What is Orff?

Teaching Orff to Kindergarten

Orff Shulwerk? What in the world is that?

“Experience first, conceptualize second.” – Carl Orff

The Orff Approach, also known as Orff Schulwerk, is one of many approaches to music education for young children. Through this approach, learning music happens naturally and easily as children play and move. Music and movement are all related.

Music, movement, and speech are all skills to develop and enhance over time. Orff is child-centered and allows learning through doing, experiencing and improvisation. Students are encouraged to learn while making music through patterns and beats, creating new artistic movements in a space where they feel confident and in a way they feel engaged.

Great! So what does this look like?

Imagine you want to teach a child a complicated note sequence on a xylophone. Instead of immediately placing them in front of a xylophone and expecting them to learn through memorization, you might play a hand game that showcases the rhythm or expression of the notes.

You show them a pattern with their hands, right, left, left, right. It’s a game, so they’re having fun. Only when they’re comfortable, you place the children in front of the xylophone and say “Remember that game we just played? Use these mallets and make the same pattern.”

Allowing them to experience and play around within the note sequence to naturally teach them. The Orff Approach provides an innovative and creative solution to enhance skills associated with learning music for young children.

At Music Rhapsody, we believe integrating play with learning is the best way to teach children. That’s why Lynn Kleiner developed an approach to teach young children music by adapting Orff Shulwerk for this early age. Making music a joyful experience from babies through preschool, kindergarten, and elementary school lays a foundation for a musical life. So, play on.

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