Spring Into Dalcroze UK Course 2022

Professional training in Croydon and West London

This year is the last year of regular training for the nine, Dalcroze UK Licence students who started training online during the Covid-19 lockdown period. They will be supported through to the completion of their Licences with online and in person classes, but these will not follow the pattern of eight monthly weekends. Several have started taking exams with good results and participants at the Spring Course enjoyed Kathryn Templeman’s short violin recital with Paul Weeren on harpsichord. We have been extremely fortunate to be able to draw on our international DEIEB colleagues as supervisors and examiners in person and online – notably Dr Louise Mathieu (Canada) and our colleague Dr Eugénia Arùs (Barcelona) who has travelled to Croydon regularly throughout the year. We appreciate the experience and knowledge she brings as well as her evident joy in Dalcroze teaching.

Andrew Davidson joined the teaching team in Croydon this year and Mary O’Connor worked on movement with all the groups. A Discover Dalcroze Day was run in Croydon alongside the other courses making the February weekend particularly challenging as we also had three Licence teaching

exams to run for David Buley (Canada) and were further challenged by the weather which prevented him leaving Canada as planned. Monica Wilkinson came down from Scotland to help teach during the weekend. David set up iPads to record his lessons and the teaching/examining team pulled out all the stops to ensure that everything worked out in the end. Congratulations and grateful thanks to all.

In addition to Licence students, we have had Intermediate and Foundation groups training in Croydon and at Kaye Barker’s West London centre. Next year, we hope to add training at Professional Certificate level and provide four levels of training in the UK.

Spring into Dalcroze 2024

The Croydon teachers were joined by Ruth Jones (movement specialist) and Alison Wise (aural training, Dalcroze Subjects and improvisation) for the Spring Course. Alison is a member of the International, Canada/ROI/UK training group currently completing their Licences. In addition to her Professional Dalcroze Certificate she holds two Masters degrees: in Music (Cambridge) and in Theory and analysis of Music (Durham] as well as a PGCE. She has completed all her Licence practical and teaching exams with great success, and we were delighted to be able to offer her expertise in harmony and analysis combined with Dalcroze knowledge to the students.

Due to repairs in the RNCM Library building, we were unable to use our usual studios but were not disappointed in the alternative spaces offered. These included The Concert Hall; the Recital Hall (Carole Nash) and Studio 7 – wonderful spaces we would not usually be able to afford, and which were ideal for plastique and performance.

International: visits and news

Dr. Jane Southcott (Monash University and PhD supervisor for me and Dr Joan Pope!) visited London in August. We went to the Horniman Museum and its butterfly house – thoroughly recommended as the low roof encourages the butterflies fly around you!

Ava Loiacono (DEIEB Co-Director) is pursuing her Arts Practice doctorate at Limerick University and has produced extraordinary, new work, most recently in Poland. Owing to our Croydon training dates, I could not take up an invitation from Teresa Nowak to go and see them both. Ava, Teresa and I were in the same Licence training group run by Elizabeth Vanderspar.

Today, another member of our class, Sandra Wellington, contacted Dalcroze UK. Elizabeth used to say that the friends she made during her Dalcroze training became friends for life and throughout her life she exchanged letters and visits with many of them, her students and their families. These networks led to interesting developments. Dr. Sandra Nash (Australia and Co-Director of the DEIEB which we founded together with Dr. Louise Mathieu [Canada]), was also a Vanderspar Licentiate a couple of years before me. Some readers may remember Jasmine Wu (Taiwan) who gained her Certificate here in the UK and would like to pursue Licence studies with us. It was lovely to see Pinky Ko (Hong Kong) at the Easter Course. Pinky now lives in the UK, and we hope to see more of her.

Five of the nine current Licence students come from overseas (Italy, Spain, Luxembourg) and our historic connections with Italy remain strong as we are also helping members of the Assoc. Italiana Jaques-Dalcroze (AIJD) to complete their Certificates. Owing to my leg injury, I had to cancel the projected teaching in Italy, S. Korea and Germany (three courses involving Dynamic Rehearsal in addition to teaching and examining Dalcroze students [S. Korea]). These courses including Dynamic Rehearsal will be rescheduled as soon as possible and I will teach at the AIJD Summer School in any case.

The Collège of the Institut Jaques-Dalcroze and its Bureau are very active, and meetings have been more frequent this year. More news from there in the future. The plans for the 7th International Conference of Dalcroze Studies (Luxembourg, 2025) move ahead steadily. I hope many will attend and present from the UK!

As we approach the end of year exams for the Foundation, Intermediate and Licence groups, I would like to thank the entire teaching team at Croydon: Kaye Barker, Eugenia Arùs, Andrew Davidson and Mary O’Connor; Bin Tan for her service in providing coffees and teas and cleaning up at the end of the weekend; The Royal Russell School for the use of their facilities including the staff room area for lunch and coffees and access to some good pianos, and Annabel Shaw and the swimming pool assistants who arrange access and are responsible for security. We also have free parking in Croydon and access to the extensive and beautiful gardens and woodland there which students and staff alike have found restful and pleasant as well as an ideal place for a Dalcroze Walk.

Lastly I would like to thank our manager, Sandi, who is always ready to go the extra mile to help and to solve problems and our Chair/Licence student Kathryn Templeman who wears her two hats with dexterity and consummate ease.