Van der Pals/ Kirchner-Bockholt Tone Eurythmy Therapy Course to be held in English by Jan Ranck

October 21 – 30, 2016 in Chicago Illinois at 2135 West Wilson Avenue

(note change of date from July)

The course is warmly recommended for trained eurythmists, eurythmy therapists, medical doctors and music therapists (see report below from Ballytobin, Ireland).

Information and Registration:

Some free accommodation available on a first-come, first serve basis.

Inspired by Rudolf Steiner’s indication that tone eurythmy therapy should be developed in addition to speech eurythmy therapy, the eurythmist Lea van der Pals and the medical doctor Margarete Kirchner-Bockholt worked together in the early 1970s to develop a sequence of exercises in connection with the diseases discussed in Rudolf Steiner and Ita Wegman’s book “Extending Practical Medicine”.

This course, which includes a review of all of the elements of tone eurythmy, was taught for many years by Lea van der Pals within various eurythmy therapy trainings, and the effectiveness of the exercises was shown in practice. When for health reasons Lea van der Pals was prevented from continuing to teach, she passed the torch to Annemarie Baeschlin, who took over holding the course and assisted Lea van der Pals in bringing the material into book form.

At this time Jan Ranck held the practice sessions within Annemarie Baeschlin’s courses, and was also involved with compositional and editorial suggestions for the publication “Ton – Heileurythmie”, Verlag am Goetheanum 1991, published in English in 2009 as “Tone Eurythmy Therapy” by the Medical Section at the Goetheanum.

Jan Ranck was born in America, where she studied music and comparative arts at Indiana University in Bloomington.  She accompanied the London Stage Group on their 1976 USA tour and went on to study eurythmy in Dornach with Lea van der Pals. She was a faculty member of the Eurythmeum in Dornach and The London School of Eurythmy. After completing a eurythmy therapy training in Stuttgart in 1989 she moved to Israel and is currently the founding director of the Jerusalem Eurythmy Ensemble (1990) and the Jerusalem Academy of Eurythmy (1992).  She is also an instructor in the Jerusalem Waldorf Teacher Bachelor Program in David Yellin Academic College, and a guest teacher in various venues worldwide, including the Goetheanum and the MA Program in Eurythmy held in Emerson College and Spring Valley. She is the representative for Israel in the International Department of Eurythmy Therapy (“Eurythmy Therapy Forum”).

Besides the material mentioned above, Lea van der Pals’ book “The Human Being as Music” (Robinswood Press 1992), published in German in 1969 as “Der Mensch Musik”, is highly recommended as background reading for the course.


Report from the course held in Ballytobin, Ireland:

English Speakers Take Note!

This spring, a unique event took place in English for eurythmists from all over the world.  In Camphill Ballytobin, Ireland, eighteen eurythmists came together from 1-10 April under the invigorating guidance of Jan Ranck, founding director of the Jerusalem Academy of Eurythmy, to learn and experience the Tone Eurythmy Therapy Course as developed by Lea van der Pals and Dr. Margarete Kirchner-Bockholt.  Long held in German by Annemarie Bäschlin, this is the first time since the 80’s that it has been accessible in English.  There were eight eurythmists from Ireland, five from Australia, two from Japan and one each from Taiwan, Sweden and England.  Jan put us through our paces by bringing us back into contact with the basics of Tone Eurythmy—beat, rhythm and pitch, major/minor triads, ethos/pathos, scales, intervals….If one had been listening at keyholes, one might have thought we were in training for the circus as we ‘swallowed our rods’, swung on trapezes, and held acrobats on our arms (we even attempted to become Octopi!)—all images calling for great inner – outer activity!  Having laid the basic foundations, Jan then brought us through nine sequences of tone eurythmy exercises developed in relationship to specific illnesses, emphasizing the importance of our own skill and mastery of the elements of eurythmy in order to convey them to the patient.

In addition to Jan’s demanding yet entertaining approach, we had the privilege of having the concert pianist Michael Zelevinsky at the piano, also from Jerusalem.  It was a great joy, especially for the many of us who work without accompanists, to move to music so beautifully and sensitively played.  Every evening Michael gave a recital on the Steinway grand, a rare opportunity to feed one’s soul!

We are indebted to Gina Poole for having the idea of bringing the training to English-speakers and to Camphill Ballytobin for their generosity in giving us the free use of Castalia Hall for our work.  Thanks also go to the Anthroposophical Society in Ireland for their generous donation towards covering costs.  Most especially we thank Jan for bringing this training to the English-speaking world.  It was the deep feeling of all of the participants not only that the course be repeated one day in Ballytobin, but that others may imitate Gina’s initiative in other locations world-wide.  Jan confirmed that she is open to the idea.


            Thank you Jan!

                                                            Roxanne Leonard