As summer comes to a close and we teachers get ready for a new school year, I am making some exciting changes to our Music classes! The class I took this summer is going to lead to some new ways to experience music for our students.
For two weeks I was fully immersed in Carl Orff’s approach to music pedagogy. The Orff Schulwerk, as it is known, is an approach to teaching music that includes singing, speaking, body percussion, a variety of instruments, and movement. For me the most exciting elements of this approach are improvisation and student compositions. This year, students will be learning how to improvise from day one. The use of improvisation and student compositions will ensure that students truly understand the material and can use the concepts learned in class to create their own works.
Orff Schulwerk also features a lot of movement. Not only will there be movement to teach musical concepts and folk dances, but also movement in its purest form, movement improvisation. Throughout the year, students will be expanding their movement vocabulary in order to express ideas through a form of dance.
Of course, the first things that come to mind when thinking of Carl Orff are the instruments named after him! We are fortunate to have some xylophones, metallophones, and glockenspiels we can use, but there will also be a lot of unpitched percussion that the students will use. To that end, here is a shameless plug: there are two projects on my Donors Choose page to procure some more fun instruments for the students to use!
Here’s to an exciting year!