth. The Legend.
Making music expression physical just does something so magical. Things just seem to click.
Last summer, I took my first Dalcroze workshop as part of my masters program. Dalcroze is all about using this movement to connect to music, by really learning to feel it with your whole body. (Just a disclaimer: I don't have any real certification in Dalcroze. I just think it's pretty cool.)
I did this simple eurhythmics activity today with all of my classes. I give them ten seconds to find a spot in the room, and then their job is to move to what I’m playing in a way they feel accurately expresses the music. I play simple improvisations on the piano to connote different feelings, and they change what they are doing as a result.
You can incorporate this in sooo many ways! Piano not your thing? Pull up some songs on YouTube or spotify, and have your students move to that. Want your students to connect with their repertoire? Pull up a video or piano accompaniment of the piece, and have them listen and respond with motion.
When I first started adding eurhythmics, I wasn’t sure how it would go over with my classes. I loved learning how to do it in my Dalcroze workshop, but didn’t know if my students would feel the same way. They love getting up and moving! But, definitely get them comfortable with the basics (like walking to a steady beat) before asking them to get more, um….creative.
It’s also totally ok to coach them. Give them suggestions and model how you might move to a certain melody. If you’re working with tracks or recordings, get in there and participate with them. You really can’t mess this one up.
If you’re interested in learning more about Dalcroze, check this out: