Special Issue 5 (2) 2013 – Article
Elemental Music and Dance Pedagogy (EMDP): Artistic and Pedagogical Opportunities for People in Advanced Age
Age and ageing are issues of high significance in our times, and lead us to ask how this prolonged lifespan can be spent in a most self-determined, meaningful and satisfying way. The author’s personal approach to working with this age group is described and complemented by personal reflections on this subject. The many objectives include non-musical goals as well as music-oriented objectives which can instigate valuable and satisfying musical experiences of a high quality. Fundamental principles include: becoming a player – taking an active part; the interplay of music, speech, movement and dance; improvisation and forms.
Important parts of sessions are described as well as their goals: the greeting ritual is of importance and warm-up exercises can be offered using movement or body percussion. Singing well-known songs as well as new ones, and playing Orff instruments are valuable activities. Movement is also an important part of the sessions where diverse objects such as gloves, sticks or peacock feathers are used.
The Orff approach has the wonderful advantage of being multifaceted, putting emphasis on improvisation and individual creativity which allows making music according to one’s own abilities – something that is important for elderly people – and offering many different impulses to feel, to live and physically express music.
elemental music; resources; social-communicative competence; artistic opportunities
Christine Schönherr studied music in schools, recorder and rhythmics at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Hamburg, Germany as well as education at the University of Hamburg. She studied elemental music and movement education at the Carl Orff Institute, Mozarteum University, Salzburg and has taught various subjects at the Carl Orff Institute for many years. Christine continues to hold many courses nationally and internationally as well as publishing articles. In 2012 she published the DVD “I have become young again: Music Language, Movement: Artistic and Pedagogical Opportunities for People in Advanced Age”. She is a certified trainer for AAP (Atemrhythmisch Angepasste Phonation according to Coblenzer/ Muhar) and a qualified Yoga trainer (BDY/EYU).