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Introduction to the Orff Approach

About the Course:

“Orff Schulwerk is a way to teach and learn music. It is based on things children like to do: sing, chant rhymes, clap, dance, and keep a beat on anything near at hand. These instincts are directed into learning music by hearing and making music first, then reading
and writing it later. This is the same way we all learned our language.”

— From the American Orff-Schulwerk Association website:

Intended for teachers and others interested in music and movement education, this course will offer an overview of the Orff Schulwerk process. Experience basic Orff activities, play the Orff instruments, examine Orff curriculum, learn the history and philosophy of the Schulwerk, and discover resources for further exploration of the Orff approach.

Orff teacher training is accomplished in three levels, usually a 2-week intensive course held during the summer. This is not a levels course, but will include the opportunity to learn about levels training in order to make informed choices.

Work for this course will include readings, exploration of websites, presentations and reaction papers, culminating in a reflective essay at the end of the course. Class participation is essential – we’re planning to have a lot of fun creating music together!

About the Instructor

Steve Owens is an elementary music teacher at the Calais Elementary and Sharon Elementary Schools. He has a master of science in music education from Central Connecticut State University. He recently completed his Orff level 3 training at the University of Kentucky. His Orff instructors include Jay Broeker, Cindy Hall, Brian Burnett, Vivien Murray and Debby Szajnberg.