“Dance like music is the expression of the human spirit. Dance is visual music” – S.Janaki.
Dance and Music a Great Combination
Dance and music. Last Saturday I attended a student dance recital it was exciting to watch the young dancers show off their skills. It was particularly exciting for me as a few of the dancers in the recital also happened to be my piano students. I encourage my students to participate in the “other arts” i.e. theater, the visual arts, and creative writing but I am especially excited when I hear that a student is also a dancer! What better way to learn to internalize rhythm than to feel the beat and dance to the music?
“Five-Six-Seven-Eight” Dancers count! They have to, there are a bunch of them trying to stay together so counting is imperative. My piano students who also dance understand the importance of counting while learning music they don’t mind counting aloud. With most students I have to insist on hearing them counting as they play, dancers just don’t seem to feel awkward about counting. Which translates to greater rhythmic understanding in piano study.
“Dance is the Child of Music” – A. Fandango
Dancers listen. The average dance student attends class three to four times per week. During class they are hearing music, all kinds of music, Jazz, Classical, Broadway, Pop, Hip-hop, you name it. All of this is great for music students because the more music you hear the better musician you are going to be. Musicians must listen, just like writers must read, and painters must look. Dance students spend more time hearing a large variety of music than the average piano student.
One of the most difficult musical skills to acquire is the ability to keep a steady beat. Dancers move to the beat of the music. The whole body is involved. This internalizes the keeping of a steady beat. I work with adult and youth choirs when the singers are having trouble keeping feeling the pulse of the music it is not unusual for the director to have the singers march or sway to the beat of the music. Getting the body involved helps them to feel the musical pulse. Dancers do this naturally.
“The truest expression of a people is in its dance and in its music, bodies never lie” – Agnes de Mille
I think that dance is a wonderful pursuit for girls and boys who also love music. people can dance at a dance studio or just put on some music and dance! It is as natural as singing, dancing is a gift for all to enjoy. And it surely helps the music student with rhythm.
What do you think about dance and music? Leave a comment below.
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