(Taken from the American Orff-Schülwerk Association website)
"AOSA supports and promotes Orff Schulwerk as a model for music and movement education in schools in the United States because it offers a potential for active and creative music making by all children, not just the musically talented. This approach to learning, developed by Carl Orff and Gunild Keetman, builds musicianship through singing, playing instruments, speech, and movement. Active music making is the core of this philosophy, supporting both the conceptual and affective development of children. Active learners develop more thorough and better long-term understanding of the material and ideas involved. Children who regularly improvise and create their own dances and musical settings are uniquely prepared to solve problems in many other contexts."
Orff Schulwerk music and movement pedagogy contributes to development of the individual far beyond specific skills and understandings in the arts. These skills and procedures have a wider application and value in several areas:
The Teaching Process
The prototype of the active music and movement model known as Orff Schulwerk is the spontaneous play of young children in which imitation, experimentation, and personal expression occur naturally and unconsciously. In the Orff Schulwerk process, aspects of play are developed consciously to involve learners with the elements of music and movement.
These categories of activity, through the use of speech, singing, movement, body percussion, and instrumental play, include the following:
Children learn about and interact with the world in a holistic way; educational experiences that replicate this learning style provide natural, optimal learning. Children’s play serves as the prototype—speech, song, movement, dramatic situations, and often instrumental play as well, join and overlap as appropriate. The Orff Schulwerk model maintains the concept of integration, combining music, movement/dance, speech, and drama as natural extensions of each other. The process of integration complements the development of skills in each area, stimulates creative imagination, and offers an opportunity for individual strengths to be used and recognized. Integration of these areas results in a unique, elemental synthesis of the performing arts.
In the Orff Schulwerk approach, learning music by rote processes is considered valid in its own right. Learning to read music notation is seen as a logical extension of being able to make music. No particular method of teaching music reading is recommended. In the United States, moveable do with tonic sol-fa and the Curwen hand signs have come to be used frequently for vocal development. Letter names must certainly be employed in playing the barred instruments and recorder. Experimental graphic notation, hand levels, the hand staff, scale numbers, rhythm syllables—all these and more—have been used effectively in developing literacy skills; different situations will call for different means. The guiding principles are that notation and reading be built on known musical materials and that sound precede symbol.
The purpose of Orff Schulwerk is to awaken the artistic potential in every individual and offer a context in which this can be exercised. The Orff Schulwerk approach as a model for learning involves a much broader spectrum of artistic activity than is traditionally included in music. It is “never music alone but forms a unity with movement dance and speech.”1 It is not intended to develop highly accomplished performers. The emphasis is on process rather than performance; on participation by all, each at his or her own level; and on the cultivation of skills for creating and developing ideas within music and dance rather than reproducing set forms. Learning results from the mutually stimulating interaction of instructor and students, the freedom and opportunity to take risks, and the accomplishment of creative tasks appropriate to each stage of development.
1Carl Orff, “Orff-Schulwerk: Past and Future,” in Orff Re-Echoes, ed. Isabel McNeill Carley (Cleveland, OH: American Orff-Schulwerk Association, 1977), 6.
Though preparing music and movement material for presentation to an audience is not a primary focus of the Orff Schulwerk approach, the value of performance is recognized. As discussed above, the process of learning, developing, and creating material is foremost; however, the opportunity to refine and share this material can be highly motivating. It can also generate higher levels of skill development and lead to individual and group satisfaction and pride.
The Kodály Concept
(Taken from the Organization of American Kodály Educators website)
Music and Quality
Development of the Complete Musician