Student-Centered Creativity and Improvisation in the Elementary Orff Schulwerk Classroom

April 14, 2017 / By: Daniel Gullick

Creativity is recognized as an important skill for the twenty-first century learner (American Orff-Schulwerk Association, 2017; Destination Imagination, 2016; McGarrah, 2014; Partnership for 21st Century Learning, 2015) and can be promoted and developed through music education. Musical creation allows children to express their musical ideas while developing their musicing and listening skills (Gruenhagen & Whitcomb, 2014). Fostering creativity is vital for developing independent musicians because students engaged in musical creation construct musical understanding while creating unique musical outcomes. The Orff Schulwerk approach is designed to promote student creativity through imitation, exploration, and improvisation using sing, say, dance, and play. the purpose of this paper is to examine the importance of creativity, the role of creativity and improvisation in the elementary Orff Schulwerk classroom, and develop Orff Schulwerk inspired process plans to promote student learning via creativity.