Posted by The Orffsite Webmaster on Saturday, July 31, 2010

As an Orff-Schulwerk elementary teacher and a former secondary music teacher, I can say I'm glad to have almost gotten out of the music contest level of instruction. In secondary music, recruiting and comparing my first division with another schools first division was of primary importance. Outside performances was next on the list, after all, a performing group must perform. Sure, I had non-varsity groups where students with lesser gifts could sing, but my heart and major effort was with my top kids. I grew up in traditional K-12 music, all performance based. Instead of being taught to the test, I was taught to the contest pieces, which is less evil in my opinion. The problem is that the traditional system tended to leave many students who weren't "gifted" in the dust, in the same way I was left in the dust when as a 6th grader I went out for basketball and rarely got to touch a basketball much less play in a game. I did teach a non-performance music class, but that wasn't the major reason the school hired me. The great thing about an Orff-Schulwerk class is they all get to touch the basketball, no matter their innate ability. We live in the American Idol age and it is rare to find a public school, or a public, that would support a music program that did not put on a show.