This June 19-22, Colorado State University will host the largest gathering of Dalcroze Eurhythmics practitioners in the United States. Featuring over thirty faculty members with diverse educational backgrounds, the conference will explore Emile Jaques-Dalcroze’s pedagogical ideas and their applications to today’s schools.
Music educators, musicians and music therapists will surely want to attend. But the practice of Dalcroze Eurhythmics also has relevance for dancers, dance educators, and dance therapists, as well as for those who would like to bring greater awareness and expressiveness to their work in any of the performing arts. The DSA welcomes anyone interested in attending for the entire conference or for a single day. To register visit the DSA’s website, dalcrozeusa.org. Full time students are eligible for 30% discount on tuition, and Continuing Education Units can be earned through Colorado State University. For more information, contact Administrative Assistant, Jessica Schaeffer at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dr. Jeremy Dittus, Vice-President of the Dalcroze Society of America and Program Director at The Dalcroze Academy at Colorado State University, has played a key role in bringing this important event to Fort Collins. Dr. Dittus received the Diplôme Supérieur (a doctoral equivalent in Switzerland) from L’Institut Jaques-Dalcroze in Geneva. “Whether you’re brand new to Dalcroze Eurhythmics or it’s been in your life for decades, this conference will give you the opportunity to jumpstart your teaching and musical abilities while being surrounded by Dalcroze practitioners from all over the country,” says Dr. Dittus. He has presented at the World Piano Conference, International Early Childhood Music and Movement Convention, Colorado Music Educators Association State Convention, and is the founder and director of the Dalcroze School of the Rockies.
“Basically, the idea is to bring people together so they can have an experience of moving to music,” says William R. Bauer, President of the Dalcroze Society. “What’s different about a Dalcroze Eurythmics class is that it provides a structure so that people can become comfortable expressing themselves through music. It does that through a series of games. It makes the idea of moving to music and coordinating your movements with other people really kind of enticing and fun in a playful way.”
The comprehensive Dalcroze approach to music education consists of three components: Eurhythmics, which teaches concepts of rhythm, structure, and musical expression through movement; Solfège, which develops an understanding of pitch, scale, and tonality through activities emphasizing aural comprehension and vocal improvisation; and Improvisation, which develops an understanding of form and meaning through spontaneous musical creation using movement, voice and instruments. It was Dalcroze’s intent that the three subjects be intertwined so that the development of the inner ear, an inner muscular sense, and creative expression can work together to form the core of basic musicianship.
The members of the Dalcroze Society of America also have much to look forward to in Colorado. “We are especially excited about a keynote address by Sylvie Morgenegg of the Institut Jaques-Dalcroze,” Mattie Kaiser, DSA member and volunteer. “This conference also gives our members an opportunity to weigh in on important decisions shaping the future of the Dalcroze Society of America.”