The University of St. Thomas


Finne, Tara

Finne, Tara

The Effects of the Orff-Schulwerk Approach on Social Listening and Cooperation Tara C. Finne

The intent of this study was to determine if teaching music through the Orff-Schulwerk approach encourages and reinforces behavioral listening and cooperation as a concomitant consequence of the instructions, and not as a result of teacher prompts encouraging the subjects to exhibit these behaviors.  The students serving as subjects in the current investigation participated in six, twenty-minute Orff-Schulwerk-based music lessons taught by the investigator (a certified Orff-Schulwerk practitioner).  All lessons were designed with a common musical objective that fit into the existing fourth grade music curriculum, and were subsequently video-taped by an outside videographer.  Six judges, three music educators and three non-music educators, viewed the video tapes and completed a forced choice-based questionnaire concerning the number of students who exhibited listening and cooperation skills throughout each lesson.  In three of the six lessons, the students were engaged in activities as a whole class during which their listening behavior was assessed by the judges.  In the other three lessons, students were engaged in activities in small groups, and these lessons were evaluated by the judges regarding the students’ cooperative behavior.  Although the students were involved in music instruction, the judges did not evaluate the students’ abilities to complete musical objectives.

The findings, based on the judges’ observations, revealed that between 75 and 100 percent of the students displayed listening skills throughout the three Orff-Schulwerk-based lessons, according to all 6 judges.  Between 62.50 and 100 percent of the students displayed cooperation skills throughout three Orff-Schulwerk-based lessons, according to 5 judges.  One judge found between 50 and 83.3 percent of the students engaged in cooperation skills over the course of three lessons.  Inter-judge reliability for this investigation ranged from 71.52 to 95.14 percent among 6 judges.  These results suggest that an Orff-Schulwerk-based music program can reinforce behavioral listening and cooperation among fourth grade students in this investigation.  Listening and cooperation behavior, as evidenced by the data in this study, is a natural outcome of the Orff-Schulwerk approach and Orff-Schulwerk music instruction. 

Thesis Supervisor
Dr. Carroll Gonzo