Listen to a whole track from each volume,
accompanied by its pedagogical explanations

TRACK 1 – EDUCATIONAL CONTENT 

This music has a regular pulsation which lends itself to walking: walking following the pulsation = one step for each sound. What is the style of this music? What type of landscape are we in? Walk in rhythm in the landscape that we imagine (the desert?) And stop sometimes (teacher’s signal in connection with the musical phrases), to mime an activity, always in the same tempo as the music; then return to walking. Walk and change direction when you hear the beginning of a new phrase.This music has a regular pulsation which lends itself to walking: walking following the pulsation = one step for each sound. What is the style of this music? What type of landscape are we in? Walk in rhythm in the landscape that we imagine (the desert?) And stop sometimes (teacher’s signal in connection with the musical phrases), to mime an activity, always in the same tempo as the music; then return to walking. Walk and change direction when you hear the beginning of a new phrase.

TRACK 1 – EDUCATIONAL CONTENT 

What type of approach do the style and tempo of this piece suggest? Walk the pulse (one sound = one step). To vary the walk: change direction with each new phrase, or alternate forward / backward, or walk alone or in pairs (triplets are good indicators of change). Identify the structure of the piece and adapt the movements in space to the musical form: return to the starting place when the first theme returns. One could imagine two contrasting movements for the first and second theme. In a small space: clap the pulse or the first beat on the knees, shoulders, in the hands. This piece lends itself to a variety of responses according to the specific goals of the teacher; for example, one could ask students to walk twice as slowly as the beat. Otherwise, one could create a simple choreography on this clearly structured piece of music.

TRACK 1 – EDUCATIONAL CONTENT

This rhythm begins with two short values followed by a long value –  a simple pattern with little decoration. The calm tempo of the music would possibly suggest quarter-quarter-half as notation of the rhythm.
– Clap the rhythm with the music.
– Make a circle: each person in turn claps the rhythm once, so that the rhythm circulates around the circle. When the teacher calls “hop!” = the clapping of the rhythm changes direction.
– Step anapest, or do: step-step-jump (land on two feet on the long note).
– In a circle, move the body on each value, all together; then each person in turn moves the body in his/her own way, one anapest only, passing the rhythm to the next person. If the circle is large, two students (distant from each other) could begin these activities at the same time.
– With a partner, invent a way of showing the rhythm with the whole body, and afterwards with an invented clapping game (for example clap the first two notes in one’s own hands and the third in one’s partner’s hands): use any of these elements to create a dance.
– In groups of four, each person in turn moves or claps only one value of the rhythm (the result is that the second time, person number four begins).

– Move by oneself on beat 1-2 and with partner on beat 3 . Replace one value with a rest = 2 claps out of three, which changes the rhythm but not the length of the rhythm pattern.  

TRACK 1 – EDUCATIONAL CONTENT 

– Children listen to the piece and share what they have heard. Seated on the floor, they tap on the floor beside them the beats of the loud phrases and those of the soft phrases gently on their knees.

– Staying in two groups, facing each other, one is “f” and the other is “p”. Step the phrases, clap them or move with the music in place. Children are left free to choose two different ways of clapping, stepping or moving which correspond to the dynamics of the phrases.

– Show the phrases by a gesture of the arm and hand; the quality of this gesture will make visible the dynamic quality of each phrase (more energy, larger movement for loud phrases, less energy, smaller movement for soft phrases).

– Choose a movement of the whole body which corresponds to the phrase, and adapt this movement to the dynamic of the phrase.

– Children make a big circle, step forwards for the “forte” phrases and backwards for the “piano” phrases.

– With a partner: walk together (“f”) and apart (“p”), but still connected. How are one’s  steps different for “f” and “p”? Younger children would enjoy the story of Jack and the Beanstalk, where the giant would be represented by the loud phrases and Jack by the soft phrases. Older children could choose a character and experiment with making this character “loud” or “soft”.

– With a partner: make gestures in place, interacting.

– In small groups or one at a time make a parade of characters. Teacher draws their attention to the crescendo which announces a reversal of dynamics.

From 5 years of age.

TRACK 4 – EDUCATIONAL CONTENT 

– Note the structure of the piece and point out to the students the major and minor elements.

– To underline the phrases and to avoid getting tired, each pupil in turn gallops while holding an object (small stick) that he hands to a classmate at the end of the phrase (7 gallops and 1 beat to give the stick); this person takes the object and gallops towards someone else during the next phrase.

– Two groups each with a leader : group A gallops behind their leader on the minor phrases and group B on the major phrases. Change leader after each phrase. Next, group B takes the minor phrases and group A the major phrases. Children can also pretend to be wearing a helmet (by making the shape of the helmet above their head) while galloping freely around the room.

5 years and up

TRACK 4 – EDUCATIONAL CONTENT

The previous tracks in this volume present phrases whose lengths are of 2 – 4 – 8 measures. This track, in 2/4, also presents phrases of 3 measures. The structure of the phrasing is as follows:

3 measures twice, 2 measures twice, 4 measures once;
3 measures twice, 2 measures twice, 4 measures twice.

Before doing any work at all which refers to “counting” measures, the teacher must allow him/herself and the students time to listen to the music and feel the beginning, the length and the end of each phrase instinctively.

– Clap softly the last note of each phrase. Do the same by clapping on your body:

  1. choose two different spots on your body as a point of departure and a point of arrival, and draw clearly the phrasing between one spot and the next.
  2. choose a departure point and the teacher, or a child calls the arrival spot. Make your arm and hand travel with the shape of the phrasing. Alternate right and left arm.

– Travel with a friend and change the friend at the beginning of the next phrase. More experienced students could “travel” with a friend who is not necessarily beside them, fostering eye contact.

– In pairs : A is walking, designing with his/her steps a path on the floor; B follows this path during the next phrase. Or B goes the opposite way.

– Sculptures in a garden: on the spot, isolate one or two parts of the body (as directed by the teacher); move alternatively one and then the other part, changing with the phrasing. Students may then choose two different parts themselves, moving these parts freely with the music.

– After changing its shape on the spot, the sculpture may move in space when the music suggests it. There are some phrasings that can be interpreted differently by the students: in this case, if one follows the articulation of the melody, some phrases will be felt as twice as short. But if one listens to the base line, the phrases can be heard as longer. 

– The conductor (solo) and the orchestra (tutti) move in place simultaneously: the conductor shows a direction for each phrase with his/her arms, and the group moves with the whole body or with an isolated part of the body in the direction indicated by the conductor.

 8 years and up

TRACK 6 – EDUCATIONAL CONTENT

This short two-beat piece highlights the simplicity of binary movements. The number “two” here represents both the number of beats in the measure and the binary division of the beats.

The feel of 2/4 is rather angular and inspires all sorts of actions: clapping a hammer, digging a hole, raking etc. Anatomically, each joint of the body lends itself to a flexion/extension movement (wrist, elbow, knees etc.) or an up/down movement (shoulders) or lateral movement (head).

The sensation of these back-and-forth movements contributes to the development of the body map.

  • This piece lends itself to many stories: building a house or maintaining it, for example, where all actions can be performed to 2 beat music:

– sawing wood (horizontal back and forth movement)
– painting a wall (up-down action)
– hammering nails
– sweeping or vacuuming
– cleaning windows
– picking up toys etc.

  • Based on the children’s ideas, choose a series of 4 “home” actions of 4 measures each to be memorized, respecting the chosen order. Invent a concluding movement adapted to the cadence which has only 3 measures of 2 beats.

These activities are for ages 4 and up. Even up to age 8, children enjoy exercises with a simple structure, as it gives them room to develop more elaborate ideas in terms of body skills and imagination.

  • Other ideas:

– Pass a ball around in a circle.
– In the forest, point to the bird, squirrel, ant …
– In space, point with elbow, eyes, etc.
– 2 circles on the ground: put one foot in one, then the other in the other.
– Bounce the ball on the ground and catch it.

– Also use the 2/4 to move in space a) in a very short back and forth movement; b): walk by bending one leg, then the second step by straightening up (= down-lean-bend) /up-straight; c) find steps. Ex: side step, and bring the other leg back.

– Create a dance: lateral steps, individually / two by two for the cadence.

– Place bricks (cardboard or wood) on the floor about 20 cm apart. Walk the first beat on the brick and the second beat between the bricks (space management). This exercise is equally valid for 3-beat and 4-beat measures (just add the distance of one or two extra steps between the bricks).

These ideas can be done at different ages and should be adapted to the children’s motor skills.

4 years and up

TRACK 10 – EDUCATIONAL CONTENT 

This piece consists of short rhythms each of one measure. Each rhythm is played three times, followed by one note value of one measure. Then, during the following 4 measures the students repeat the melody just heard. There are 6 different rhythms.

  • At first, listen to the whole track, step the beats and beat time; indicate the measure also by a change of direction.
  • Step the beats while listening to the rhythm, sing the melody back during the following 4 measures.
  • Then, continue to step the beats, this time, clapping the rhythms during the 4 following measures.
  • Finally, step the beats while listening to the rhythms, then step them (the last two rhythms cannot be stepped because they are too fast, it is more comfortable to clap them).
  • Repeat any or all of these steps until you can write the rhythms on the board.
  • For more advanced students: improvise vocally on the rhythm during the 4 following measures.

    Intermediate level or older children/adolescents.

TRACK 8 – EDUCATIONAL CONTENT

This piece shows measures of 3 unequal beats.

Firstly, step the beats spontaneously, feeling the difference between the short and long beats. The sensation of shifting weight and following the different durations engages the whole body, which helps one to become aware of the meter. Draw the attention of the students to the change of foot each measure.

Draw the measures in space by “painting the beats”.

Part B is faster and more energetic; express it freely with jumps and accents in your whole body.

With a partner, clap the first note of each group, alternating hands. Make the quality of your gestures feel like a dance.

Put hands palm against palm. A leads the movement for a certain period of time and B follows. Change roles. When the partners are in tune with each other, someone watching should not be able to see who is leading. Then, allow total freedom regarding who leads and who follows.

By oneself, step the beats. At a signal, step all the divisions (eighth notes), showing the groupings and making one’s own pattern on the floor. Alternate beats and division.

Two by two (A and B). A claps the beats and B the complementary divisions (which means the divisions of eighth notes that are not heard in the rhythm). Change role: a) at vocal signal b) whenever each partner decides (one must never be doing the same as the other; nevertheless, in this case, there is always a short overlap before the partner adjusts).

Do the same by stepping, still in pairs.

Keep the ostinato rhythm by moving or dancing throughout the piece:

If you want to change the leg each time, choose to skip the trochee instead of taking two steps (skip – step – step).

10 years and up

TRACK 1 – EDUCATIONAL CONTENT

We introduce here the superposition of two different divisions inside each beat of the meter: triplet >< 2 eighth notes if we are in a binary meter or 3 eighth notes >< duplet if we are in a ternary meter.

This piece is in three distinct sections:

– The first one plays the superposition of groups of 2 and 3.

Listen and move only with the treble, using body percussion (first eighth notes, then triplets); then do the same activity, replacing percussion by stepping. Listen to the other voice while following one’s own.

Repeat the exercise, this time moving with the bass.

With a partner: A follows the bass and B the treble. Move or clap while watching one’s partner, being aware of the interplay between the two.

– In the second section, one hears only groups of 3, and later only groups of 2. The task consists of creating the polymeter by oneself, without the help of the piano.

Walk or clap the division that is not heard. Follow the variations of dynamics and tempo.

Then, walk the division that is heard and clap the other.

– The third section is linked to the second by one measure of 4 beats.

It is a musical sequence on the same principle as the second section, with alternating divisions in the following form and played twice:

Listen to this section many times and clap or step what is heard, in order to assimilate the sequence.

Then, do the entire sequence only by clapping or stepping the opposite meter (the one you don’t hear).

Finally, step what you hear and clap the opposite meter, and vice versa.

Sitting or kneeling, clap groups of three with one hand and groups of two with the other. Change sides.

When practicing the 3 >< 2 polymeter at a slower tempo, the overall unit of the meter should be chosen rather than the unit of the beats. We superimpose the beats of a 6/8 meter with those of a 3/4 meter.

Use the track no. 4 of volume 8, with 3 beats: place 2 beats on the same meter length.

The rhythm resulting from the overlay (composite rhythm) is:

Use the track no. 11 of volume 7 with 4 beats (that you consider and use here in 2 beats): place 3 beats on the same meter length.

The rhythm resulting from the overlay (composite rhythm) is:

ADD A NEW DIMENSION TO YOUR MUSICAL EDUCATION

Improvisations : Françoise Lombard 
© Les Éditions Adragante, Canada

Recording : Michel Comeau, Northmount Studio, Montreal
Mastering : TrueSound Louis Morneau
Cover photos : David Tucker    © ICDS

Cover photos : Michel Comeau    © Dalcroze Canada

Cover photos : Rogucki
Cover graphic design : Michel Comeau

This material is intended to promote the learning of music through body movement, but it does not constitute a professional « music and movement » training. Therefore, its use does not authorise one to use the title of Dalcroze teacher. However, the experimentation of the Library could inspire and motivate a person to pursue a more advanced training of Jaques-Dalcroze Eurhythmics, with the option of obtaining, after several years of study, professional recognition.