Date of Award

2012

First Advisor

John Myers

Second Advisor

Laurence Wallach

Third Advisor

Mileta Roe

Abstract

At the turn of the 20th century, Professor Émile Jaques-Dalcroze observed a frightening trend of “arhythmy” in his students at the Geneva Conservatory, a complete lack of a fundamental rhythmic awareness in otherwise technically advanced musicians. Dalcroze developed a pedagogic method of rhythmic development that could alleviate this symptom and lead to a more balanced education of the whole musician.

After a semester of researching the history, development, and application of the eurhythmics method, from examining Dalcroze’s original texts outlining this brand-new method of music education, to textbooks written almost one-hundred years later that are used to teach eurhythmics today, I assembled a group of ten students interested and able to commit to weekly sessions designed to explore the essence of Dalcroze eurhythmics, which is for pupils not to be able to say “I know” but “I have experienced.” Using body percussion, both live and recorded music, and interactive exercises developed by Dalcroze and myself, I have found that the students were all able to reach new levels of rhythmic awareness. With a reexamination and reinterpretation of my own musical history, this process has become the latest step in my journey toward becoming a music educator.

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