Even Ballet Dancers Count Aloud

2015 has been the year of counting aloud. As I see my students develop musical independence from counting aloud, I increase my insistence with new students. Sure enough, they too begin developing their independence sooner than I ever thought possible.

In the midst of my ongoing mission to teach my students to be excellent counters, my enthusiasm rubbed off on my sister who happens to be a classical ballet teacher. She saw that in her class of 10 year-olds there were some dancers ahead of the music, others were behind and a few were right on it. In a moment of inspiration she had them all count aloud as they danced to the music.

What she noticed was that when they counted aloud, every single dancer was with the music. The dancers also became aware of when they were not with the music. When the counting aloud subsided, so did their ability to stay with the music. Because they were aware, they could correct themselves.

Counting aloud has a wonderful way of sharpening the focus and bringing awareness to dancers, as well as musicians. It is then that they can fully participate and become one with the music. Try it, whether you are learning to dance or learning to play a musical instrument. You might just be surprised at what you can do.

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