What is Orff Schulwerk?
Orff Schulwerk (or process) is an approach to creative music and movement education developed in the mid–20th century by German composer and educator, Carl Orff, and his colleague, Gunild Keetman. Adapted for use in many countries, this approach nurtures the artistic development of the whole child. The heart of the Schulwerk is at the Orff Institute in Salzburg, yet it has been embraced worldwide due to its flexible and creative nature. It explores rhythm, pitch, and other musical elements through language, singing, body percussion, movement and instrumental performance, and uses techniques such as imitation, ostinato, canon and improvisation. The Orff approach can be used with participants of all ages and abilities, from preschool to tertiary levels, in music therapy, community music and the private studio.
Why Orff Schulwerk?
Child-centred and activity-based, this pedagogical approach has stood the test of time, bringing vitality and creativity back to the music classroom and catering to all learning styles. Whilst allowing each student to participate actively at his or her own level, it provides wonderful scope for integration with other curriculum areas, and great enrichment opportunities for all.
Orff Schulwerk is a powerful way to engage the learner and parallels many of the current learning theories being taken on board in mainstream education. The Queensland Orff Schulwerk Association is passionately proactive in addressing the many issues surrounding the introduction of the Australian National Arts Curriculum, and in embracing the creative processes which will be crucial to our students as their futures unfold.