'Through music and into music', through music and into well-being: Dalcroze eurhythmics as music therapy

John Habron

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    There is a longstanding relationship between music therapy and Dalcroze Eurhythmics, an approach to music education that had its beginnings in the reform pedagogy movement of the European fin de siècle. Émile Jaques-Dalcroze (1865-1950), the founder of the approach, initially focused on educational aims, but was soon to include therapeutic ones as well. During the early twentieth century, Dalcroze teachers applied the approach to their work with disabled children. Such applications have continued to develop to the present day and have expanded to include palliative treatment in HIV/AIDS and gerontology. There are many theoretical and technical similarities between Dalcroze Eurhythmics and improvisational music therapy, including communication through musical improvisation and attunement in playing for movement. However, many of these similarities remain to be discussed in relation to the literatures on music therapy and communicative musicality. To address this gap, this article takes a transdisciplinary approach, making conceptual connections between the theory and practice of both Dalcroze Eurhythmics and music therapy. Implications for future training, practice and research in Dalcroze Eurhythmics are discussed.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)90-110
    Number of pages21
    JournalThe Journal for Transdisciplinary Research in Southern Africa
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2014


    • Dalcroze Eurhythmics
    • Improvisational music therapy
    • Well-being
    • Communicative musicality


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