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The Power of the Pentatonic Scale

I was searching for music education-related videos on YouTube recently and stumbled upon an amazing video of what looked like a scientific convention. After taking a closer look, I realized it was Bobby McFerrin demonstrating the pentatonic scale to an audience. The funniest part actually was that the audience did not know they were singing… Read more »

Life After Certification – Three Things

Although I could write a ton about everything I’ve learned so far this year about being an Orff teacher, I think most of it can be summed up with these three things:         1)      Being an Orff teacher takes time. Teaching in the Orff-Schulwerk style requires educator mastery of the material, which can… Read more »

The Orff Spirit

I recently attended a local chapter workshop where the presenter keep saying that the “Orff spirit” would move us to complete the activities that were presented to us in a creative way. Very rarely would assignments be given, but rather a simple reminder that this “Orff spirit” would guide us to what instrument we wanted,… Read more »

Life After Certification – Long-Range Planning

Life After Certification – Long-Range Planning      Hello, my name is Erin Clevenger, and I am a planner.  I know many very successful music educators who can’t tell you what they’re teaching next month, or even next week, but for me that uncertainty would drive me bonkers.  I think my biggest challenge is the… Read more »

Orff for Adults: Swing-En IV

Swing-En* IV  *(The official title of our class, as listed in the OASIS catalog, is “Swing Ensemble for Pitched Percussion.”  My abbreviation for us is Swing-En – a good name for these episodes.) September, 1999 . . . the very first Orff class with senior adults.  Armed with a terrific set of goals and objectives… Read more »

Orff for Adults: Swing-En III

Swing-En* III *(The official title of our class, as listed in the OASIS catalog, is “Swing Ensemble for Pitched Percussion.”  My abbreviation for us is Swing-En – a good name for these episodes.)  In the fall of 1999, I was hired to teach Orff for Adults.  My new employer was not a school district, but… Read more »

A Day in the Life of Orff Certification: Day 9

Orff Level I – Day 9 A continuation of the improvisation discussion from Day 7: First, try and use predictable forms during improvisation pieces.  You want the students to be concentrating on their improvisation skills, not their memorizing difficult form structures skills (remember that whole “working memory” thing from Day 4?). Second, there are many… Read more »

A Day in the Life of Orff Certification: Day 8

Orff Level I – Day 8 I think it’s time to address the “c word”: concerts (get your head out of the gutter!).  For the past two years, preparing for concerts has gone in a very predictable way for me: pick a theme, find songs with CD accompaniments that fit with the theme, and then… Read more »

A Day in the Life of Orff Certification: Day 7

Orff Level I – Day 7 Today’s topic: improvisation!  This is a core skill in an Orff classroom (remember, it’s all about creativity) so I wanted to review some of the things we talked about in class today. One big things Roger discussed was making sure we start improvisation really easy with the students and… Read more »