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, 2 August 2014

Term Two

Creative Dance New Entrants/Year Ones
Creative Dance New Entrants/Year Ones
The juniors have been doing lots more singing, dancing, and playing in music time this term. The year one children also enjoyed an opportunity to perform for each other as part of a short informal concert.  Each class had a turn on the stage to sing, dance, and play a couple of pieces they had learnt so far this year.  It was lovely to see the children in the audience clapping and singing along to songs they all knew.  There was a lovely sense of community through a shared repertoire of songs and movement pieces.

Year One Informal Concert
Engaged Audience: Year Ones
The year two children have been playing some fun new musical games to learn about rhythm, improvising, and playing simple accompainments on un-tuned and tuned percussion instruments.  Favourites with the children included: “Squeeze out the gel and Spike up your hair”, “Apple Tree”, “What’s for Dinner?”, “Choc-o-la-te”, and “Goin’ on a Lion Hunt”.

Year Two musicians in the passing rhythm game "Apple Tree"
We also had lots of fun using a poem to inspire music and movement with the nursery rhyme Simple Simon.  We learnt a song to go with the poem and a simple accompainment that everyone was able to play on the barred instruments (marimba, xylophones, and glockenspiels).  We also had fun creating clapping patterns using names we created for different types of pies Simon might buy including "ap-ple cher-ry rasp-berry pie" and "mince cheese bacon n' egg pie".

Year Two children creating clapping patterns for Simple Simon
You can see an example of this lesson put together by the American Orff Schulwerk Association here:
The year threes this term worked on singing simple canon songs (rounds) and playing as part of an Orff-Schulwerk style orchestra made up of different barred instruments (marimba, xylophones, and glockenspiels).  In each lesson the children learnt a song, explored rhythmic accompainments using un-tuned and body percussion (clapping/stamping/patting), and then transferred these rhythmic patterns to the barred instruments in the form of simple accompainments.  They learnt what an ostinato is (a simple repeating pattern), and a pedal note (the home note of a key that grounds the musical piece).  The children also had opportunities to improvise on the glockenspiels.  We did two very New Zealand pieces, “The Parson Bird” by Jeremy Hantler about the song of the Tui bird, and “Seagull Seagull” a poem by James K. Baxter arranged by myself.  We also had fun with an arrangement of the nursery rhyme “Humpty Dumpty” that used body percussion and another piece called “The Marula Tree” where we sang in harmony and passed shakers around in a simple circle game.

Year Threes playing "Parson Bird" by Jeremy Hantler on marimba, xylophones, and glockenspiels.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you Priya for sharing your knowledge and the principles of this programme. Our students are fortunate to have both you and Angela to help them discover their musical talents and to experience the joy of participating in a group to create music. When I pass by the hall, I see the students smiling and engaged!