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Orff Schulwerk Speaks the Language of Play

Early Childhood Orff, that kids love!

Have you considered music for your child? Have you read about different methodologies and been confused about the differences? The benefits? How in the world can you tell them apart? We’re going to focus on the Orff approach and its proven effectiveness for children.

Though there are multiple approaches to music education, the Orff approach has many benefits and has proven to be effective for all different types of children. Overall, the Orff approach works because it can be used for children of all ages, including babies and those in middle school. It gives children the tools to comprehend music from a young age, and these skills can continue to be used as the child grows. It’s creative and fun; which, makes a positive learning environment promoting exploration.

Just as children learn to hear and speak a language before reading and writing it, we can assume the same of music. The Orff approach gives children the opportunity to interact with and make music in multiple forms before formally learning to read and write it. Orff uses songs, poems, rhymes, dances, and games as a form of education. Instead of learning through rote memorization, Orff teaches musical skills through participating in music making. Music becomes a sensory experience where children utilize improvization to foster creativity.

Additionally, children become confident and motivated through the Orff approach. Orff instruments are designed with removable bars, making the instrument simpler to use at first. This way, children can be successful at creating beautiful music from the start. Instruments such as xylophones and glockenspiels are played utilizing only pentatonic keys, ensuring the notes do not clash and everything is pleasing to the ear. Orff proves that everyone can make music.

It has been found that this approach to music education increases the ability for self-expression, self-efficacy and social skills. It also is an effective intervention and has positive effects in a therapeutic environment for individuals with varying disorders.



Young-Bae, Yun, and Kim Ji-Eun. “The Effects Of The Orff Approach On Self-Expression, Self-Efficacy, And Social Skills Of Children In Low-Income Families In South Korea.” Child Welfare 92.4 (2013): 123-158 36p. CINAHL Plus with Full Text. Web. 8 Jan. 2016.

Gold, C., Voracek, M. and Wigram, T. (2004), Effects of music therapy for children and adolescents with psychopathology: a meta-analysis. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 45: 1054–1063.