I am taking my level 2 Orff-Schulwerk Certification. I drive to Cobb County every day for two weeks, and meet with over 50 other music educators. It is the highlight of my summer! Why? Because the classes stretch me, and encourage me as a musician, teacher and person. But what is it? Here is a synopsis:
Orff Schulwerk is a "philosophy" of teaching music. It is not a method. It is a way of teaching the entire child, the cognitive as well as the affective domains.
1. Movement is always first.
2. Body percussion. (snap, pat, pat, and stamp)
3. Rhythm instruments and recorders.
4. Pitched percussion instruments are added and integrated into what we know today as Orff Schulwerk.
5. Improvisation and composition are included in an Orff class.
Orff (named for Carl Orff) Schulwerk (German for School work) takes teachers and students into deeper levels of teaching and learning. Going beyond knowledge and comprehension, students apply their knowledge, often independent of the teacher, through composition and improvisation.
Being exposed to this type of learning, and then applying this new information to my teaching is exhilarting. Helping children express themselves through music and movement is why I continue my education through Orff classes.
There is an Orffestrations class for children ages 7 - 10, at Berry College. The class meets June 22 - 26, and there is still space available!