Spring Into Dalcroze UK Course 2022

Since I have lived in Nunhead, South-East London, many Dalcroze students and teachers from the UK and overseas have visited, had lessons, stayed and even lived at the Victorian terrace house I bought in a poor state of repair in 2001. This year I finally had the very necessary repair work done on my house and an A frame put on the Broadwood Grand that has lived here for the past 6 years or so – so that I can move it.

The Post-Graduate course I teach at RNCM continues to go well but as the number of options available to students has increased, numbers are spread more thinly and numbers for my course this year are lower than usual. An interesting project has begun to emerge following the session I offered free for any staff last Summer. One of the porters asked if I would teach them and possibly open it to any college staff including office staff. We will put in a funding application and see what happens.

Owing to the house renovations and the need to keep on top of it, I have done less travelling than usual but I will teach in S. Korea again in January (helping with professional training and giving a Dynamic Rehearsal session) and Germany (Dynamic Rehearsal) in February.

We have a wonderful group of students at the professional training course run by Dalcroze UK in Croydon and sometimes at my house. There is a very small Foundation group (and another, weekly one in Ealing); an excellent Intermediate group of 7 students and 9 Licence students. Jacqueline is not teaching this year but, in addition to myself and Kaye Barker, we have Dr. Eugenia Arùs (Barcelona) and Andrew Davidson as regular Diplômé teachers for the year, Mary O’Connor has taught movement and we look forward to seeing Monica Wilkinson in February. A small group of Italian students have asked to complete their Certificates with us.

Institut Jaques-Dalcroze – Journées d’études, July, 2023

The study days for Diplômés and Diploma candidates were very successful. Each training centre presented something about their centre and most of these were papers about what they were doing. The DEIEB Co-Directors Karin, Louise Mathieu and Sandra Nash with Kaye Barker (UK) and Françoise Lombard (Canada) presented the rhythmics exam of the Professional Certificate. We started with a report on each centre (in Ava Loiacono’s absence I provided a brief report on the Officine Dalcroze in North Italy) and then and invited those present to do the exam. To our surprise almost the entire studio-full came into the space and gave it their all. There was a lot of laughter and smiles. We had divided up the exam between us so different members of the team played different exercises. Kaye played 2 of the 3 dictations. We thought that it would take too long to repeat the dictations as it is really done and had agreed she would play them twice through to give an idea and move on to the next thing but our ‘students’ did not agree. They wanted to have a chance to do it properly. At the end, Hélène Nicolet said she wished they had filmed it. There was so much enthusiasm in the room. We received a lot of compliments on our playing and on the whole exam. Our exam was successful on many fronts:

  1. We showed that an exam can be both technically testing and creative
  2. We showed that an exam can be enjoyable. Some people are very opposed to assessment and we showed a way of doing it that was rigorous and also, evidently, fun and creative.
  3. Those who enjoyed it were men and women of every age and background: current students through to retired professionals and from America, Europe, Asia and S E Asia and Australasia
  4. We were complimented on our playing and showed a high standard of musicianship
  5. We showed the importance of both structure and content of an exam.
  6. People were keen to work with us and Dalcroze France is very keen for a collaboration at Prof. Cert level as they only go as far as Intermediate
  7. We set a level for a Professional exam
  8. Some people talked about adopting some of our tests

Congrés internationale 17-21 July, 2023

The Congrés was very successful and there were a number of presentations from the UK: Kaye Barker, Andrew Davidson, Bethan Habron-James and myself.

We all gave two presentations and a lesson or two.

I gave a paper (40 mins) about the 9 people I had interviewed for my doctoral thesis and and a paper with workshop (90 mins) which focussed on the dialogical- and-more or poly-logical relationships that occur or should be created in a rhythmics class (also from my doctoral thesis) which lie at the heart of its effectiveness. Although the paper attracted interest and questions I felt I had pitched it at too academic a level and I spent the following days rewriting my paper with workshop. In the end and although I had to cut it quite a bit, it was more successful than I could have imagined.

While we were at the Congrés we examined Australian Licence candidate Katherine Smith for Rhythmics.

Le Collège et Bureau du Collège

During the Congrés we had the first in-person meeting of the Collège with new members, resignations and elections. Louise Mathieu was persuaded to stay on for another term to see the next period in. I became Vice-president and two secretaries were appointed: Anne-Gabrielle Chatoux for French language meetings and Jeremy Dittus for English language meetings. I was very relieved as it has been too difficult and also inefficient to translate and also take the minutes in French. The Collège co-opted a group of new members including Maité Bilbao, Anne Gabrielle Chatoux, Florence Jaccottet, Kai Liu, Yi-Ru McAllister.

Silvia del Bianco retired and Hélène Nicolet is now the Director of the Institut Jaques-Dalcroze. The institute has a new Health and Well-being project “Long-Covid” to add to the Seniors and Parkinsons projects. It also has a new website for international news and in English: https://www.Dalcroze.com Be sure to check it out!