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Charlotte Blensdorf MacJannet

Charlotte Blensdorf MacJannet, born Anna Julie Charlotte Blensdorf the 21st of November 1091 in Elberfeld, Germany and affectionately known as Lotte was the daughter of artistic, talented parents. Charlotte's ancestry was filled with music (listen here to hear the story of her father's family.) Her grandparents had meet through music; her grandmother was a singer and her grandfather an organ player. Her maternal grandparents were from Cologne were her grandfather had been a merchant (hear the story of her maternal side of the family.)

Her father Otto Blensdorf was famous as a teacher and in particular as an instructor of the Dalcroze method (more on Jaques-Dalcroze and his method.) Otto Blensdorf's father had encouraged his son to become a teacher of music as he felt there were far too many unemployed musicians in Germany and a teacher would have a better salary. Otto's interest in the Dalcroze method was an integral part of life for the Blensdorfs. From a young age Charlotte and her sisters, Ingeborg (known as Inge) and Ilse, learned the principles of Dalcroze learning body movement and music.

Charlotte herself went on to study the Rythmique method at the Dalcroze Institute in Geneva (in her own words) in 1919. Here she became an official teacher of the Dalcroze Eurythmics method. After a year long illness (listen) Charlotte was invited to Vienna by one of Dalcroze's disciple's to teach. Through her pupils in Vienna, a music conservatory in Malmö, Sweden hired her to be their eurthymics teacher. Charlotte's time in Sweden (listen) brought her professional opportunities throughout Scandinavia. Otto Blensdorf soon called his daughter back to Germany to help him in his work and school. The Blensdorfschüle became Charlotte's new home in Jenna near its University where they taught the course for certifying German teachers of the Dalcroze method (listen here.) Charlotte developed a special interest in teaching Eurythmics to mentally handicapped and ill children. After three years, the institute, or Blensdorfschüle, moved from Jenna to Godesberg. The two teachers had also spent summers in Denmark.

Charlotte's next opportunity took her to England and the Fensham Heights School in Surrey in 1928 and 1929 (listen.) This further step of her's introduced her to yet another culture and perfected yet another language. She spent two years at the school, spending weekends in London studying voice. Due to tiredness, she left this position to spend time with a friend; recuperating in the English countryside did much to strengthen her health.

In April of 1932 Charlotte decided to attend an educational conference in Nice, France. There she met a gentleman by the name of Donald MacJannet. Within months her life would change and she would be married to him and relocated to France.

Explore the next step: Donald's and Charlotte's life together.