Eurythmy

Eurythmy

“It is said that ‘energy flows where attention is turned.’ In Eurythmy our attention is turned to movement, balance, hearing, seeing, thinking – and much more – in ourselves and in the worlds of music and poetry. We make discoveries and we express what we uncover through making it visible. Even if it is hard work at times, it can also be a source of joy in the act of creation.” — Robin Mitchell, Former Denver Waldorf School Eurythmy Teacher

The arts program at the school is extensive and well developed. It has a long tradition at the school and it continues to serve the mission of Waldorf education. It is evident that the arts are a major contributor to the education of the Waldorf student and that the arts are a defining aspect of the school’s educational work.

The school categorizes the arts program into two distinct areas: The fine and practical arts, and the performing arts. Under the fine and practical arts are Handwork, Painting and Woodwork. Under the performing arts are Music, Eurythmy, Dance and Drama. The range of arts courses listed under these general headings is impressive. In truth, a student completing the Waldorf education will have experienced almost every major fine, practical and performing art discipline.

Throughout the curriculum the arts are ever present. Consistent with the Waldorf educational philosophy, the classroom teacher is the arts teacher in the early grades. For the younger students, the classroom teacher brings instruction in both fine and practical arts, as well as the performing arts. Beginning with grade five and six, the students begin to have specialty teachers for art instruction.

Eurythmy is a “Movement Art” and has long-term benefits – since it encompasses many learning modalities, each one linking to the others. All of the students’ sense become involved in the learning experience.

Since Eurythmy incorporates movement skills, spatial and social awareness (together with the capacity to listen and relate objective movement to subjective experience) it has the capacity to gradually lead the student to awareness of language, poetry, musical laws and musical expression in finely tuned artistic expression.

The challenges posed by the need to take control of oneself when participating in expressing the elements of music and the spoken word are, in themselves, educational – even at times therapeutic. The insights gained during the activity of exploring the objective nature of vowel and consonant sounds, rhythms, rhyme forms, etc, and when discovering the laws and the freedoms of musical expression, all have a lasting, beneficial effect upon the students – especially when approached in a manner that respects the age of the student.

From Kindergarten to Grade 8, Eurythmy is taught at The Denver Waldorf School for at least one session per week. It is also currently offered as an elective in the High School.

The weekly lessons carefully follow the curriculum indicated by Rudolf Steiner in the methodological principles of Waldorf education. — by Robin Mitchell, in collaboration with Prairie Adams and Sylvia Nordoff