Music Education through Orff Schulwerk

Music Education through Orff Schulwerk

Orff Schulwerk is a unique approach to music education created by composer Carl Orff and Gunild Keetman. Orff and Keetman's collaboration began in the 1930s and the dynamic approach to music education continues to develop today and is used in many leading music education programmes around the world.
The approach makes connections with the way children naturally play using songs, dances, rhymes, stories, clapping, and other active music making activities. Language and movement underpin the instrument work.

It is a music education for all ages and abilities. The music programme is carefully structured to allow children to work at different levels of challenge within the same lesson with success for all.

The approach provides a strong foundation for any further musical study as well as encouraging children to make music part of their lives outside of and beyond their primary school years.

As Sofia Lopez-Ibor, (Orff Schulwerk educator at the San Francisco School), says: the aim of an Orff Schulwerk music programme is for children to leave primary school with the same enthusiasm and excitement about their musicality as when they entered as five year olds and for them to be happy and willing to make music wherever they may be.

Here is Doug Goodkin, world leading Orff Schulwerk music educator at San Francisco School, doing a TED talk about the importance of a music education for all, "everyone is a musical being...."

Everyone is a musical being: Doug Goodkin TED talk


Kia Ora and Welcome to my Teaching Blog.

This year I am joining Angela Campbell at Eastern Hutt School as an Orff Schulwerk music teacher. Eastern Hutt School is unique in the Wellington region to have a well established Orff Schulwerk specialist music programme, established and developed by Angela over the last 10 years. Angela has a wealth of experience in Orff Schulwerk, she has studied with Doug Goodkin in Salzburg and she completed her level 1 Orff training at the San Francisco school. I first began working with Angela 8 years ago when I was a general classroom teacher at Eastern Hutt School. I have since had three children of my own and have worked closely with Angela to develop my own Orff Schulwerk teaching as well as completing my own Orff Schulwerk training and study at postgraduate level. Music is a big part of my family life and I have used the Orff Schulwerk approach as part of my children's own music education. I will use this blog to share information and resources with teachers and parents and to share some of the students' music making. Thank you for taking the time to visit.

Marimba Playing

Marimba Playing
Drawing by Charlotte Prebble

Saturday, 8 February 2014

Term One 2014

I begin teaching at Eastern Hutt this week and am feeling very inspired having just participated in a wonderful singing workshop with UK song leader Su Hart.  Su introduced us to the music of the Baka Pygmy people who live in the heart of the African rainforest and who have song and dance at the centre of their lives.  You can read about her work in Cameroon here:

I had an amazing evening of clapping, chanting, singing and dancing with other local songleaders.  I am going to begin classes this week with some fun rhythmic songs and games from this workshop.  You can listen to some of the Baka music by clicking on the 'music' link on the side bar of this page:, your kids might like to have a listen as a follow up to our lessons this week.

Outside of school I am busy preparing for the Big Bang ( which is happening in Wellington on 21st of February.  This event is opening the New Zealand Festival of the Arts and will be a free event for families - it will be a fun musical evening with fireworks, the STRIKE percussion group, KORA, and singing with 200 children from around the country and local community choir groups.  

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