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 presenter, but it's not working with your 1st graders like it did with the workshop attendees. Been there..done that.
   It happens sometimes. For the most part, the lessons you get in Orff workshops work just like they did in the presentation. They work, because most of the presenters are using or have used their lessons in real classes. They've tested them and tweaked them until the lesson works with most all students...most but not all.
   I recently taught a lesson in which the children had to put the beat in their feet, quarters and eighths. The lesson worked great for 2nd graders, less well with 1st graders and bombed with kinders. The younger students were trying to tell me that they just weren't getting it. It wasn't their fault, it was mine. I found that the younger students needed a bigger difference in showing the quarters and eighths. I changed their stepping quarters to hopping quarters (on both feet) and they could feel the difference between hopping quarters and stepping eighths. Once we got over this hurdle the lesson moved on, just like the presenters.
  Moral: If the lesson isn't working, it's probably not the children's fault. When a section of your lesson  bombs, try something else, experiment! There might be a better way to teach the concept and the students will help you find it.