It may have sounded like child’s play, but the Orff-Schulwerk Level I Certification Program at Anderson University required practice, patience and hard work for the 22 participants. The certification program was recently hosted by the Anderson University Department of Music and led by well-known teachers and clinicians Lisa Sullivan and Sarah Hassler. During the program, the participants, most of whom were music teachers, entered the classroom not as teachers, but as students. Through singing, dancing, improvising, playing instruments and creating their own songs, the participants viewed the world through he eyes of a child in an effort to understand and learn more about various teaching methods for children.
The Orff-Schulwerk concept has been adopted by many music teachers around the world as a method of teaching music. It is based on things children like to do: sing, chant rhymes, clap, dance, and keep a beat on anything near at hand. The method utilizes poems, rhymes, games, songs, and dances accompanied by clapping, stomping, drums, sticks and bells.
The special Orff melody instruments include wooden xylophones and metal glockenspiels. Anderson University received a grant through the Falls Departmental Initiative Endowment that allowed the music department to purchase the instruments needed for the course. These instruments will be used for all future summer Orff courses, as well as by students in the music department throughout the year.
Sullivan teaches general music at Mohawk Trails Elementary in Carmel, Indiana. She holds a bachelor’s degree in music education from Butler University and a master’s degree in elementary administration from Ball State University.
Hassler teaches at Cherry Tree Elementary in Carmel, Indiana. She has a bachelor of music education degree from Ohio State University and a master of education degree with Kodaly Emphasis from Capital University in Columbus, Ohio.