NDSU Challey School of Music Brings Orff Schulwerk Workshop to Fargo
Posted on Jun, 26 2015
The NDSU Challey School of Music in cooperation with NDSU’s Distance and Continuing Education department will hold an Orff Schulwerk Level 1 workshop from 8:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. June 29 through July 3 and July 6 - 10, 2015 in the Reineke Fine Arts building on the NDSU campus. Twenty K-12 music teachers from North Dakota and Minnesota area schools will participate in a unique professional development opportunity that uses music and movement classes to develop their students’ ability to explore, experience and create in all areas of their life.
“Bringing the Orff-Schulwerk workshop to NDSU is significant in that prior to this year, regional music teachers would have had to travel to either St. Paul, Minnesota or to Missoula, Montana to participate in the training for this unique educational concept,”
-Charlette Moe, D.M.A.
According to the American Orff Schulwerk Association’s (AOSA) website, Orff Schulwerk is an educational concept, developed by Carl Orff and Gunild Keetman, that emphasizes the relationship between music and movement. These skills contribute to the development of children by stimulating their critical-thinking and problem-solving skills; encouraging cooperative interaction; providing a non-verbal expression of emotion; and identifying what is considered “good” within styles being explored.
Co-founder, Carl Orff, is a world-renowned composer who wrote Carmina Burana, a piece that undoubtedly any individual who has ever played in a high school band would remember. Gunild Keetman, the other co-founder, was a composer, performer, and teacher. In the 1940s, Orff and Keetman collaborated to create an improvisational approach to music education and eventually adapted it for children.
The K-12 teachers enrolled in this workshop will actively participate in movement and recorder skills while studying the elements of music including improvisation. The participants will learn how to incorporate the Orff-Schulwerk methodology into their classrooms.
This is the first year this accredited Orff-Schulwerk workshop has ever been offered in Fargo. “Bringing the Orff-Schulwerk workshop to NDSU is significant in that prior to this year, regional music teachers would have had to travel to either St. Paul, Minnesota or to Missoula, Montana to participate in the training for this unique educational concept,” said Charlette Moe, D.M.A., assistant director of choral activities at NDSU. This workshop features three certified Orff-Schulwerk instructors. Their biographies are as follows:
Julie Blakeslee teaches K-6 music in Billings, Montana and directs recorder, drum and guitar ensembles in her two schools. She holds a Master’s degree from Montana State University. Her Orff journey began at the University of Montana; and she completed certification at the University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, Minnesota. Blakeslee presents in workshops and conferences at the local, state, and national levels. She has taught in Orff certification courses at University of Missouri, St. Louis; University of Montana, and Hartt School of Music, University of Hartford. She is a National Board Certified Teacher, and president-elect of Treasure State Orff, the Montana chapter of AOSA.
Paul Weller teaches general music to grades 1-5 at Jefferson Elementary School in Blaine, Minnesota. He earned a Bachelor of Arts from St. Olaf College, Master of Arts in Education from Saint Mary’s University and Orff-Schulwerk certification from University of St. Thomas. He has taught workshops both locally and nationally, serves on the Minnesota Orff and Kodaly boards, is an Orff-Schulwerk Level I teacher trainer and has a new book “Ring, Dance, Play” that has just been published by GIA Publications, Inc.
Kate Webster, Ph.D. is a K-6 music specialist in the Stillwater Area Public School District near Minneapolis, Minnesota. Webster has experience teaching general/vocal music, choir K-8, and is also a certified yoga instructor with an emphasis on vinyasa yoga, a practice embedded with movement. She completed her Orff training including Levels, Master, and Curriculum courses at the University of St. Thomas. Webster currently serves as the Past President of the Minnesota Orff Chapter and is an active presenter at both state and national conferences. She teaches Movement Level I, II, and III at University of Missouri-St. Louis and is excited to bring Orff to the Fargo area.