NCKP 2013 (13) – Teaching Piano Using the Dalcroze Method, by Seung-Ji Ryu.

Fri 2013 July 26 @ 2:15pm – Teaching Piano Using the Dalcroze Method, by Seung-Ji Ryu.

Seung-Ji Ryu is the director of the Hansei Dalcroze Center and is Professor of piano pedagogy at Hansi University in Korea.

Dalcroze believed in connecting movement and music. He was influenced by Laban’s ideas about movement.

Ms. Ryu asked us to clap the rhythm of a melody. She encouraged us to clap musically, thinking about the relationship between time-space-energy.

Dalcroze worked with Clareid, a psychologist, to realize that students focus better with games.

Example of a game used in eurhythmics classes: As the teacher improvises using a simple tune such as “Are You Sleeping?” students listen carefully and respond. When students hear high sounds, they must clap along and when they hear low sounds, they must stamp their feet.

Another example is a canon-style of rhythm clapbacks. After clapping, the next step is to sing back a melody in canon. This is a good exercise as the student must be able to listen and remember to a new measure as they are singing the previous measure.

Dalcroze’s hope was not that his students would say, “I know,” but “I experienced.” The games help students experience musical concepts and therefore gain nuance.

Dalcroze used the fixed Do system of solfege. He also used something called the do-to-do scale in order to keep every key within his students’ vocal range. Every scale goes from C to C with the correct time signature, and the student must find the tonic.

In Dalcroze, improvisation is used heavily through voice, movement, piano playing, etc. It begins with pentatonic and whole tone scale improvisation before moving on to chromatic scales or the modes.

Plastique Animée — prepared movement. First, we analyze the music, create movement, then perform. It is about creative movement and dance. Students can choreograph their own dance to the music, optionally using props.

It was fascinating to get a glimpse into the Dalcroze teaching going on there in Korea!

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