Return to Headlines

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

September 1, 2022

 JPS Orff Jackson State

(front row, from left): Dr. Kimberly Collins, Orff Instructor; Kurtina Maholmes Beverly Brown, LaKreisha Johnson, Holly Mullenix, Orff Instructor; Regan Jackson, Portia Collier, Judith Thompson-Barthwell, Orff Instructor; (back row, from left): Shaun McClinton, Quanda Brooks, Torris Bell


Eight JPS music educators completed certification levels I or II of the American Orff Schulwerk Association (AOSA) for music educators during the summer of 2022 at Jackson State University. Each level involved two weeks of intense instruction in music pedagogy designed to increase student learning in music education and literacy. Participating educators earned continuing education units and graduate credit.

The following educators participated and completed the level I course:

• Beverly Brown, Timberlawn Elementary

• LaKreisha Johnson, Johnson Elementary

• Shaun McClinton, Kirksey Middle

The following music educators participated and completed the level II course:

• Torris Bell, Baker Elementary

• Quanda Brooks, Marshall Elementary/Clausell Elementary

• Portia Collier, McLeod Elementary

• Regan Jackson, Wilkins Elementary

• Kurtina Maholmes, Sykes Elementary

Orff Schulwerk is a comprehensive three-level curriculum. At level I, participants are introduced to basic Orff techniques, including a study of pentatonic melodies, drone accompaniment, ostinato, and elemental forms. At level II, participants are introduced to hexatonic and modal melodies, drone and chord accompaniments, and changing meters. At level III, participants begin with a review of the diatonic modes, followed by a study of functional harmony. The master class focuses on advanced techniques and teaching the Orff Schulwerk approach using the five volumes of Music for Children by Carl Orff and Gunild Keetman.

The American Orff-Schulwerk Association is a professional organization of educators dedicated to the creative music and movement approach developed by Carl Orff and Gunild Keetman. Its mission is to demonstrate the value of Orff Schulwerk and promote its widespread use, support the professional development of its members, and inspire and advocate for the creative potential of all learners. In Orff Schulwerk classrooms, children begin with what they do instinctively: play! Imitation, experimentation, and personal expression occur naturally as students become confident, life-long musicians and creative problem-solvers. The Orff approach to teaching is a model for optimal learning in 21st Century classrooms.