Concept

Orff Schulwerk

Summary
The Orff Schulwerk, or simply the Orff Approach, is a developmental approach used in music education. It combines music, movement, drama, and speech into lessons that are similar to a child's world of play. It was developed by the German composer Carl Orff (1895–1982) and colleague Gunild Keetman during the 1920s. Carl Orff worked until the end of his life to continue the development and spread of his teaching method. The Orff Approach is now used throughout the world to teach students in a natural and comfortable environment. The term "Schulwerk" is German for (literally) "school work" or "schooling", in this regard in the area of music. The Orff Approach of music education uses very rudimentary forms of everyday activity for the purpose of music creation by music students. The Orff Approach is a "child-centered way of learning" music education that treats music as a basic system like language and believes that just as every child can learn language without formal instruction so can every child learn music by a gentle and friendly approach. It is often called "Elemental Music making" because the materials needed to teach students are "basic, natural, and close to a child’s world of thought and fantasy". In order for the Orff Approach to work effectively, teachers must create an atmosphere that is similar to a child's world of play. This allows participating children to feel comfortable learning a new and often abstract musical skill, greater exploration of a musical instrument or musical skill, and keeps a student from feeling evaluated or judged by his or her peers and teachers. A child participating in an Orff classroom does not feel the pressure of performing that is often in tandem with music because every student in an Orff classroom is treated as an equal, even when performing a solo. The Orff Approach is used by teachers to encourage their students to enjoy making music as individuals as well as in groups. Children realize the joys of group co-ordination and cohesion.
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