The University of St. Thomas


Orff Schulwerk

Orff Schulwerk

Orff Schulwerk Concentration

The Master of Arts degree with an Orff Schulwerk concentration features a broad range of theoretical courses balanced by requirements that apply to the general music teacher's work with students of all ages using Orff Schulwerk. In the Orff approach, teachers create an environment in which children become active, creative participants in their musical education. They experience music through movement, song, speech, and instrument playing, which prepares them for music reading and writing. Independent musicianship is developed through a teaching process that includes imitation, exploration, improvisation, composition, and literacy.

In this program, students will

  • Sharpen performance skills necessary for achieving artistic ensembles
  • Gain insights into historical and contemporary Orff ensemble literature through analytical study and orchestration
  • Improve musical competency
  • Broaden understanding of music history, theory, and literature
  • Examine pedagogical uses of Orff media to teach music concepts, develop musical ideas and skills, and facilitate ensemble performance with children of all ages and ability levels
  • Discover new applications for existing expertise
  • Experience and explore strategies for developing successful improvisation and composition experiences
  • Articulate ways in which Orff Schulwerk serves the common goals of the music education profession








Music Education Core Courses

Students are required to take the following 17 semester credits.

GMUS 600 Introduction to Scholarship and Research Methods in Music Education (3 cr.)
GMUS 601 Teaching and Learning (3 cr.)
GMUS 608 Foundations of Music Education (3 cr.)
GMUS 611 Perspectives in Music Theory (3 cr.)
   Prerequisite: Passing grade on the Diagnostic Exam
GMUS 612 Topics in Music History, Literature & Theory (3 cr)
    Prerequisite: Passing grade on the Diagnostic Exam
GMUS 750 Musicianship and Ensemble (1 cr.)

GMUS 876 Directed Research (0 cr.)

    To be scheduled with advisor.

GMUS 890 Culminating Thesis/Project (1 cr.)

    To be scheduled with advisor.

Orff Schulwerk Concentration Courses

Students take 11 required credits in the Orff Schulwerk field of concentration and 5 elective credits. Through the required concentration courses, students expand and refine the information needed to successfully use the Orff Schulwerk approach with children of all ages. Elective courses offer students opportunities to further define and hone the breadth and depth of their expertise.

    Required Orff Courses (11 cr.)

GMUS 731 Orff Schulwerk I (3 cr.)
GMUS 732 Orff Schulwerk II (3 cr.)
GMUS 733 Orff Schulwerk III (3 cr.)
GMUS 735 Curriculum Development (2 cr.)

    Prerequisite: GMUS 731.

Orff Schulwerk Electives

    Choose 5 credits from the following electives:

GMUS 517 Develop the Child Voice in the Classroom (2 cr.)
GMUS 518 Teaching Choral Music to Young Singers (2 cr.)
GMUS 532 Orff Master Class (2 cr.)
GMUS 544-xx Topics in Music Education
   (with Advisor approval)
GMUS 651 Dalcroze (3 cr.)
GMUS 671 African Music Ensemble (2 cr.)
GMUS 725 Beginning Choral Conducting (2 cr.)
GMUS 741 Kodály Level I (3 cr.)
GMUS 765 American Folk Music (3 cr.)
Other courses considered for elective credit
   (with Advisor approval)

Quick Facts

Summer 2013 Dates:

July 29-August 9

Course Schedule:

Jay Broeker
Michael Chandler
Cindy Hall
Mona Mann
Beth Melin Nelson
Jacque Schrader

Degree, nondegree, and audit/workshop 
rates available.