Originally Posted by The Orffsite Webmaster on Monday, August 8, 2011

Got lesson plans? Of course you have them. Do you actually have daily, detailed and specific plans for every grade level, every class? I doubt it. I'm a believer that daily lesson plans should be for teachers and not for administrators or even subs. Some administrators, not mine, insist that lesson plans be so detailed that a visiting teacher could walk in and teach your class by following your written plans. This is insanity. I have never met a master music teacher who writes or follows such detailed plans in the process of teaching. This does not mean that I don't have detailed lesson plans, complete with objectives and processes, on my hard drive or in a notebook. There was a time that I needed such a plan. In my real lesson plans, I may need to write down the name of a gathering activity or song, but I don't need to write out specific directions on how to conduct that activity. If I'm teaching a folk song, that will eventually be sung and accompanied by Orff Instruments and movement, all I need is my score. I don't need to write out how I will teach it. I know already that I will begin any lesson with speech and/or movement. I know that I will teach the rhythms first, add body percussion, teach the melody, put body percussion on instruments, and teach the ostinati and barred instrument parts of the orchestration. I don't write all that out!
Here's a quote from Diane Lange: "A trained Orff teacher can look at a piece of music, write an accompaniment, logically teach the instrument parts to every student, and ask the students to perform the piece at the conclusion of its instruction."

This statement would lead me to believe that a musical score would be the foundation of an Orff based lesson and the most important item to have in a lesson plan book. This takes me back to my days of secondary choral music teaching. My lesson plan, in those days, consisted of a couple of notes, maybe use xyz warm-ups, sight-read x, and three or four pieces of music I wanted to teach. The details would be on my score. I had notes and markings all over it.

My lesson plan will not look like your lesson plan. Your lesson plan probably should not look like mine. It is absurd for me or an administrator, to insist that your lesson plan should fit neatly into a certain template. I don't need detailed information in my plan. Life is too short for me to write out everything I plan to do in every class, for every day. I am a teacher and not a textbook writer. If you need this, knock yourself out! It's your plan!

The Orff Approach is an approach to teaching. I have to keep correcting those who ignorantly call it a "method".
There are processes that are common to the Approach, but nothing dictates a specific method or order that has to be followed. It should, however, be elemental. It should be an approach that uses what children do naturally, speaking, singing, moving, playing, and improvising. These elements should be in your plan, whether written out or not.