Dalcroze method - American EducationA widely used system of teaching music developed by Swiss composereducator Emile Jacques-Dalcroze (1865–1950). Believing music to be an active, rather than passive, participatory experience, the Austrian-born Jacques-Dalcroze designed his méthode to help children develop an ear for music and feel its rhythm before they begin instrumental training. The system, which influenced modern ballet as well as music pedagogy, consists of three parts: eurhythmics, solfège and improvisation. Eurhythmics teaches children to “feel” the music by moving their bodies in rhythm to it. Solfège teaches sight-reading by disregarding academic nomenclature in favor of the common sol-fa syllables of the musical scale, from which the word solfège is derived. Solfège names the tonic note of every melody do, regardless of whether it is in the key of C, D or any other. The system helps a child learn to sing virtually any melody in relative pitch and develop an ear for music. The third element of the Dalcroze method is improvisation, which teaches children to create their own music.
Dalcroze first described his method in his book Méthode Jacques-Dalcroze (1907–14), which contained various exercises and suggested musical accompaniments for each lesson. He wrote two later books, Rhythm, Music and Education (1921) and Eurhythmics, Art and Education (1930) and composed more than 1,000 songs, almost all for children to use in their classes. Founder of the Institut Jacques- Dalcroze in Geneva in 1915, he created 39 musical pageants, 85 chamber works, 125 piano pieces and 275 pieces for chorus, 200 with orchestral accompaniment. In the United States, the Dalcroze School of Music in New York City offers a three- to four-year Dalcroze Teachers Training Course leading to the Dalcroze Teachers Certificate and/or the Elementary Certificate.