For Orff-Schulwerk enthusiasts and for all classroom music teachers who want to widen their horizon of understandings regarding the valuable contributions Carl Orff has made to music education. It is difficult not to embrace this as a personal, life-changing and -renewing philosophy of music education. This book is a revisitation and distillation of the best of the articles in the first fifteen issues of the periodical journal Keeping Up With Orff-Schulwerk in the Classroom, a series originally launched in 1973 with this author, Arnold E. Burkart as editor, when the Orff-Schulwerk ideas were still very new in the United States. The informational and “how to ” articles in these issues were merged, manipulated and compiled into this very useful integrated, even text-book-like presentation of Orff’s ideas and their various means of consummation. Please peruse the Table of Contents to see this borne out.
First the reader is introduced to Carl Orff, the German composer, best known for Carmina Burana and other musico-dramatic productions. Then Orff-Schulwerk is presented (Orff’s procedures for music education in the schools). Next are present ed the “ways to begin” developing in the students the various basic concepts of music: rhythm, melody, simultaneity, form and the expressive elements. Parallel to this are presented the ways to begin using the various Orff-related classroom music activities: mime, speech, body percussion, singing, moving, and playing instruments, especially the Orff xylophone-type instruments and the flute-like recorder.
Orff suggests that each culture approach the learning and performing of music and its related activities through use of folk heritage materials from that culture, so the next section has many suggestions for such activities. One chapter shows how Orff-Schulwerk can support other areas of the school curriculum. Finally, there is a very rich potpourri of children’s rhymes, games and songs -- most with specific suggestions for classroom use.