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The Pedagogy of Jaques Dalcroze.


Emile Jaques-Dalcroze, was a composer, conductor, improviser and teacher of solfège who developed a method of teaching music builder on the spontaneous physical response to music. As a professor at the Geneva Conservatoire, he became aware that the traditional methods of teaching music addressed the intellect at the expense of the senses and failed to give to the students the opportunity of an experience of the elements of music. His work had a big influence in music, dance, therapy and teaching. The music education received his influence in the 20th century.

Dalcroze realized that our bodies are incessantly moving in endless ways and also that interior movement of many kinds is going on inside of us. Our bodies could be a natural instrument for learning rhythm as long the movements could be directly connected with the rhythm founded in music.

“For every sound there is a personal and appropriate movement that fists and
For every movement there is a personal and appropriate sound that fits.”
That way, the Dalcroze approach integrates ear, body and mind through the flow of action into cognition. Natural body movement forms the basis of a training that develops musical skills and understanding. The key principle of the Dalcroze method is that experience comes before any kind of theory or analysis. The process of learning through the senses and from the experience, in addition to their value for musical learning, can contribute for general development in such areas as attention, concentration, memory, coordination; self awareness and self confidence; self-control and sensitivity.

Some of the teachings aims and musical objectives are leading to the understanding of: Anacrusis, Crusis and Metacrusis (preparation, event, result); Dynamics and Agogics (nuances); Harmony, Polyrhythm and Counterpoint; Pitch and Melody; Pulse, beat and meter; Duration and Pattern; Mechanical rhythms; Natural Rhythms; Play rhythms; Speech Rhythms; Time, Timing and Tempo; Timbre; Silence; Musical Notation, if appropriate; Phrase and Form; Tonality (major, minor, atonal).

There also Musical objectives in Movement, such as: Start and stop; Time, space and energy relationships; forward flow of rhythmic movement; use of feet on the floor involving varying touch; Walk, run, skip, hop, gallop, jump, leap. And some stationary movements like: sway, rock, twist, stretch, curl up, etc.
Children and adults who have experienced this work in their formative years confirm that they have benefited in many ways.

As a Suzuki Piano teacher, I realized that music/movement games specifically in connection with the Suzuki repertoire would be very helpful to teachers, parents and students. This can be a challenge for the teachers for after my Course in Lima next January! Let’s live, experiment and feel the concepts of the Dalcroze Pedagogy and bring this aural experience for our Suzuki students.

Clises Marie Carvajal Mulatti – Certificate in Piano Pedagogy with Suzuki Emphasis, Holy Names College, CA, USA. Bacharel in Music Education, Instituto Musical de Sao Paulo. Suzuki Festivals in Lima, Peru, Santiago, Chile; Brazil. Courses: Dalcroze Institute at Juilliard School, New York, USA; Institute Jaques Dalcroze, em Genebra, Suíça; Dalcroze Institute at Carnegie Mellon, Pittsburg. Books: Elementos Musicais, Let’s Learn Music, (comes with a CD); Jogos Rítmicos para Percepção e Cognição, Dr. Robert Abrasom, translated from English. Since 1997 is the Director of Tom sobre Tom – School of Music, and is dedicated to didactical act ivies and promote the Suzuki Philosophy and the Pedagogy of Jaques Dalcroze, through articles, translations and Conferences.


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