The Dalcroze method embodies learning through playful, purposeful movement. In this episode of Notes From The Staff, uTheory's own Greg Ristow shares some favorite games for teaching solfege, plus a bonus example of teaching rhythm, drawn from the Dalcroze approach to music education.
Bodyfege is a partner activity in which students echo, and sometimes lead, a four-beat melodic pattern. Each degree of the scale has a corresponding motion:
Singing a Dalcroze scale is somewhat like jumping into a scale that is already in progress. In the Dalcroze solfège method, these scales are the primary tool used to teach sensitivity to scale degree function. The C-to-C scales, also known as Do-to-Do or “Dalcroze scales,” are typical scales, but sung from C (C# or Cb) up an octave, and back down:
The goal of the Dalcroze scales is to hear these as scales beginning from a degree of the scale other than tonic.
Doop Canon is a musical, Dalcrozian way of teaching rhythm that allows students to feel the relationship of different note values:
Dalcroze Eurhythmics solfege training develops a sense of the feeling of each degree of the scale, and builds the skills that allow them to translate immediately between the degree of the scale and the note name. In Dalcroze pedagogy there's no fixed version of any activity; each game is an invitation to create a new variant to fit the students you have at that moment. And, Dalcroze games enable students to learn from each other and help each other find the right answer. Listen to the games in action on the full episode, Dalcroze Solfege Games.
Notes From The Staff is a podcast from the creators of uTheory. Join us for conversations about pedagogy, music theory, ear training, and music technology with members of the uTheory staff and thought leaders from the world of music education. Subscribe to Notes From The Staff on iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts.