Approaches in teaching music at primary level
Background of Dalcroze Approach
Émile Jaques-Dalcroze ( 1850 – 1950) was a Swiss composer, musician and music educator who developed eurhythmics, a method of learning and experiencing music through movement. According to Dalcroze (1921), Emile Jacques-Dalcroze was a multi-faceted performer and pedagogue who designed a method for teaching music and rhythm, and with this method an entire school of thought. In the early twentieth century, Dalcroze created a three-pronged approach to the study of music using eurhythmics (the study of rhythm), solfège and improvisation. This method of teaching explores the relationship between mind and body and the movement of the body through time and space. According to De Kock (1989:115), “Solfege is aimed at developing the sense of musical pitch and tone relations and the ability to distinguish tone qualities”. On the other hand Improvisation is aimed at developing the capacity of free invention whilst Eurhythmics is set to give students the feeling for musical rhythm through body movement. In the Dalcroze eurhythmic plan is the use of the piano on which the teacher improvises cues for the instant body response, in the free expression of the basic music concepts such as dynamics, tempo and pitch. The Dalcroze method helps a child develop the expressive possibilities of his body ‘in his own way’. The Dalcroze plan expresses individuality. Like Kodaly, Dalcroze also accepted that rather ear training and rhythmic movement start before instrumental study. The idea here is that what has been kinaesthetically experienced will be more easily translated onto an instrument at a later stage. The Dalcroze Approach
According to Dalcroze, music is composed of sound and movement. Sound [itself] is a form of movement. Dalcroze sought to unify mind and body in the study of rhythm, which for him consists of movements and breaks in movement. It is because of the connection between sound and movement that he considered certain traits essential in all professional musicians: ear training, rhythm and the ability to externalise inward sensations. As highlighted by Simna (2008), music education facilities around the world advocate Dalcroze's method, employing it at all age levels, from toddlers through adulthood. While it is commonly thought to be primarily a children's class, his method was originally designed for college students and remains in use across the globe. Referring to Bachmann (1991), there are three components to the Dalcroze approach to music education. The eurhythmics section which deals primarily with the exploration of time and duration; the solfège method deals with more concrete concepts. The improvisation portion nurtures creativity and invention in music. These three methods come together to solidify music skills in all areas of music, including music theory. A common way to use the Dalcroze method in music-theory education is the employment of solfège. This is one of the first things generally taught in children's Dalcroze classes. In working with a group of 5–6 year-olds who have no previous solfège training, use the fixed-‘do’ system, referring to C as "home." The students begin by standing on one side of the room with their feet on "home." As you play the scale, the students take a step forward for every ascending syllable and a step backward for every descending syllable, eventually returning to "home." This exercise introduces the syllable names, applies them to different pitches, and also lays the foundation for active listening (ascending and descending). Next, sing groups of three consecutive notes and the students decide whether it was ascending or descending. Reinforcing the same idea through different movements is an effective way to fortify the concept. According to Dalcroze (1930), young children do not generally have the musical training to label intervals, but they are able to at least hear and interpret them. To...
References: Campbell, P. S (1991). Lessons From The World: A Cross Cultural Guide to Music Teaching andLlearning. London: Scheimer Books.
De Kock, D (1989) Music for Learning. Cape Town: Maskew Miller Longman (Pty) Ltd.
Campbell, P.S (2008) Musician and Teacher, New York. WW Norton and Company.
De Kock, D (1989) Music for Learning, Cape Town. Maskew Miller Longman (Pty) Ltd.
Gray, E. (1995) “Orff-Shulwerk: Where Did it come from?” The Orff Beat. Centenary Issue XXIV.
Shamrock, M (1997) “An Integrated Method” Music Educator’s Journal 83 (May 1997): pg. 41-44 JOSTOR. University of Arizona Music Library, Tucson, AZ. http//www.jstor.org/stable/3399024
Brief historical background of Suzuki
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