Eurythmy is a unique combination of performance art, therapeutic technique, and pedagogical instrument. It gives expression to the whole voice of the human being and the world of language, through movement, color and form. The innate forms living in sound, within our souls and in the world become the basis for the art form of eurythmy. As part of the Waldorf program, eurythmy is often referred to as “the spoon that stirs the pot” in that it supports students in their ability to fully integrate all aspects of what is offered in the curriculum. Movement within a group also helps develop strong social awareness.
Eurythmy curriculum 2011-2012
Instructor: Vince McElroen
The First Grade will work on gaining mobility and dexterity in their movement. We will use fairy tales, poems and music as our medium. A variety of exercises will be used; Finger Exercises to help with concentration and dexterity in the hands. They will do geometric forms to help enliven spatial awareness. There will be singing, skipping and games.
The second grade will learn to move forms like triangles, circles and squares. They will act out stories and poems in Eurythmy using the Alphabet gestures they will learn over the course of the year. Each lesson will begin with a verse that is spoken by the teacher and moved by the children. The exercises given are used to help the child develop better spatial awareness for themselves and for those around them. The forms help create more dexterity in their thinking and in their bodies.
The third grade will begin work on the Curve of Cassini, a form that starts out as an oval and changes through three other forms until it becomes two small circles. It is a very good symmetry exercise and can help to counter some of the effects of dyslexia. They will work on the five-pointed star and deepen their ability to move the sounds in Eurythmy to the point of being able to move poems by themselves. They will skip and move rhythms in the hands and feet from slow to quick and back down to slow, which has an enlivening effect on the Children.
The Fourth grade will begin working on basic mirror forms like moving a figure eight that’s lying on its side; first in pairs and then built up to a group form with eight children moving around the form in pairs (mirrored) at the same time. They will deepen their ability to move the sounds in Eurythmy. More work will be done on the Rod exercises and the beginning of Apollonian (grammatical) forms. In Tone we will work on the c-scale and major and minor thirds.
The Fifth grade will be learning group forms with the harmonious eight and working to move a five pointed star together while standing in a circle and moving sounds. Poems will be brought from 5th throughout the upper grades where students will face forward and move forms and sounds to poems.
The sixth grade will worked on spatial awareness, symmetry exercises, and social forms. One of the works they will do is to move the form created for a verse. Learning to move this form around the room with each other and not run into their fellow classmates helps develop spatial awareness. The next step is to add sounds to the verse; which works on the symmetry of the upper and lower body and the right and left sides of the body. To bring this into a social form, the students then make groups of 3 to 5 children and repeat the above. Only now, there is a kind of sacrifice that has to be made, it’s a kind of “learning to share” exercise because each student now has their own interpretation of how to move the form and everyone is going to have to make a compromise of their own knowing to come to a place of moving the form harmoniously together. To do so while in movement, they have to listen to the other. We will also work rod exercises and lots of different rhythms, both in the feet and hands.
The seventh grade will work on group forms like the harmonious eight with the “L” sound as a counter to the bodily heaviness that comes with early adolescence and also the beginnings of tone Eurythmy. They will learn how to move the different intervals and scales, both in standing and on forms while continuing with last years work on rhythms and geometric forms. They will look at different types of movement; big, small, slow, fast, and work toward trying to find the different moods of poems and music.
The eighth grade will work on basic group type forms that will aid them in becoming more spatially aware of themselves and of their fellow classmates. Some of the forms will be circle based using spirals, curves, and five pointed stars. They will work on three fold walking with different arm movements to strengthen coordination and right/left, below/above bodily symmetry. There will be rod exercises and hopefully some tone Eurythmy.