The University of St. Thomas


Wesloh, Gloria

Wesloh, Gloria

The Applications of Gordon's Music Learning Sequence Theory and the Orff-Schulwerk Process and Some Possibilities for Integrating the Two
Gloria Wesloh

The purpose of this synthesis is to present background material about Gordon's Music Learning Sequence Theory and the Orff-Schulwerk process, to discuss the compatibility of the two, to recount how the use of both methods satisfies the "Elements of Instruction" defined in Anoka-Hennepin School District's Effective Schools program, to describe the application of both methods in the classroom, and to provide some possibilities for integrating Gordon's Music Learning Sequence Theory with an Orff-Schulwerk curriculum in my music classes.

My interest in this subject began with my participation in an Orff-Schulwerk elementary curriculum course presented at Hamline by Jane Frazee and Arvida Steen. The following year, the Orff-Schulwerk levels courses included an hour session, daily, in which Edwin Gordon presented his music learning sequence theory. I decided after my experiences with those two courses that I wanted to use both methods in my teaching. Some Orff-Schulwerk and Gordon supporters have reservations concerning the compatibility of the two methods. I find Gordon's Music Learning Sequence Theory to be generally compatible with the Orff-Schulwerk process as taught at Hamline University. Where there is disagreement in method I determine what works best in my situation and use that method.

In Chapter I, background material necessary for the understanding of the two methods is presented and reservations about the compatibility of the two methods are addressed. In Chapter II, I introduce the application section of the two methods by coordinating them with "The Elements of Instruction." Next, I separately present the application of Gordon's theory and the Orff-Schulwerk, and I relate how I integrate Gordon's theory with the Orff-Schulwerk process in my elementary music classes. In the Appendices I have included material which has bearing on Gordon's Music Learning Sequence Theory, and also example of Orff-Schulwerk activities and arrangements.

For permission to quote from copyrighted material, I wish to thank G.I.A. Publications, Inc., and McGraw-Hill Book Company. For permission to reproduce material they have developed, I wish to thank Jane Frazee, Hilree Hamilton, Lynn Johnson, Nancy Miller, and Jim Solomon. I give special thanks to Jane Frazee, my synthesis advisor, and Sara Holter, Resource Teacher at Monroe Elementary School, for their help and inspiration.

Synthesis Supervisor
Jane Frazee