Eurythmy: Course Description

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Eurythmy-movement, gesture and rhythm connected to speech and tone-is a unique part of the Waldorf curriculum. It helps to refine gross and fine motor skills, develop spatial and body awareness and provides a deep connection with the inner nature of music and poetry and helps develop flexibility and presence of mind. The students’ expressive gestures arise out of the sounds of speech and the tones and intervals.

Through learning these gestures the children form an inner connection to the qualities inherent in the elements of language and music, a process which both engages the whole human being whilst supporting the development of linguistic and musical literacy. Eurythmy also works with the polarities of levity and gravity not just physically but essentially through the inner experience of the soul, with what can be called ensouled movement and is therefore more akin to dance than gymnastics. It supports and deepens the curriculum of the grades.

In the Early Childhood Program and early grades, poems, stories and music come alive through movement guided by the teacher. Practicing the elements of eurythmic movement helps the children become more graceful, more coordinated, more alert and more at ease with themselves. Eurythmy also reveals blockages and hindrances within the movement organization. In the later grades, increasingly complex exercises improve listening skills and concentration. Eurythmy is an art of movement that engages the whole human being.

The social capacities of the children are strengthened as they learn to move harmoniously together. Working with the geometric forms and their transitions in three dimensional space help the children to have a more comprehensive experience of the principles of geometric form and cultivate an inner sense of orientation. Eurythmy is taught in groups, though as therapeutic eurythmy it is usually taught in one-on-one situations. It requires its own specialized space, ideally incorporating a sprung wooden floor. The architecture of the space must provide enough room for group movements yet offer a contained environment, free of external distractions. Like all good art, eurythmy provides subtle yet powerful nourishment for the soul life.

Seventh Grade: Practice and deepening of the work introduced in earlier grades continues. Several new elements are learned this year: the tone gestures for different minor scales, and gestures for some of the soul moods such as hope, despair, grief, greed, fulfillment, etc. Other possible topics are head and foot positions for expressions of yes/no, sympathy/antipathy, expectation and fear, etc. Dramatic poetry or ballads can provide the vehicle for incorporating these new elements in an artistic presentation.
The language block of “Wish, Wonder and Surprise” provides opportunity to expose the children to many different moods of poetry.

Faculty:                       Elena Baba
Class Dates:             September 6th, 2012 – June 7th, 2013
Curriculum Area:     Movement

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