Hi! My name is Sora Shpack. My sons and I moved to Plattsburgh a few years ago. I’m a flutist and
composer, and was a music teacher and performed as well. Similar to many of you, I was also a home
school mother for many years, home schooling my six children. During that time a number of families in our community and myself began a group home school program, we called “Round the Block School” and I was the music teacher for our group. Presently I’m in the process of training for a Dalcroze Music Education Certification, a type of musical education that is an experiential way of knowing music through the body. At the end of this letter I’ve included some information explaining in more detail about Dalcroze Education.
My proposal to the home school community in the North Country is an exchange in that I cannot at this time take money since I am not certified and yet, since I need some experience, I am excited to work with your children. Because I have a bachelor and two master degrees in music and have taught for over thirty years, I feel that while I will be exploring with Dalcroze, I’ll be able to keep your children’s music education both on track and going forward in a great way.
Possibilities for Dalcroze Education in the North Country
Length of Class: one hour
Frequency: Once a week
Ages: 4 years to 18 years. No children under 4 years. There is an excellent program for babies and
toddlers in town called Music Together.
Class size: Anywhere from 10 to 1 in a class, although 1 is not as much fun as being with other friends.
Grouping for classes: grouped by age with the smaller age span being the best for learning.
The ideal is one class each of children aged 4-6, 7-9, 10-12, 13-15, 16-18.
A simpler option is one class each of: 4-7, 8-12, 13-18.
A still simpler version is one class each of: 4-8 and 9-18
For an exchange of my time and preparations for your children I’m hoping you can provide the
1. A room for class – at least 15’ x 15’ preferably with a piano, or second choice a piano
2. In many Dalcroze classes teachers use props. It is possible to teach without them, but
they are a lot of fun for the kids. I have Scarves, Chop Sticks, and a Floor Staff. If you
have and are willing to share with the class any of the following: Balls (larger for
younger children; smaller for older youth), Dowels, Bean Bags, Rhythm Sticks, Hoops,
Shakers, Ribbons, Streamers, Paper and Crayons, Drums, Tambourines
3. As part of my studies and certification, I need to video the classes for my own
learning. It will be necessary for you to sign a waiver stating that you agreed to this. I
will not need to identify your child by name for the video, but I will need your
permission. Once my mentor and I have discussed the teaching moments, I’ll delete the
4. Finally, I live in Plattsburgh so hopefully there is a space in Plattsburgh or someone
who travels out, can provide transportation for me or the cost of gas.
Insurance is another issue. Years ago, we didn’t worry about that. Hopefully this won’t be an issue, but I’m interested in your thoughts and ideas.
For those interested in trying out a Dalcroze Music Education, it would be great to set a date, time and place to meet you. I can give you more explanations and show some videos if you are interested or we can just go over the logistics and get the program going.
Looking forward to meeting you and your children!
Sora Jederan Shpack
10 Maryland Road
Plattsburgh, NY 12903
Dalcroze is an experiential way of knowing music through the body where the body is literally the
instrument of learning.
Dalcroze classes are musically comprehensive, integrating movement with
• vocal, piano and rhythm instrument improvisation
• music theory
• music composition
• music appreciation
Dalcroze education is a process-oriented method governed by nice principles that distinguish it from
other educational methods:
• Music as stimulator, motivator and regulator in the classroom
• Movement as the means for learning – the body is the instrument
• Listening is an active experience
• Relationships of time, space and energy are a means for learning music concepts
• Learning is discovery-based (experiential)
• Experience occurs before analysis
• Imagination, improvisation and invention engage students in the processes
• The spirit of play (joy) runs throughout the method
• Social interaction works with music as a communicative and collaborative art
Dalcroze movement, called Eurhythmics, enables the entire body to express many layers of musical
information at one time. Dalcroze trains the body to attain supple and fluid independence – at the same moment, the feet can perform one idea, the hands and arms another and the voice yet another. When musical and physical skills are strengthened at the same time, navigating an instrument becomes much easier, communication in chamber music becomes more effective and orchestral ensemble skills improve dramatically.