The Journey Continues

Yesterday I posted the first of a series of posts for this week.  Please go to yesterday’s date on the calendar if you need to catch up.

Volume I

Volume I of the Orff-Schulwerk (MMOSVI) is broken down into three primary sections. (Sections and sub-sections we are using in this workshop are notated with a * and cited).

                     I.            Nursery Rhymes and Songs (* page 32 #37, Farewell to the Old Year)

                   II.            Rhythmic and Melodic Exercises

  1. Speech exercises (good examples of setting text to rhythm)
  2. Rhythms for imitation *
  3. Rhythms for clapping, melody making and fitting words to rhythmic patterns (*group activity)
  4. Rhythms for ostinato accompaniments
  5. Rhythms over ostinato accompaniments (*group activity)
  6. Rhythms to be completed
  7. Rhythmic rondos, examples, and exercises
  8. Songs with rhyme accompaniment
  9. Rhythmic cannons ( creativity p.74 #7)
  10. Exercises for knee slapping (preparing for transfer to instruments)
  11. Melodies to be completed
  12. Ostinatos for tuned percussion instruments
  13. Rondos
  14. Canon exercises (*group activity)

                 III.            Instrumental Pieces  (we are going to selected pieces below)

  1. #7 page 99
  2. #17 page 104
  3. #31 page 111 (*if time)
  4. #40 Cannon page 131


  1. I.                  Nursery Rhymes and Songs

I see these as great examples of setting text to melody.  The accompaniment is far too difficult for children and, if played, must be modified (perhaps using a simple drone). If the text isn’t useful for you and your students- change it! It is perfectly acceptable and even ENCOURAGED to alter the model and make it your own. 

The Schulwerk was not created to be a curriculum.  It is the development and process that is important. 

Example:  “Farewell to the Old Year” page 32, #7 (MMOSVI)


  • Teacher sings the song, students listen to complete song
  • Teacher sings the song and students listen for purpose:______________
  • Students begin taking over different phrases of the song
  • Sing as a group in unison, sing as a canon with teacher, sing in canon with eachother
  • Teacher teaches ostinatos
  • Transfer to instruments

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