Orff Schulwerk: the development of teacher training in the United States, 1958-1980
Brandon, Joani Somppi
MetadataShow full item record
This study examines teacher training in Orff Schulwerk in the United States and how the training system currently in practice was initially developed. Since the first Orff Schulwerk teacher training, conducted by Gunild Keetman at the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria in 1953, teachers have been seeking ways to adapt the Schulwerk approach to classrooms. By the mid-1950s teachers were traveling to Austria from throughout the world to learn how to use these ideas and publications. By the early 1960s interest was growing in the United States as evidenced by the founding of the national organization, now the American Orff-Schulwerk Association (AOSA), in Muncie, Indiana in 1968. Teacher training courses sprang up like "wildflowers," a term often used in the movement, in universities and local school systems during this period. The history of teacher training in the Orff Schulwerk approach in the United States is chronicled here, including why and how it evolved from free-form workshops exploring the creativity of Orff Schulwerk into a three-level sequential curriculum. The time line begins with those offered in the late 1950s through the establishment of the first AOSA Course Guidelines for Levels I, II, and III in 1980. Special focus is given to the development of teacher training programs listed as certification courses by the AOSA Higher Education Committee in The Orff Echo (Spring 1977). Responding to the need for some level of common practice in the burgeoning training programs that sprang up throughout the nation, members ofthis AOSA committee selected three models and organized the Level II and III guidelines into three curricular tracks, based on common practice in the curriculum outlines from the more than thirty programs surveyed. Common goals were determined, but differences arose over the length of courses and content sequence in Levels II and III. The compromise decided upon allowed for creative license when designing how to organize the material. This information was compiled from interviews with early teachers of Orff Schulwerk training courses in the USA, a study of archived materials from individuals and universities, a review of journal articles, dissertations, and theses, and AOSA video-recorded interviews.
Thesis (D.M.A.)--Boston University