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JPS Music Teachers Complete Certification in the Orff Schulwerk Model of Music Education

October 28, 2021

 JPS Music Teachers Complete Certification in the Orff Schulwerk Model of Music Education

JPS music instructors and Orff instructors (from left, front to back) Reagan Jackson, Wilkins Elementary; Portia Collier, McLeod Elementary; Quanda Brooks, Marshall Elementary; Torris Bell, Baker Elementary; Judith Thompson-Barthwell, Orff Instructor;  Kimberly Collins, Orff Instructor; Kurtina Maholmes, Sykes Elementary; Chelsea Thiel, Orff Instructor; Christopher Little, Jim Hill; Cassaundra Watkins, Isable Elementary; and Dr. Lorraine Jackson, retired Music Educator

Ten music instructors from JPS schools have completed certification Levels I, II, or III and the Master Class of the American Orff Schulwerk Association (AOSA) for music educators. The association provided music instruction through the University of Memphis and Jackson State University last summer. Each level involves two weeks of intensive instruction in music pedagogy designed to increase student learning in music education and literacy. Participating teachers earn continuing education and graduate credit.

The following Jackson Public Schools Music Educators participated in the University of Memphis Orff Schulwerk Institute:

  • Dr. Dannis McLin, Galloway Elementary – Level III, Orff Certified Instructor
  • Noreem Wallace, Blackburn Middle – Level II Certificate
  • Cassaundra Watkins, Isable Elementary – Level III, Master Class, Orff Certified Instructor
  • Laura Womack, Van Winkle Elementary – Level II Certificate

The following Music Instructors participated in the Jackson State University Orff Schulwerk Level I Course:

  • Torris Bell, Baker Elementary – Level I
  • Quanda Brooks, Marshall Elementary – Level I
  • Portia Collier, McLeod Elementary – Level I
  • Reagan Jackson, Wilkins Elementary – Level I
  • Christopher Little, Jim Hill High – Level I
  • Kurtina Maholmes, Sykes Elementary – Level I

Orff Schulwerk is a comprehensive three-level curriculum:

  • Level I: Participants are introduced to basic Orff techniques, including a study of pentatonic melodies, drone accompaniment, ostinato, and elemental forms.
  • Level II: Participants are introduced to hexatonic and modal melodies, drone and chord accompaniments, and changing meters.
  • Level III: Participants begin with a review of the diatonic modes, followed by a study of functional harmony.
  • Master Class: Participants focus on advanced techniques and teaching of the Orff Schulwerk approach using the five volumes of Music for Children by Carl Orff and Gunild Keetman. Explore performance, improvisation, analysis and composition, with an emphasis on the 21st-Century vision of teaching as a basis to encourage students to collaborate, take risks, discover and become their own composers using all five volumes as a model.

AOSA supports and promotes Orff Schulwerk as a model for music and movement education in schools in the United States because it offers a potential for active and creative music making by children. The approach builds musicianship in students through singing, playing instruments, speech and movement. The organization believes children who regularly improvise and create their own dances and musical settings are uniquely prepared to solve problems in other contexts.