Emile Jacques Dalcroze was a swiss music teacher in the early 20th century. He discovered that his University students had some skills lacking when it came to feeling a beat and counting.

I first came across him when I was very young and went to music classes where we met So-Mi and his brother La-Mi and many other things. One of the first things they taught was about was Ta-tay, ta-tay, ta-tay, ta. Where ta is one and tay is the half beat. Of course they didn’t tell us that then, that’d come later. For those interested in counting terms this is counted as 1 and 2 and 3 and 4.

Dalcroze put movements, sounds and syllables to different things. He soon figured out that his approach would work with everybody not just college students. A Dalcroze thing might be:

  • Listen to a piece of music. Let’s say “Twinkle Twinkle little star for the example.
  • Find where it repeats. The form- we can label it so- Is A. B. A. IE there is a section A [the first line] that repeats twice.
  • Find a motion for A.
  • Put that motion somewhere else to serve as section B.