UNESCO-NIE Centre for Arts Research in Education (CARE)

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Name of Author: 
Goh, Melanie Jing-Jen
Thesis (M.Ed.) National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University
Stead, Eric Peter
Year of completion: 
Country of Research Data: 

Even though the Dalcroze musical education system has been around for a century, it is still relatively unknown in Singapore today. This is so even amongst studio piano teachers. With annual workshops conducted by Dalcroze Licentiates from Australia, more teachers and students are being informed of Dalcroze and his music education system but it is still not yet prominent enough in Singapore to have a Dalcroze Society of her own at the time of writing for music practitioners to lean on for support. Apart from ad-hoc workshops, there was also very little by way of interaction or discussions in the area of the use of Dalcroze Eurhythmics by independent studio piano teachers. This practitioner research investigated the adaptability and application of Dalcroze Eurhythmics principles and philosophies with the researcher's own piano students between the ages of seven and nine. Four one-hour sessions were conducted over a period of one year with students experiencing rhythmics, solfege and improvisation. While individual post-session questionnaires sought feedback on the effectiveness of the sessions, pre- and post-study questionnaires revealed the level of students' musical awareness and sensitivity gained as a result of the study. Based on the four research aims, (1) to adapt and apply what the researcher has learnt from Dalcroze workshops, into her own classes with her students, (2) to better understand the use of Dalcroze Eurhythmics in the classroom, (3) to better understand her own Dalcroze teaching practice and (4) to improve her own teacher practice, answers to six research questions were concluded based on data gathered. Emergent questions pertaining to creative freedom, effective class management and motivation, and presence of reflection through the 'cyclical process' (Kember, 2000) were also realised and answered. From this study, it is evident that the students have benefited from the four Dalcroze Eurhythmics sessions. Based on the conclusions of the research, future studies should look at incorporating Dalcroze Eurhythmics sessions into the weekly music lessons in the Singapore mainstream primary schools with special emphasis on how both music specialist and non-music specialist teachers could implement the lessons effectively.

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