Mara's Musings

Mara Kelland is a folksinger/harpist/pianist and more from Auckland, New Zealand. This is where she shares bits and pieces.
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Posts tagged "Dalcroze"

Emile Jacques Dalcroze was a swiss music teacher in the early 20th century. He discovered that his University students had some skills lacking when it came to feeling a beat and counting.

I first came across him when I was very young and went to music classes where we met So-Mi and his brother La-Mi and many other things. One of the first things they taught was about was Ta-tay, ta-tay, ta-tay, ta. Where ta is one and tay is the half beat. Of course they didn’t tell us that then, that’d come later. For those interested in counting terms this is counted as 1 and 2 and 3 and 4.

Dalcroze put movements, sounds and syllables to different things. He soon figured out that his approach would work with everybody not just college students. A Dalcroze thing might be:

  • Listen to a piece of music. Let’s say “Twinkle Twinkle little star for the example.
  • Find where it repeats. The form- we can label it so- Is A. B. A. IE there is a section A [the first line] that repeats twice.
  • Find a motion for A.
  • Put that motion somewhere else to serve as section B.
  • Dalcroze believed that this stuff worked- some of it ended up in Kodaly’s work- so it must have some influence.

    I personally don’t like this one much. Find it a bit weird.

    Somewhere to learn more:

Music has always been a part of my life since early childhood. Being blind, it is a stereotype that I would be musical [that’s another story]. I was one of the lucky people in this world to be musical and blind.

Originally I planned to do an audio series with interviews of pedagogues from the different methods. But that fell through so I am writing a text blog as part of my musings. In the following entries I will be talking about the four main methods of music education: The Suzuki method, The Kodaly Method, the Orff approach and the Dalcroze method.

I hope this will give a general introduction to music education for the person who doesn’t know very much or wants to know something, or is trying to decide how best to educate their child. At the end I will talk about my personal philosophy that I have used when I have had piano students as it has facets of all the methods.

There will be about 5 posts on this so stay tuned over the next week to read them all in sequence.

Meantime I want to share with yu where I got my knowledge of each method as this is important so you, dear reader, know that I am credible and not talking rubbish.

  • Bookss by Lois Choksy, The Kodaly Method I: Comprehensive Music Education, The Kodaly Method II: From Folksong to Masterwork, The Kodaly Context: creating an environment for Musical Learning
  • Choksy, Abramson, Gillespie and Woodward, Teaching Music in the 21st Century
  • Sources on Suzuki are too numerous to mention here. Among them are Wikipedia,, and many more.