Creative Approaches to Music Teaching Course Information

Professional Development in the Orff Approach - September 2018 to July 2019

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This new professional development course is for all those who are involved with the general music education of primary age children. The focus is on professional development as part of a collaborative process with tutors and peers. The Orff Approach is inclusive and emphasises the importance of music learning as a group activity. In this approach children explore, experiment, improvise, compose and perform in imaginative and structured ways to build skills and musical understanding. Movement, language, singing and playing instruments are all used to give children different ways to make music and develop as musicians.

A key aspect of the course is to give you opportuni6es to observe and teach groups of children with feedback from the tutors, as well as working in their own seBngs. Throughout the year there will be opportunities for participants to learn from each other by observing, giving feedback and collaborating on planning and teaching activities.

Course Aims

  • To develop understanding, skills and knowledge of the Orff Approach for teachers of Music in the primary age phase.
  • To build on teachers’ existing practice and develop their own interpreta6on of the Orff Approach relevant to their professional setting.


Structure of the Course

The course is structured around nine Saturdays (normally 9.30 – 2.00) spread across three terms.
A basic structure for each day includes different types of sessions that inspire and support the learning process in the areas of practice, reflection and theory:

  • a) You will observe sessions with children (Recep6on, Key Stage 1/2) led by specialist tutors and over the course of the year you will take increasing responsibility for teaching episodes
  • b) Reflective exercises and group discussion with tutors or peers
  • c) Workshops for participants led by a tutor or a member of the group
  • d) Planning follow up activities: transferring the material into your own environment and consolida6ng understanding through suggested reading and planned activities.

You will be expected to apply and develop ideas in school and to keep reflective/evaluative notes to share at the following session. There will be up to two occasions in the year when a member of the teaching team or a fellow teacher can visit you in school to co-teach or observe and offer feedback. This will be arranged according to request and feasibility.

Course Outline

Term A: Understanding the Orff Approach - Elemental Music and Dance Pedagogy

Day 1 22nd September 2018 - Singing, Playing, Dancing - the Foundations in Practice and Theory

Day 2 13th October 2018 - Playground Songs and Games - Creating Opportunities for Music, Speech and Dance

Day 3 24th November 2018 - Aspects of Inclusion - Using play, dialogue, and improvisation to develop self-confidence, cooperation and communication in and through group music making

Term B The Creative Teacher - Teaching for Creativity

Day 4 Date TBC - Progression in the Creative Process: starting with improvising, growing ideas and skills.

Day 5 Date TBC - Composing and Arranging - Tools for the teacher to create musical arrangements and to inspire children’s compositions on melodic and percussion instruments.

Day 6 Date TBC - Project Planning - developing an individual approach

Term C Music in the curriculum : Cross-Curricular Perspectives (dates tbc)

Day 7 Movement and Dance Aspects of the Orff Approach - exploring and developing activities in creative music processes.

Day 8 Motivating and Enriching learning across the curriculum - making meaning.

Day 9 Presentations and evaluation.


Chiltern Music Academy
Wycombe High School, Marlow Rd, High Wycombe HP11 1TB
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[paid to the Orff Society UK, by Paypal, Cheque or BACS]

Members : £900
Non-members : £960

for 10 sessions to be paid in total

Termly instalments also available ie. £300 x 3 (or £320 x 3)

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The fee includes:

  • 9 Saturday professional development sessions (usually 9.30 – 2.00)
  • 1 day’s supply cover (to be taken on 2 half days) with the expectation that schools will match this for two further half days during the course)
  • Up to 2 visits during the year by a tutor to provide support/ advice/ feedback in your setting.



Sarah Hennessy Coordinator and Tutor: Sarah Hennessy (University of Exeter 1990-2015)
Music teacher and researcher
Angelika Wolf Course Leader: Angelika Wolf (Graduate of the Carl Orff Institute Salzburg, freelance teacher)
Nadja Kraft Tutor: Nadja Kraft (Graduate of the Carl Orff Institute Salzburg, freelance teacher) Kate Buchanan Tutor: Kate Buchanan (Trinity College of Music and Royal Northern College of Music, freelance teacher)
Tamara O‘ Brien Course Manager and tutor: Tamara O‘ Brien (Music teacher and author) Gary Hanratty Tutor: Gary Hanratty (Music Teacher, Lauriston Primary School, Hackney)


"Angelika's sessions were delightiful. Her calm and gentle approach was inviting, reassuring and inspiring. The development of her sessions was well paced, varied and inclusive. She created an atmosphere of intrigue that kept the participants wanting to find out what would happen next within a comfortable and safe structure."

(2017, Orff Summer School participant)

Contact: Sarah Hennessy -

The Orff Society is a not for profit company limited by guarantee. Company No. 10250821