May 22

EP. 43 – From Penang, Malaysia: Dalcroze, Strings & Play-based learning in Early Years & Primary w/ Asta Hodgson


Asta Hodgson is the Head of Music at Prince of Wales Island International School in Penang, Malaysia.

Beginning with her formal music training as a cellist, and subsequent music teacher training focusing on Dalcroze, Asta then completed a dissertation looking at how entrainment interventions impact prosocial behaviours in early years children. This is such a cool study! Asta has so many practical and strategic ideas for how to integrate Dalcroze, strings and play-based music learning together.

In this episode, we explore:

  • what it's like to live and work in Penang, Malaysia.
  • some powerful approaches to fostering creativity through play-based music learning in early years and primary music settings. 
  • the role of the 'teacher as facilitator' in play-based music education.
  • the Dalcroze approach and why this might be a useful pedagogy to explore.
  • a range of resources and strategies that teachers can take into the classroom tomorrow!
  • who is "Steve the mouse" and why we have to keep him safe (yep, random...but you'll have to watch the episode to find out more.

A massive thanks to Asta for sharing her insights and providing some valuable challenges and inspo for the community. Get in touch with Asta or grab some links to resources mentioned in the episode below.


Get in touch with Asta:

Links and resources from this episode:

Teaching Resources:

Dalcroze Societies:

Further Reading:

  • Primary Music Magazine: (Asta's article about musical play coming soon!)
  • Campbell, P . S., (2010). Songs in their heads: Music and its meaning in children's lives (2nd ed.). Oxford University Press.
  • Marsh, K., & Young, S.. (2006). Musical Play. In G. McPherson (ed.), The child as musician: A handbook of musical development (pp.289-310). Oxford University Press.
  • Rowe, V. (2012). Young children’s thinking in music. In S. Robson (ed.), Developing thinking and understanding in young children: An introduction for students (2nd ed., pp.192-200). Routledge.

Other links:

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dalcroze, early years, Interview, Pedagogy, primary, Strings