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.

  Blacon Early Years Project
Watch Video about Manchester Camerata   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.

Watch Video about Manchester Camerata   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.

Listen to Manchester Camerata Podcasts   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.