What Is AOSA and Why Should I Join?

What Is AOSA and Why Should I Join?

Educators have the opportunity and responsibility to join various professional organizations. However, as educators, available funds to join the most appropriate ones are not always easy to come by. How can an educator decide which memberships are the best fit for them? Which organizations are going to provide the greatest benefits to their members in exchange for their annual dues? A strong argument can be made for joining the American Orff Schulwerk Association. For teachers who are seeking resources in active and creative music making for their students and schools, AOSA offers many benefits. 

National Conference 

The AOSA national conference can’t be beat. At state music conferences, teachers need to filter through to find the general music sessions, which represent only a fraction of the entire conference. At the national AOSA conference, nearly every session caters to general music. Participants often struggle to decide which sessions they would like to attend. AOSA membership cuts the price of registration in half, and the online membership portal allows attendees to find colleagues to room and carpool with from the airport, being more cost effective.  

Scholarships and Grants 

Speaking of saving funds, after a year of membership, opportunities are available to apply for multiple AOSA sponsored scholarships and grants. Funds can be used to sponsor professional development, like an Orff levels course, of attending national conference. They can also be used to study Orff Schulwerk internationally, as well as for various instruments for the classroom. There is even a fund available to specifically support Title I, low income campuses. 

Digital Mentor Program 

Recently, AOSA has introduced the Digital Mentor Program. Teachers with at least one Orff level can apply to work with a mentor teacher who has multiple years of experience in the Orff approach. The vast amount of technology today makes this program incredibly easy to access. Teachers can even record themselves teaching to get valuable feedback that often cannot be provided if they are the only music teacher on their campus. 


AOSA members receive both The Orff Echo and ReverberationsThe Orff Echo is a quarterly journal that members receive a hard copy of. This journal is full of high quality articles that offer information directly applicable in the classroom. This resource truly invaluable. 

Reverberations is a monthly online publication that is directly emailed to teachers. Various lesson plans, melodies, technology ideas, and even classroom management tips are shared. Additionally, Reverberation articles are categorized for members to easily search through for more specific ideas. 

Online Resources 

Today, so many teacher resources are available online, and AOSA is keeping up with those expectations. In addition to the Reverberations articles that are available online, there is an entire section of “Teacher Tools.” 


-Lessons- Features past lessons from Reverberations. 

-Tech Spot- Articles based on the use of technology. 

-Canon Corner- Features both traditional and newly composed canons. 

-Speaking Volumes- Features lessons based on various pieces from the Music for Children five volume set (required source material when taking an Orff levels course) 

-Video Library- Access to hundreds of videos from past conference sessions, interviews with master teachers, historical videos, and so much more. All videos are tagged with key words, making them easy to search and filter.  


-Listening Booth- A valuable list of musical examples that can be used to teach different concepts in the classroom. 

-Rubrics and Assessment Tools- Sample rubrics for different music topics and concepts are provided. 

-Diversity Matters- Explore lesson plans, book reviews, glossary of terms, and world music references related to diversity. 

-Children’s Book Reviews- Archived reviews from The Orff Echo of children’s books are provided. 

The American Orff Schulwerk Association offers so many benefits and services to their members for a very reasonable annual membership fee of $85. Interested in joining? Visit the website and sign up today by clicking HERE. 

Natasha Thurmon

Natasha Thurmon teaches K-5 music at Boldt Elementary in the Northside school district. She completed her Orff levels at Trinity University, where she now teaches Recorder. She has presented at various workshops locally and at state conferences, and recently completed an MM at the University of Texas at San Antonio. She will present at the national AOSA conference for the first time this year in Cincinnati.

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  1. Karen Petty on November 1, 2018 at 1:34 pm

    Thanks for writing this, Natasha! And best wishes on your first presentation at an AOSA conference.

    • Natasha Ann Thurmon on November 1, 2018 at 4:20 pm

      Thanks so much Karen! As ready as I can be. 🙂

  2. Lisa Hewitt on November 1, 2018 at 2:02 pm

    What a great explanation of AOSA! Thank you, Natasha! I hope to see you at conference.

  3. Joan Stansbury on November 2, 2018 at 8:00 am

    There are so many wonderful resources available to AOSA members and you highlighted them all! Thank you for a well-written article, Natasha!

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