Orff Schulwerk is a music education method I first learned in 1993. I was a music education major enrolled in a class called Elementary Methods. In this class, we dove into the teaching techniques and music education methods of Kodaly, Dalcroze and Orff, as well as the Educational Psychology and Cognitive Development methods and theories in which music plays such an important role.
I truly enjoyed my experiences with Kodaly and Dalcroze lessons and incorporate their fundamentals into almost everything I create but Orff Schulwerk spoke to me in a musical language I had never encountered before. A language where music concepts made complete sense to me. A language where movement, dance and the written word made the music come to life. A language that gave me freedom to learn how I learn, create how I create and explore within the lesson criteria in an enjoyable, fun and educationally rich manner.
I love the Orff Schulwerk environment! It’s a positive space that promotes wonder and exploration, where participants have the capability of feeling accomplished and confident, no matter their level of musical knowledge. It’s an environment where music skills are a sensory experience of active participation centered around unpitched percussion (metals, shakers, drums and woods), pitched percussion (xylophones, metallophones, glockenspiels), movement, dance, rhyme and flow. It’s an environment where everyone’s input is necessary, valuable and wanted. It’s the method that made me into the music teacher I became in 1995 and the singer/songwriter I became in 2002.