Journey through Volume I

On Saturday, March 6th I presented a workshop called, “Journey Through Volume I.”  It was a great time! Over the course of this week I will be posting my workshop notes along with any group compositions/creations.  I know that notes sometimes don’t make sense without the context of the workshop so please email me if you have questions!

Here is the introduction:

South Florida Orff Chapter Presents:  “Journey through Volume I”

Michelle Berra

March 6, 2010

Teachers new to the Orff-Schulwerk process of teaching sometimes eagerly purchase the five volumes of Orff-Shulwerk Music for Children.  They open the books and say, “What? This doesn’t make any sense.  Where are the songs that I’ve seen done at workshops? Where are the arrangements that were so easy to learn? My kids can’t read this!”  This can lead to frustration and confusion.  This workshop is designed to give you a taste of the Orff-Shulwerk as presented in Volume I of Music for Children and give you some helpful hints for using the wealth of material available to you.  You will be able to open the volumes and extract the essential beauty for use in your teaching.

In the preface of her book, Orff-Schulwerk Applications for the Classroom, Brigitte Warner says,

The essence of Orff-Schulwerk is to awaken and develop- musical creativity, which, to a greater or lesser extent, is inherent in everyone.  We cannot teach our students how to improvise and create with steadily growing competence unless we as teachers have a clear understanding of how musical concepts evolve from the simple to the complex. Fortunately, the sequence of orderly steps we seek can be found in the original volumes by Orff-Keetman. Unfortunately, the volumes do not spell out the steps in any great detail and it is easy enough to be unsure and, at times, puzzled (ix).

The volumes ARE NOT:

  • Textbooks
  • Lesson plans
  • Pieces that you can copy and expect your children to read
  • Final products or pieces

The volumes ARE:

  • Illustrations of elemental form (AAAB, ABAB, ABBA, ABCB, AAB/BA)
  • Opportunities for musicianship
  • Opportunities for creation


“‘Wake in me, creativity!” (MMOSVI, p. 74, #7)

‘Wake in me, creativity! It’s time to light the fire; it’s time to get inspired! ‘Wake in me, creativity!


        I.            Speak and join when you know it.

      II.            Perform in cannon = A section

    III.            Create a  B section: Body percussion questions and answers =B section

    IV.            Perform!


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