In his own words . . .


Experience first, then intellectualize.

Since the beginning of time, children have not liked to study. They would much rather play, and if you have their interests at heart, you will let them learn while they play; they will find that what they have mastered is child's play.

Elemental music is never just music. It's bound up with movement, dance and speech, and so it is a form of music in which one must participate, in which one is involved not as a listener but as a co-performer.



Orff-Schulwerk was developed by Carl Orff and Gunild Keetman in the 1920s.  "Schulwerk" means "school work" in German.  The American version of Orff-Schulwerk emphasizes four stages of musical learning:  imitation, exploration, improvisation, and composition.  The Orff approach is most widely known for its use of instruments including xylophones, metallophones, glockenspiels, and other non-pitched percussion instruments.  Unlike other ways of teaching music (Kodaly, Suzuki, for example), Orff-Schulwerk is not a "method."  It is not a sequential procedure, but a philosophy of teaching, incorporating principles of music education.



American Orff-Schulwerk Association


  1. Jump up Shamrock, Mary. "Orff- Schulwerk: An Integrated Method." Music Educatorís Journal 83 (May, 1997): 41-44. JSTOR. University of Arizona Music Library., Tucson, AZ. 3 February 2009.
  2. Jump up ďThe Orff Approach to Music EducationĒ By Gloria Day
  3. Jump up Banks, Susan. "Orff- Schulwerk Teaches Musical Responsiveness." Music Educatorís Journal 68 (March, 1982): 42-43. JSTOR. University of Arizona Music Library., Tucson, AZ. 03, February, 2009.
  4. Thomas, Judith. "Orff-Based Improvisation." Music Educatorís Journal 66 (Jan. 1980): 58-61. JSTOR. University of Arizona Music Library, Tucson, AZ. 3 February 2009.

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