Anthroposophy, Art, and Teacher Education

Week I: June 18-23

Schedule Week I – June 18 – 23

Sunday evening

6 pm: Arrive for registration

7 pm: Orientation, announcements, and Keynote address by Eric Müller 

Monday – Friday 

8:20 am: Arrival and announcements
8:30 am: History through Music w/ Eric Müller
10 am: Break
10:30 am: Clay Head Sculpture w/Patrick Stolfo or Veil Painting w/Martina Müller
12:15 pm: Lunch
1:15 pm: Eurythmy for all w/ Lynne Stolfo
2:00-5:00 pm: Electives:

  1.  Veil Painting,
  2.  Modeling the Human Head in Clay or
  3.  Lyre music and singing in the mood of the 5th (2-3:45 pm) w/Channa Seidenberg; Festivals for Children (3:45-5 pm) w/ Andree Ward

Course Descriptions

These week long courses are open to all on a full or partial day basis. While providing prime opportunities for personal renewal and professional development, participants also receive credit towards Foundation Studies Certificates of Completion and Teacher Education Diplomas.

History Through Music

with Eric Müller

In this history through music course we will endeavor to uncover the “primal” beginnings of music, and the underlying lawfulness, after which we will move through the respective eras until we reach the 20th century. Definitive examples will be highlighted as expressions of their time period. We will explore how music is a fascinating reflection of the development of human consciousness. Many examples of each era will be played, both live and recorded, with some collaboration with course participants.  Indications will be given as to how the thematic content relates to the Waldorf curriculum, with emphasis on the History through Music block in 11th grade.

Modeling the Human Head in Clay

with Patrick Stolfo

The contours of the human head manifest the cosmic dome of the spirit, character of soul, and a noble anatomy. Using the coiling technique as a basis for construction, we will proceed from the whole to the parts by building up hollow forms which can be shaped from both the interior and exterior. Completion comes with the addition of the essential and expressive details. No previous experience is required.

Veil Painting

with Martina Angela Muller

In veil painting, layers of very thin watercolor are applied to special, large, dry paper. Each consecutive veil lets the color from underneath shine through, creating highly-nuanced color effects that have a luminous, almost mystic quality of light shining through them as if from behind. Layers are tentatively applied in cloud like, vaporous shapes that leave the composition open for a long time, allowing the painter to observe and concentrate on the subtle changes of color and tone values. Eventually, surprising motifs emerge from the multicolored and lively textured backgrounds. Minimal detail work may be needed at the end to enhance the abstract or representational image that has come into being.

Each student in this course will paint one large veil painting – a technique that takes many hours, easily filling a whole week. Accomplished veil paintings can easily consist of eighty layers or more. Course participants will be led through the process from beginning to end, and do not need previous painting experience. Some of the images shown here are by students who had never held a brush before.


with Lynne Stolfo

Students will be introduced to the basic elements of tone eurythmy. (Pitch-rhythm-beat, tones, intervals, major-minor-dissonance)

Lyre Music and Singing in the Mood of the 5th

with Diane Barnes

During this intensive we will learn the principles of the “mood of the fifth”, the musical approach for the developing child in Early Childhood Education. Through listening and practice we will begin to understand and discern the difference between the pentatonic (a linear) approach and the “mood of the fifth” (a lemniscatal) approach. Participants will learn how to play the kinder-harp, sing songs, and be introduced to song composition in the “mood of the fifth”.

Diane Barnes graduated from the New England Conservatory of Music with a degree in Music Education/Voice; from Rudolf Steiner College (foundation year and teacher training year, and Extra Lesson training); and from the Raphael School for Singing and Singing Therapy out of the Uncovering the Voice impulse brought by Frau Werbeck-Svardstrom. She attended many singing conferences in Eckwalden, Germany. She also studied the lyre for many years.

Diane was a Waldorf class teacher for 6 years and taught music to grades 1 – 8 in Waldorf schools for 26 years. For the past 5 years and continuing she is doing music/therapeutic singing work and Extra Lesson work with students at the Housatonic Valley Waldorf School, teaches a block of music through the grades for the Alkion teacher training program, and is completing a year of teaching music for a Lifeways training. She is well-versed in music through the grades and the Mood of the Fifth and recognizes the importance of bringing the new instruments into the music work. Diane also gives free-lance concerts with singing and with the lyre, and has soloed and sung with the Hudson Valley Choral Society. She gives private lessons in singing and in lyre locally, and she offers therapeutic singing to those in need.

Festivals for Children

with Andree Ward

As teachers of young children, how do we support what Rudolf Steiner described as “the child’s physical-religious devotion to the environment?” One way is through celebrating festivals, the spaces we create during the course of the year when the ordinary things of life can be seen in their true worth. For the young child, everything is new, and these joyful events help him/her to feel more and more at home on earth. Focusing on the Summer Solstice and the time of the descending sun, we will share ideas about how to create a few simple, meaningful seasonal celebrations for the children.