Health-musicking through Dalcroze Eurhythmics — Ana Navarro Wagner

Special Issue 8 (2) 2016 “Dalcroze Eurhythmics in music therapy and special music education” – Article (published on 11 December 2016)

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Health-musicking through Dalcroze Eurhythmics

Ana Navarro Wagner


Émile Jaques-Dalcroze was a Swiss music pedagogue who advocated the use of musical activities to develop different human qualities such as consciousness, personality, temperament, the subconscious, the muscular and nervous system, imagination, thought, behaviour, action, confidence, concentration and freedom of spirit. Many of his statements and intuitions are fully recognised in certain contemporary music therapy approaches, theories and practices. The aims of this article are to: acknowledge the presence of health and wellbeing in Jaques-Dalcroze’s understanding of Eurhythmics; discuss the contributions the method has made and does make in therapeutic or wellbeing contexts; and to develop an understanding of current Eurhythmics practice from the perspectives of contemporary music therapy theory. The article begins with a discussion of the ‘health-musicking’ concept and goes on to use vignettes of the author’s practice as a Eurhythmics teacher and music therapist to illuminate the argument. A second section relates the theory of communicative musicality to improvisation practices through a health and wellbeing lens. Finally, the conclusion exposes diverse ideas on how to carry out a Eurhythmics practice through a health and wellbeing perspective.


Dalcroze Eurhythmics, music therapy, musicking, health-musicking, sociocultural, health and wellbeing, communicative musicality, improvisation.


Ana Navarro Wagner is a music teacher at a primary school in Barcelona, Spain. She holds her Dalcroze Certificate from L’Institut Joan Llongueres and has worked there as a Eurhythmics teacher for six years. She completed her MA in Music Therapy at Aalborg University (Denmark).