Revisiting Orff-Schulwerk: Music for Children 

Music for Children
Orff and Keetman's "Music for Children"
This project involves developing lesson plans for Carl Orff's five volumes of Music for Children and compiling them into a sequenced curriculum book for elementary school music educators. The book will be published in both English and German by Schott Music.
People Involved: 
Orff Schulwerk is a valuable pedagogical approach that music educators around the world have engaged with for decades. Despite the longevity, many music teachers have struggled with how to teach the original compositions in Music for Children, written by Carl Orff and Gunild Keetman. The pieces were meant to be a springboard for creativity in Orff Schulwerk classes, designed to be altered and adapted for each unique group of students. However, the volumes of Music for Children only contain scores with no lesson plans or teaching process, and the layout of the scores can be visually daunting even to a seasoned Orff professional. Teachers frequently struggle with developing methods for transmitting the music to students. Additionally, many teachers lack the confidence or skill to effectively teach improvisation and creative music-making required by the Orff approach.

This project attempted to address some of these issues, and involved writing a 200 page curriculum book with activities and sequenced lesson plans for 12 different scores from the volumes of Music for Children. The final book is expected to be published by Schott Music in the spring of 2021 in both English and in German, and there will be an accompanying app with video and audio examples for each lesson unit. The pieces were chosen based on the author's experience of 20+ years of teaching in elementary music classrooms, and decades of experience studying and implementing Orff Schulwerk.

Research Type: 
Status of Research or Work: 
Forthcoming