The timetable for the rest of each day was split between rhythmics, aural training and improvisation with the last session of the afternoon devoted to ‘Applications of Dalcroze Eurhythmics’ which included presentations on how rhythmics had been integrated in primary schools, how Dalcroze principles can be used in smaller spaces, for example, for those instrumental teachers working in small spaces and my own presentation which explained how rhythmics sessions can benefit those living with dementia.
The last afternoon comprised a ‘Show and Tell’ session during which we also heard a performance by Katherine Smith on clarinet which was her Licence Performance exam. She also performed her Solo Plastique, another of her Licence exams.
And my impressions of Australia when not teaching? Well, clichéd though it may sound, all the Australians I met, while travelling and those I met working in shops and restaurants, were very friendly and helpful. I was lucky enough to be able to travel to Sydney after the course, to visit family and then to Perth, where I was thrilled to spend time with Dalcroze friends, including Dr Joan Pope, who is well-known by Dalcrozians as an outstanding teacher of the method. The other outstanding impression of Australia is that it is BIG…. very very BIG. I was driven from Melbourne to Sydney (kindly by Sandra Nash) and though the two cities look close on a map, the drive is around 12 hours! The flight from Sydney to Perth was nearly 5 hours.
To finish – I wish to give heart-felt thanks to the committee of Dalcroze Australia, firstly for inviting me to teach and secondly for the superb organisation of the course. It went very smoothly and was a real joy. I wish Dalcroze Australia all good wishes for its aim to introduce more people to Dalcroze and the best of luck with its training programme.