Music at James Ward
Welcome to the 2019-2020 School Year!
Orff-Schulwerk: My Approach to Music Education
Orff Schulwerk is a way to teach and learn music. It is based on things children like to do: sing, chant rhymes, clap, dance, and keep a beat on anything nearby. These instincts are directed into learning music by hearing and making music first, then reading and writing it later. This is the same way we all learned our language.
In Orff Schulwerk, the primary goal is developing the musical capacity of each child. This involves much more than simply teaching children to sing or play a song. Children who can move and use their voice expressively, maintain a pulse, and respond artistically to dynamic, tempo, and pitch changes, are prepared for any music experience they may encounter. There is a great deal of focus on the ensemble, as students learn to move, sing, and play in unison, and in parts, feeling the music as one. In the Orff classroom students perform and create music on easily accessible instruments including drums and xylophones to further develop their music literacy and ensemble skills. Finally, student creativity and ownership are of the utmost importance. Every lesson is aimed at preparing and guiding students to create their own musical ideas, patterns, rhythms, and melodies.
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