For Ages 7-14

Rhythmic-Solfège students:

 

‣Energize their rhythmic and metric vitality

‣Amplify their knowledge of the music they love

‣Deepen their sensitivity to nuance, Form and aesthetics as it relates to performance

‣Improve their intonation 

‣Learn to “hear” with their eyes and “see” with their ears, listening internally and imagining how the notes and rhythms they hear look when written.  

THE COMPLETE RHYTHMIC-SOLFÈGE PROGRESSION PROVIDES STUDENTS A SOLID AND COMPREHENSIVE MUSIC EDUCATION.

STUDENTS WHO COMPLETE THE ENTIRE SEQUENCE HAVE A COMPETENCY EQUIVALENT TO A COLLEGE-LEVEL FRESHMAN CONSERVATORY STUDENT.

We proudly teach the Rhythmic-Solfège curriculum designed by the Dalcroze School of the Rockies
The following course descriptions are adapted from the Dalcroze School of the Rockies.

Dalcroze Rhythmic-Solfège General Descriptions

Dalcroze's approach to music pedagogy is the only modern method that originated in the Conservatory with adult pre-professional musicians. The method works best when it is applied in tandem with an applied instrument so that students can see how the skills they are learning in the Dalcroze classroom function in real life at the instrument.  

The Dalcroze Rhythmic-Solfège sequence provides students with the necessary building blocks to achieve success at their own instrument.  This process-oriented program maintains the Dalcrozian tenants of joy, discovery, and experiential education as its foundation, but begins to delve more deeply into musical subjects and literature.   Assignments and homework are a regular part of the curriculum, as well as a commitment from both parent and child to practice together at least 10 minutes each day, 5 days each week.  This practice is essential for continued musical development and deep learning.  It will also help establish good practice habits that will help the student when starting on an instrument.  This program is modeled after similar models in Western Europe.  As in Europe, the goal is to cultivate thorough, comprehensive musicianship and not surface knowledge of the material.

In the romance-language cultures (France, Italy, Spain, and Switzerland along with many others), Solfège training is an essential part of a child's musical development.  In these cultures, several years of Solfège instruction normally accompany instrumental study. This is because Solfège teaches musicians how to “hear” with their eyes and “see” with their ears.  In other words, students learn to listen internally and imagine how the notes and rhythms they hear look when written.  The opposite is also true: students learn to internally sound-out the notes and rhythms written on the page, without the aid of an instrument.

Dalcroze education emphasises using the body as a means to understand musical principles makes for a joyous, multifaceted, and profound learning experience.  Because the Dalcroze method aims to treat the body as the instrument, when a child begins to apply the ideas she learns in the Dalcroze classroom to an external instrument (like the piano, violin, flute etc.), the learning process is easier, and the only real challenges to overcome are the technical ones associated with that specific instrument.  When learning is easier, meeting challenges is easier, and that translates into what every parent wants for their child's musical learning experience: IT'S FUN!

Of course, this requires a commitment from parent and child alike, but the payoff is extraordinary.  Real learning of any kind requires diligent work, and this is true for music. But work can — and should— be enjoyable, rewarding, and both children and parents will appreciate that kind of successful experience for the rest of their lives.

How is the Rhythmic-Solfège Program Different from the Eurhythmics Program?

The Rhythmic-Solfège courses function similarly to Eurhythmics courses, with a few prominent changes:

  1. There is a lower student to teacher ratio for these courses to ensure that the children will receive even more individualized attention to maximize their progress.

  2. Note-reading on the staff, sight-singing, and rhythm reading will be specifically addressed each week.

  3. Students will learn to sing with the names of the notes and their pitch function (numbers).

  4. Students will bring their own personal metallophone to class each week. (This will be a one-time purchase by the parents; we will provide the metallophones to make it convenient for you!) Weekly assignments will involve the children learning songs to play on their instrument and to sing while they play. Parents: no worries if you don’t read music. You’ll learn right along with their daughter or son!

  5. At the end of the year, there will be juried exams to advance into the next Rhythmic-Solfège level. These exams are to give the child and parent a tangible goal and to ensure quality in the program. All components to the exams will be given at least 2 months prior to the exam date so that everyone is prepared and the experience is a successful and rewarding one. We want students to feel ready to advance and not feel overwhelmed. If, per chance, a student may not be ready to advance, the decision to not take an exam will be made together with the Director, parent, and student.

  6. Those students who successfully complete the entire sequence will receive a Solfège Diploma jointly from the Dalcroze School of Boston and Dalcroze School of the Rockies, and will be ready for any freshman-year university/conservatory solfège program.

Rhythmic-Solfège Objectives

The following documents represent a basic summary of each year of Rhythmic-Solfège.  All of the elements begun in the Eurhythmics program will be continued here, so it is recommended that students have at least one year of Eurhythmics before entering the program, although this is not required.  Older students who already have musical experience and would like to enter in the sequence may schedule an audition to determine the most appropriate level.

The global goals of the Dalcroze Rhythmic-Solfège program are:

  • The body is the primary instrument. Throughout the sequence we fine-tune physical coordination, control, balance, attention, flexibility, focus, spatial awareness, and emotional knowledge.

  • Musically, we address the essentials of performance through the body, increasing students' capacity for independent and cooperative learning in the following areas:

    • Rhythmic precision and metric vitality

    • Internal listening and continued development of the ear

    • Emphasis on good intonation and in-tune singing

    • Expressive and imaginative music-making

  • Support a joyous and discovery-based environment for music education.

  • Continue to develop the relationship between the body, the mind, and the spirit as it relates to instrumental study and performance.

The summaries of Musical Goals for the Rhythmic-Solfège sequence below do not represent a comprehensive list of all the subject material students will cover throughout the year, nor do they represent any of the corporal, expressive, or imaginative studies that will take place in the classes.  Since the focus of this program is musically driven, we have only notated the main objectives that each year will cover so that parents and students can know what level of musicianship is expected at each level. The ages are approximate, especially as the subject material becomes more difficult.  However, proper placement is important, as 7 year-old children learn differently than 11 year-old children, both corporally and mentally.

If you are unsure about your child's appropriate level, please contact the director to find the course that will work best for you.

Rhythmic-Solfège Musical Goals

Please click on the links below to learn more specifically about the musical content of each Rhythmic-Solfege level.