A Day in the Life of Orff Certification: Day 2

Orff Level I – Day 2

As Day 2 comes to a close, I find that I am slowly gaining a better understanding of what Orff Schulwerk is and, even more importantly, how to implement it on my own after the class is over.  I especially enjoy the repetition of the Orff process while also seeing how it can be modified depending on the piece.  I am realizing that my planning for next year is going to involve less external resources and more use of my internal resource – my brain!  It looks like July is going to include a hefty re-thinking of my plans for next school year in order to incorporate what I am learning!

 Roger’s Nuggets of Wisdom

(those small phrases that seem to pretty much sum up Orff Schulwerk)

“Fusion” – Although it is just one word (and one I generally associate with cuisine), I think it really brings to mind the type of teacher I want to be.  I do not necessarily want to be labeled as an “Orff Teacher”, but rather as a teacher who incorporates those ideas into her lessons and units.  If the culinary world can combine different genres of food to create something new and delicious, why can’t teachers do the same?!

“Basic Comprehensive Musicianship” – Some people consider elementary music a feeder for band/choir/orchestra programs or (dare I say it?) just a break for classroom teachers.  This is just not the case; we are fully qualified teachers that have one goal in mind – basic comprehensive musicianship.  This means that we not only want students to be able to sing, play, and read music, but also listen, compose, improvise, and move!  All these skills are vital to fully understanding music and none can be ignored!

“Rondo them to death” – The rondo is a fantastic musical form to showcase student creations aside a song or poem.  If you want to work on improvisation, have students (either individually or as a group) use the contrasting sections to practice spontaneous creation.  If students work in groups, rondo form allows each group to perform their creation within the larger piece.  Never underestimate the power of a rondo!


About Erin Clevenger

Erin Clevenger

Erin Clevenger has been teaching K-5 music in University City, Missouri since 2011, has completed Orff Levels I and II, and is active in the St. Louis Orff chapter. Before that Erin had a variety of professional experiences, including substitute teaching for a variety of grade levels and subject areas, teaching general music to fifth and sixth graders, working with teenagers with developmental disabilities, and teaching English at summer camps in Italy. Erin attended Truman State University where she received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Voice and Master of Arts in Education.

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