Blacon Early Years – Dalcroze Eurythmics
Posted on June 4, 2010
Manchester Camerata has recently finished a run of brilliantly organic musical workshops based on Dalcroze Eurythmics with children from the Blacon Kids’ Childcare Campus in Chester.
|Dalcroze Eurythmics is, in essence, any way to physically associate ourselves with music so that our response to it becomes innate, and, in terms of imbedding this process into a project with children aged 2 – 4, playfully unstructured workshops were the way to go.|
The idea galvanising the project is that, in the same way that children acquire their surrounding language(s) almost by osmosis rather than study, Dalcroze fosters a natural sense of musicality in intrinsically linking music with physical movement and response.
|Dalcroze specialists Emma Dixon and Bethan James worked alongside Manchester Camerata musician Amina Hussain to introduce traditional songs, rhymes, improvised tunes and sound effects to the children at the Campus.|
“We’re trying to integrate music into their play”, said Emma, “by finding ways to make what we do resonate with them and making a musical experience out of it”.Among many highlights, the project saw children ringing bells to each other across the Campus garden; a crocodile-line of cheeky-faced but intent 2-year olds stomping gleefully after Amina to the sound of a beating drum; while a song – led by Emma or Bethan – at the end of the sessions became a game in which the children focussed on the movements of a ball and rolled it to each other in turn.
|The project’s success lay in its deliberately organic process. Amina commented, “We didn’t want to impose structured music [lessons on the children]. It’s about them choosing to do it…and encountering it for themselves”.|
With the culmination of the project, the hope is that the children will have developed social skills, self-confidence, and a greater awareness of others for the future, as well as gained a sense that music can be accessible and freely expressive.
|Emma Dixon and Amina Hussain talk about the project, the teaching methods and what the sessions bring not only to the children involved, but to the teachers and themselves.|