Artist Catalog

Émile Jaques-Dalcroze

Émile Jaques-Dalcroze (July 6, 1865 – July 1, 1950) was a Swiss composer, musician and music educator who developed Dalcroze Eurhythmics, a method of learning and experiencing music through movement. Dalcroze eurhythmics influenced Carl Orff's pedagogy, used in music education throughout the United States.

Dalcroze's method teaches musical concepts, often through movement. The variety of movement analogues used for musical concepts develop an integrated and natural musical expression in the student. Turning the body into a well-tuned musical instrument—Dalcroze felt—was the best path for generating a solid, vibrant musical foundation. The Dalcroze method consists of three equally important elements: eurhythmics, solfège, and improvisation. Together, according to Dalcroze, they comprise the essential musicianship training of a complete musician. In an ideal approach, elements from each subject coalesce, resulting in an approach to teaching rooted in creativity and movement.

Dalcroze began his career as a pedagogue at the Geneva Conservatory in 1892, where he taught harmony and solfège. It was in his solfège courses that he began testing many of his influential and revolutionary pedagogical ideas. Between 1903 and 1910, Dalcroze had begun giving public presentations of his method. In 1910, with the help of German industrialist Wolf Dohrn, Dalcroze founded a school at Hellerau, outside Dresden, dedicated to the teaching of his method. Many musicians flocked to Hellerau, among them Prince Serge Wolkonsky, Vera Alvang (Griner), Valeria Cratina, Jelle Troelstra (son of Pieter Jelles Troelstra), Inga and Ragna Jacobi, Albert Jeanneret (Le Corbusier's brother), Jeanne de Salzmann, Mariam Ramberg, Anita Berber, and Placido de Montelio. With the outbreak of World War I in 1914, the school was abandoned. After the Second World War, his ideas were taken up as "music and movement" in British schools.