You may be asking, “What is Eurythmy? And why is it important for children in Kindergarten?”
Eurythmy is a movement art form unique to Waldorf Education. It is a representation of speech through healing movement. There are visual gestures for every letter, sound and tone in music and language. Young children learn basic gestures, such as letters of the alphabet and simple words that come from an experience of story and poetry that is often reflective of the season as well as work-games (The Shoemaker or Blacksmith are favorites) Nursery rhymes and fairy tales. There is much free scope for the imagination on the part of the Eurythmist so long as it is simple and clear. Much can happen with a simple verse such as, “When the little children sleep all the stars awaken” – For the children it is great fun in a held way that inspires a sense of wonder and quiet joy.
We introduce Eurythmy in kindergarten as another way to introduce rhythm, repetition, and imitation into their lives. The stories that can go along with the seasons, festivals, and the world of nature are resonant with gestures chosen for their health giving properties. Everything at this age is orientated toward removing hindrances and helping the physical body develop healthily. The Eurythmy lesson is built up in such a way that, without the child noticing, the eurythmy penetrates every part of the body to enliven and strengthen it…. Energy streams into the feet to help prevent flat feet, streams into the fingers, expands the chest, regulates breathing, and stimulates the metabolism in a joyful creative way that inspires a soul impulse for reverence (How the children love to cross their hands reverently over their chests at the end) and gratitude which is in many ways one of the most important of virtues. In essence Eurythmy helps the children become more conscious of their bodies and the space around themselves and how that interconnects with one another in a grounding-centering way
It is a very light filled experience…the children imitate the gestures to the best of their abilities with often quite a bit of laughter along the way with much repetition to allow the children to try the same gesture multiple times.
We are blessed to have in Eugene three Eurythmists who bless our valley with their practice. Tuesdays we will be joined by curative and educational Eurythmist Keith Hess for a Eurythmy lesson at 9:15am for the children. We are grateful to be offering the children Tuesday Morning Eurythmy once again and if you have questions feel free to ask or write us. You can also call Keith Hess who will be happy to answer your questions at 541 344-8885. Keith is at heart a healer… He has 20 years experience as an Herbalist alongside being a fully trained Eurythmist for the Eugene Waldorf School and is beginning a Curative Eurythmy Practice. Curative Eurythmy is a movement therapy which has been in use effectively over 88 years and often prescribed by Anthroposophic Doctors. Besides its manifold applications in respect of acute, chronic or degenerative illnesses its therapeutic approach can also be used beneficently to strengthen one’s vitality and for rehabilitation. In essence, we share that with you because we want to more than scratch the surface of the undeniable – that Keith Hess brings a wealth of insight and joy to his work and we feel that your children will experience this as a joyful, playful and healing blessing.