Although it’s great to have music for class, be sure in your own mind what role it plays, so that you know when not to use it. Some examples:
- With no music, students can practise jumping as high as they can, not just as high as the music allows.
- A wonderful teacher that I’ve worked with called Charles Mudry, uses no music for his stretching and limbering exercises before pliés. It makes sense – if the purpose is to stretch, then individual dancers are going to want a bit more or less ‘stretch’ in the music, and there’s no tempo that will accommodate everyone.
- Movements which are rhythmically or technically complex are probably better practised in silence or at least with a purely rhythmic accompaniment such as finger clicks or vocalisations before trying to set them to music
- The absence of music can make the heart fonder and more responsive towards music when it’s there. By contrast, too much music may lead to a case of familiarity breeding indifference.