Every child loves to sing, clap, dance and make rhythms on whatever is at hand. Elementary school music teachers can receive specialized training in turning these natural human impulses into a lifelong love for music in their students at a special workshop scheduled for Saturday Oct. 29, 2011, at the University of Science and Arts in Chickasha.

The workshop is sponsored by the Oklahoma chapter of the American Orff-Schulwerk Association (AOSA) and the USAO music department.

The workshop is scheduled to run from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. as four members of the local Orff chapter will be presenting workshops on the approach utilizing children’s literature, folk dancing and specialized musical instruments. Registration begins at 9:30 a.m. in lobby of Davis Hall and the workshop will be held in Davis #124.

The cost for the workshop is free to members of the Oklahoma chapter and $15 for non-members. Students may attend the workshop for free. Teachers and other professionals can sign up for one year of membership for $20.

The Orff workshops qualify as professional development credits for public educators and professional development certificates will be issued upon the completion of the workshop.

The Orff approach focuses on creating an atmosphere similar to the one where children are naturally at play and then redirecting those energies towards making music. It was pioneered by German composer Carl Orff (1895–1982) and his colleague Gunild Keetman during the 1920s.

Orff Schulwerk uses poems, rhymes, games, songs and dances as examples and basic materials. Spoken or sung, they are accompanied by clapping and stamping or by drums, sticks and bells.

Much like the Suzuki method, the basic premise is to learn through doing but the Orff approach differs in that there is not a linear process to be followed, just guiding principles and teaching models to help teacher and student along.

The president of the Oklahoma Orff Chapter is Angela Krieger. Krieger teaches elementary music in the Rush Springs public school system as well as an adjunct strings instructor at USAO. She received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Southwestern Oklahoma State University and completed all three levels of Orff Schulwerk training from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

Interested parties are invited to call Krieger at (405) 863-6157 or visit oklahomaorff.com for more information.