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Area music teachers to train at NDSU workshop


Twenty area K-12 music teachers are participating in a professional development opportunity at NDSU that uses music and movement classes to develop their students’ ability to explore, experience and create. The NDSU Challey School of Music in cooperation with NDSU Distance and Continuing Education is holding an Orff Schulwerk Level 1 workshop June 29 through July 3 and July 6-10, 2015 in the Reineke Fine Arts building. 

According to the American Orff Schulwerk Association, 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.

The K-12 teachers enrolled in this workshop will 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 the accredited Orff-Schulwerk workshop has 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, assistant director of choral activities at NDSU.

The workshop features three certified Orff-Schulwerk instructors. Julie Blakeslee teaches K-6 music in Billings, Montana, and directs recorder, drum and guitar ensembles in her two schools. She earned 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.

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.

Kate Webster 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 at the University of St. Thomas.

For more information about NDSU’s Orff Schulwerk Level 1 workshop, contact Moe at or 701-231-6165.

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Vice President for University Relations
North Dakota State University
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