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(SWITZERLAND, 1865-1950)

Emile Jacques Dalcroze was the forerunner of the so-called active methods in the field of music education. It became known worldwide from the 1930s onwards, influencing an entire generation in the first half of the 20th century. He was the creator of a music teaching system based on expressive body movement, especially through the interaction between body and mind in the musical learning process.  

Dalcroze attended the Conservatory of Music in Geneva and conducted the Vaudeville orchestra in Algeria. The period he was studying in Vienna was important for the creation of the teaching method, since, already in the final stage of his formation, he perceives a decline in his sensitive faculties. 

Attentive to the changes taking place in the field of the arts, he was not satisfied with the mechanical and sterile way in which his students learned music. So, he proposed exercises that made learning pass through the body experience, developing his musical teaching methodology based on active methods. 

Dalcroze creates several activities that stimulate rhythmic-body awareness. Encourages through  of body movement, which should be related to music, the perception of individual rhythmic awareness, different in each human being. Dalcroze proposed that the student try and feel and only then say “I know”. For him, the fusion between music and gesture is essential and, in his methodology, he proposes breaking the body-mind dichotomy. It places the student as the protagonist in the process of building their knowledge. The pedagogy created by Dalcroze was initially known as rhythmic gymnastics and, later, Rhythmic or Eurythmy. 

Dalcroze was born in Vienna, July 6, 1865, Austria, but moved to Geneva, Switzerland at age six and died at age 84. In 1915, the Émile Jaques-Dalcroze Institute was founded in Geneva, which continues to be an important center for teacher training. areas such as Dance, Theater and Physical Education.  


“I catch myself dreaming of a musical education in which the body would play the role of intermediary between sounds and our thoughts, and would become a direct instrument of our feelings.” (Jaques-Dalcroze)

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