by Khoo Hui Ling
Jerison's abundance of energy as he demonstrates an exercise.
About a year back, I had the pleasure of having Mr. Jerison Lee, Dalcroze Consultant at The Music Studios, conduct a private Dalcroze Eurhythmics workshop for my students. I don't think I've ever met a teacher who had such an abundance of energy. His could rival the young ones'. Needless to say, the workshop ended with the kids listening to music with new found enjoyment. I was also pleasantly surprised at how some of my students opened up and displayed confident spontaneity through Jerison's teaching.
Just a little introduction to the Dalcroze Method. It is an approach to music education whereby students learn aspects of musicianship such as solfege, improvisation, rhythm and phrasing. Students experience musical gesture via body movement. I've found that it helps nurture a natural musical instinct in students.
This June, The Music Studios will be organising a Musical Arts Holiday Camp led by Jerison. In the midst of working with him, we found out so many inspiring things about him as a teacher. We hope this interview with him could unveil some colourful snippets of being a music educator.
What has your musical journey been like, and how did you realize your calling to teach Dalcroze?
I always loved music as a child and I started learning piano like everyone else did. When I was in primary school, I joined the concert band and that was the beginning of the exciting musical journey of my life! Basically I was hooked and I started joining choir, orchestra and chinese orchestra. I began teaching the piano when I was 17 and honestly was quite helpless. After several years of exploring, a friend introduced the Dalcroze approach and after attending a Dalcroze Conference in Japan, I decided this is it! I want to study Dalcroze.