About Me


I am a certified Orff-Schulwerk elementary music teacher, teaching in an urban school. I switched from secondary to elementary music teaching in 2006 and it's been the best move (not financially! ) of my career. If you want to have major impact on students concerning music education, elementary is where it is happening. Disclaimer: The topics in my blog do not necessarily reflect what is happening in my current teaching position or with my current students, administration etc. I have a long teaching history and may chose to deal with an element or problem that I have witnessed or experienced in a previous school or have seen being dealt with by other teachers I have encountered...so there!

Don't Forget to Use "The Volumes"

February 6, 2012

Originally Posted by The Orffsite Webmaster on Thursday, June 9, 2011

The Music for Children Volumes contain lots of pieces that could only be played successfully by a select ensemble. Many of the pieces were written for older children and young adults. The Volumes aren't intended to be used as a sequential methods books, but many of the pieces can be used as written, even in a classroom. Remember also that it is ok to modify these arrangements for your particular situation to fit the age, skill level and instrumentation available. Here are two fine examples I found on YouTube. (p.s. There are more bad examples of "Orff" than good ones on YouTube.)

Some of the "Volume" pieces can be performed in a classroom as written, example Vol. 4, pg 46, #21 - 3. 
http://youtu.be/imFaszyxJuM

Here's a modified piece. The melody was simplified & she used a simplified version of only 1 ostinato. 
http://youtu.be/uZKCe68e13g #orff 

I posted these examples on Twitter. If you're not using Twitter as a professional learning network, I encourage you to get on, follow some good teachers, and share your thoughts also. My Twitter name is naturally, #OrffSiteDotCom

 

What is the Most Important Thing to Teach in Elementary Music?

February 6, 2012

Originally Posted by The Orffsite Webmaster on Wednesday, June 8, 2011

First, an analogy: Mother and Child

I think the progression is to have the baby first experience and develop a relationship with “mother”. After the baby has heard the word mama, in context (not the goal, but close), and tries it out, It doesn’t quite come out as mother, or even as mama, but mumu is a good start. The mistake would be to drop the relationship and concentrate on getting the baby to pronounce the word...


Continue reading...
 

Are You a Trained "Orff" Teacher or Did You Just Take the Classes?

February 6, 2012

Originally Posted by The Orffsite Webmaster on Monday, June 6, 2011

It's summer time! Time for many of you to take more training in your profession. I have taken Orff Level classes for the last three summers and am "taking off" this summer. I'm actually going to be busy writing arrangements and lesson plans. I'll be brushing up on my djembe technique via YouTube lessons and completing a couple of podcasts. Back to the subject...
I hope that as you take the Orff Levels you are beginning to cr...


Continue reading...
 

Twitter Folks-Please use #Orff in your Orff Related Posts

February 6, 2012

Originally Posted by The Orffsite Webmaster on Tuesday, May 31, 2011

It is really tough weeding through all the irrelevant and even offensive posts when conducting a Twitter search using Orff for the search term. I just want to find tweets concerned with how others are using the Orff Approach in the classroom. I'm looking for Orff based lessons, books, musical instruments etc. Instead I find 500 comments on Orff's "O Fortuna", which is fabulous (but I've heard it, already!) The worst is find...


Continue reading...
 

I Know I'm Teaching It-Why Aren't They Getting It?

February 6, 2012

Originally Posted by The Orffsite Webmaster on Sunday, April 10, 2011

You've recently attended a great Orff workshop. The presenter methodically guided you through the lessons and gave you detailed notes and exact procedures. You get back home and are excited to share the lesson with your students. You begin the lesson just like you witnessed it, but sometime before step 3, you get this sick feeling that you've lost them. Something's not right. You taught them exactly like your workshop pres...


Continue reading...
 

Twitter is Not Just for Announcing What You Ate for Lunch

February 6, 2012

Originally Posted by The Orffsite Webmaster on Sunday, March 6, 2011

When I first discovered Twitter, it seemed to be a worthless application for telling the world that you just ate a ham sandwich for lunch. I abandoned it for a year or so until one day I decided to do a search to see if there were people talking about things that I was interested in. There definitely were! I checked out these folks, and if on their Twitter page, there was more chat about that interest than lunch, I added th...


Continue reading...
 

A Process for Teaching Music to Children

February 6, 2012

Originally Posted by The Orffsite Webmaster on Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Hear it, move to it, think it, sing it, play it, see it, write it.

...
Continue reading...
 

Tweets from 2011 TMEA

February 6, 2012

Originally Posted by The Orffsite Webmaster on Friday, February 11, 2011

Didn't get to go to TMEA (Texas Music Educators Conference) meeting this year. Here are some selected Twitter Tweets to give me the feeling of being there:

TroyPetersMusicThis is only my second year at the @TMEA Convention, but I don't think I'll ever get used to how gigantic it is! Whoa...

zserratoLunch with some of my district colleagues. I really enjoy TMEA and the learning opportunities that are available. 

 ...


Continue reading...
 

Care in Choosing Books and Materials for Orff

February 6, 2012

Originally Posted by The Orffsite Webmaster on Sunday, January 30, 2011

Books and stories are an integral part of Orff-Schulwerk. They engage students, stir their imaginations and can teach moral behavior. Care, however, must be taken in choosing these stories. The subject matter and stories surrounding the works of Orff and Keetman are not normally the stories you might expect to be children's fare-stories of life, love, work and even death. The stories and poems they chose could be humorou...


Continue reading...
 

I Still Enjoy Student Performances

February 6, 2012

Originally Posted by The OrffSite Webmaster on Thursday, December 23, 2010

My elementary choir students finished up the semester with a mini choir tour and skating trip. Even though our venue was local, it was like my old secondary days. I hope they enjoyed the road trip as much as I and their audiences seemed to enjoy their performances. The live audience always seems to bring out the best in young singers. The live performance makes singing a real life experience and not just an empty exer...


Continue reading...
 

Categories