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West Music Education Consultant, Judy Pine, shares her perspective on how attending a summer Orff Schulwerk Workshop will re-charge your fall!

The Orff Schulwerk approach to learning, developed by Carl Orff and Gunild Keetman, builds musicianship through singing, playing instruments, speech, and movement. Drawn to the active music making using the elements of imitation, exploration, improvisation, and composition within Orff Schuwerk, my classroom was full of meaningful musical opportunities for my students.

I attended my first Orff Schulwerk workshop during college at it was life changing. This initial experience immediately led me to change my teaching focus from vocal music to elementary general music teaching. The tools I gained helped me understand the positive impact of this teaching on the development my future music students. I was fortunate to begin my Orff Levels work before my first teaching position. I was hooked on developing my Orff Schulwerk skills and attended workshops every summer to complete Levels I, II, and III right away.


Orff Schulwerk Workshop Structure

Orff Schulwerk workshops are 2 weeks in length, Monday through Friday. There are various levels of training offered at each workshop site. Level I includes the basic study of Orff techniques. Next, Level II builds upon that foundation, then Level III explores Orff Schulwerk concepts even further.  Finally, masterclasses are often available at select sites to deepen the learning.

Orff instruments, various voices of recorders, and percussion instruments are also explored with this approach.  It is important to understand each site requires and recommends different material resources and recorders at each level.

Harness the Power to Sing, Say, Dance, and Play!

It is exciting to see the transformation of the Orff Classroom over time. When I was teaching in the classroom, the focus was on poetry, singing voices, movement, and body percussion to explore music. Today, we see classrooms filled with many Orff instruments to enagage learners.  I am still thankful for that first experience and to where it hasled me. Harness the power this summer to Sing, Say, Dance, and Play with your students through the vast wealth of Orff Schulwerk courses!