"If you teach music, you move" (Reynolds, 84). That was a quote that really stood out to me this week. Just like many elements in this class, I had never really thought of movement or its education being a significant part of music, I mostly considered it to be more in the realm of dance. Movement, and specifically flow, do seem to be an important part of a music education with implications for success for later study in music. After reading this, I do feel that movement, specifically flow, should be encouraged in classrooms.
Not only does movement help in later performances, but, as Alison Reynolds points out, "...when students successfully participate in traditional movement activities, their kinesthetic involvement in a music objective is likely to assist with comprehending and retaining it, or with improving the accuracy with which they perform or identify it"(Reynolds, 84). This quote seems to suggest that, just as music play is a powerful tool for educating children, movement is just as powerful with drawing children into the lesson and making them enjoy it. One of the main aspects to movement that makes it very powerful, though, is its aid in not only involvement, but also comprehension and retention, two goals that teachers have for their lessons. Using movement as a tool when "..music is a natural, and even spontaneous, response to music..." (Music Play, 124), seems to be an excellent way for music educators to convey and engage children in lessons as well as to help them retain the lesson.
I also feel that Gordon's research makes a compelling argument for the inclusion of movement into a music education. As professional musicians, we all can personally attest to the level of coordination that is required to play our instruments, or sing, musically. Coordination between breathing, fingering, articulating, etc. While I never thought of movement being able to teach coordination, Gordon's research suggests that it does. As the article points out, "Gordon believes that movement assists the child with realizing that she needs to begin to teach herself how to maintain the coordination between her breathing and moving and singing or moving and chanting while performing music" (124). This quote also builds a strong argument for the inclusion of movement into an elementary education. I also would argue for its inclusion for its ability to focus our energy. As the article says, "...moving with continuous flow allows us to positively control our energy. [An ability to do this results in musicians being able to] breathe, draw the bow, reach for an upper octave, finger a difficult passage, and accurately begin to play again after long pauses in the music" (125). Flow seems to be essential for a good musician and therefore it would seem detrimental to remove it from an elementary education.
Should movement be included in an elementary education? Yes, I believe it should. Should it be included to the level included in the Dalcroze method? I'm not sure if that is entirely necessary, but I do believe that certain elements should be included. Movement, as I know now, is essential for building a good musician and I believe its inclusion into a curriculum is vital for the success of students in the future.
Alison Reynolds et al. Music Play. Chicago: GIA Publications, 1998.
Alison Reynolds. "Guiding Preparatory Audiation: A Moving Experience". Early Childhood, Elementary General, and Choral Applications.