Ballet-Related Content in Music Education in the First Cycle of Primary Education
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AbstractThis paper deals with the integration of ballet-related content into music lessons in the first cycle of primary education. It seeks to outline some current findings concerning the positive impact of dance and classical ballet on integrated child development and the results of an empirical research study the objective of which was to compare the ability of primary school pupils aged six to nine years to perform a simple ballet choreography against that of ballet school pupils and to examine pupils’ attitude towards classical ballet. For this end, we prepared additional ballet-related content in 2011 and incorporated it into classroom practice with students attending Fran Korun Koželjski Music School in Velenje and pupils attending the first and the third grades of Franc Rozman Stane Primary School in Maribor. To compare the performance of one and the other we used specific evaluation criteria, while we obtained pupils’ feedback on ballet lessons by means of a short questionnaire. It was established that children did possess the ability as well as the desire to practice classical ballet. The executions of the ballet choreography by both groups were comparable, and the only difference noticed regarded the physical ability, body coordination, and spatial coordination criteria, which were not fully achieved by the primary school pupils. Due to the positive influence of the activity on the integrated development of children and the children’s positive reaction, it is necessary to incorporate as many ballet-related subject matter as possible into music education.