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Orff Schulwerk is primarily targeted at the musical development of children in music education settings. The approach has been expanded for work with adults and older adults in wellness or community music settings and adapted for use in music therapy settings focusing on therapeutic outcomes.

The American Orff-Schulwerk Association is a professional organization of educators dedicated to the creative music and movement approach developed by Carl Orff and Gunild Keetman. In the Beginning… Carl Orff’s Schulwerk was first developed in the 1920s with colleague Dorothee Gunther at the Guntherschule in Munich, Germany, a school that trained young adult women. As the school’s music director, Orff focused on improvised music. Gunild Keetman, a student at the school, collaborated with Orff to develop an elemental style of music-and-movement education. After the Guntherschule was destroyed in World War II, Orff and Keetman adapted their approach to teaching via radio broadcasts targeting children in German schools. Music from these broadcasts was originally published in the 1950s in a five-volume collection, Orff Schulwerk: Music for Children. This publication is a model for creating improvisatory elemental music with children in the classroom. Who and Where? The American Orff-Schulwerk Association (AOSA) was founded in Muncie, Indiana in 1968 by a small group of elementary music teachers. From that core group of ten, the Association has grown to a current membership of over 3000 with headquarters now located in Chagrin Falls, Ohio. AOSA has an Executive Director and Board of Trustees with Regional Representatives for each of the six geographic regions encompassing 96 local chapters. Purpose and Goals AOSA’s mission is to demonstrate the value of Orff Schulwerk and promote its widespread use, support the professional development of its members, and inspire and advocate for the creative potential of all learners. Profile of Clients

imagine 5(1), 2014

Professional development is a key focus of the American Orff-Schulwerk Association and includes an annual national conference, workshops hosted by local chapters, advanced training through three levels of certification, and Master Classes. Certification is not required to use Orff Schulwerk in the classroom but it can provide a deeper understanding of the philosophy behind the approach, the process, and how to create orchestrations adaptable for the participant’s setting. The cost of these opportunities varies based on the level of professional development being provided and by whom. Graduate credit may be granted for attendance at workshops or certification courses at additional cost. Services and Products AOSA’s primary focus is to support the creative movement and music approach of Carl Orff and Gunild Keetman. Orff Schulwerk is not a predetermined curriculum but instead an approach. The implementation of the process is left to the individual teacher, with the intent that the material and foci are developmentally and culturally relevant to the learner. A specified curriculum for the teacher education certification courses ensures consistency across training sites. Professional development is made available at conferences, local workshops, and teacher training courses. AOSA publishes the peer-reviewed journal, The Orff Echo, as well as Reverberations which is an online journal that focuses on best practices of Orff Shulwerk. An extensive video library, available digitally, includes concurrent sessions from AOSA Professional Development conferences. Key Concepts of the Program Schulwerk means “schoolwork” or “learning by doing.” Orff Schulwerk is an approach to music and movement education that is based in play. It is intended to be an active and creative modality for all children that targets both conceptual and aesthetic development.

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Profile for imagine

imagine 2014  

The focus of imagine 2014 is on family-centered practice – a trend taking hold in music therapy circles worldwide. While many practitioners...

imagine 2014  

The focus of imagine 2014 is on family-centered practice – a trend taking hold in music therapy circles worldwide. While many practitioners...