Music Ed Mentor Podcast #042: The Orff Approach

Music Ed Mentor Podcast #042: The Orff Approach

Today we’re talking about the methodology of Orff.

If you’re like me, heavily trained in band/instrumental/secondary, then Orff means one of two things to you: some guy with a theory of education (though you probably can’t remember the exact details) and the person who wrote Carmina Burana. Am I right?

And yet there is something in the Orff method of pedagogy that even we staunchly instrumental folks can get behind and leverage to make our lives easier. In fact, if you’re like many of the elementary teachers I know, then you were trained for secondary but now teach elementary because that’s where the jobs are. This episode is perfect for you.

We’re going to answer some of your questions, like:

  • How is Orff different from all the other pedagogy and curriculum options?
  • How can Orff help us be more effective music educators?
  • What type of teacher (and at what level) is best suited for Orff?
  • What can we do with no resources to buy instruments?

Joining me to help me answer these questions and more, is Aimee Pfitzner, author of the O Fortuna Orff blog. Check it out; you will thank me as it is full of free and useful goodies and links.

Now, let’s learn more about what Orff has to offer us!

This Episode Is Also Available On:

Key Takeaways

  • The Orff approach is a great way to get students singing harmonies and independent parts more quickly.
  • Singing with (and over) your students isn’t always the best way.
  • Be open to Orff experiences and the ways it can enrich you as a teacher, and your students as learners

Bonus Material

As you may know, I typically create a freebie for you to download to help implement what we’ve discussed in each podcast. This week, because Aimee has such great content on her website, I’m going to reiterate that you should check it out. The Orff-Schulwerk website is awesome, too, and if you’re really interested, joining the Orff-Schulwerk Facebook group is going to be more helpful to you than a list I could come up with.

Additional Resources

Elisa Janson Jones

Elisa Janson Jones specializes in helping music educators build, grow, and manage thriving school music programs. With an MBA alongside her degree in music, she is also a coach and consultant to small businesses and nonprofits around the country, and serves as the conductor of her local community band. She has been teaching music for nearly 20 years and currently holds the prestigious position of elementary music teacher at a private K-8 Catholic School in Grand Junction, Colorado. Elisa was a top presenter at the NAfME National Conference in 2017 and will be presenting at state conferences in 2018. She is the founder of the International Music Education Summit and the author of The Music Educator’s Guide to Thrive.

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