This year we were happy to award three scholarships. Please read their reflections on their experiences below and be sure to look at the photo gallery of pictures taken at the Sharing Session and Reception.
Scholarship Winners' Reflections:
This past summer I embarked on the adventure of Orff Level II. I had completed my level I two
summer’s prior at the U of A and was ready to continue on the Orff journey. Having had the
experience of doing level I, I knew how busy the two weeks were going to be, but was excited
about the learning that would be taking place.
I was challenged in level II with the assignments in the pedagogy section. While a I-IV-V
orchestration might not seem so difficult at the outset, there are all kinds of little nuances that
complicate things. I know I was not the only one who ended up pulling a long night trying to get
it all right! Every time a change was made, it would affect the notation of another instrument
leading to many re-writings before finding an orchestration that worked! I learned a lot through
the teaching portion of our class where we worked in partners to plan and teach lessons to our
fellow colleagues. It’s not very often that I have the opportunity to watch and participate in a
lesson from the child’s perspective.
Learning the alto recorder was a real treat. While I had to make a conscience effort to learn the
new fingerings and not default to the fingerings for the soprano recorder, I enjoyed the sound of
the alto. The recorder ensembles were once again a lot of fun and it was a pleasure to work with
my small group.
In the movement class, I was challenged to connect more with my students about their musical
experiences. Sometimes I am surprised to learn about a child’s musical involvement outside of
school and I would like to be more aware of the ways my students participate in music in our
community. I also really appreciated the use of literature in the movement activities and am
looking forward to applying that in my own program.
I’m starting my school year with new material and lesson plans ready to use. I am excited to go
further with my students in the Orff process and I thank the Alberta Orff Chapter for their support
through the Chapter President’s Award.
I had the opportunity this past July to take my Orff Level II training at the University of Alberta. I completed Level I training two years ago and even though two years had passed it felt like coming home. Bob de Frece was the Pedagogy instructor for level II and having done my Education after degree over ten years ago with Bob it was like a reunion.
Over the two weeks I really got to know my fellow students and I have to say what a fantastic group of educators they are. Everyone was so open and helpful to one another and many lasting friendships were formed.
Wendy Rae taught recorder and Kim Friesen-Wiens taught music and along with Bob I can't say enough about how much I learned from them and how much will be bringing back to my classroom.
The more I learn about Orff the more I realize how well the Orff methodology fits with me as a teacher. The idea that music must be experienced through all the different elements is a very powerful one. I highly recommend the levels courses at the U of A and I strongly encourage anyone taking them to apply for the Chapter President's Award as it is very beneficial financially. My sincere thanks goes to the Alberta Orff Chapter for this award!
My overall experience in Orff Level I has been extremely beneficial to my professional development as a pre-service teacher. Every element and technique within the course has been strategically and collegially taught through true passionate teaching professionals. The course within itself has been an eye-opening experience in how to set myself up with the knowledge, skills, and resources enabling myself to be a successful music educator. I feel that I am ready for the 21st Century classroom and would be able to provide a pure musical education experience to my future students. This course has taught me how to incorporate FNMI (First Nations, Métis, Inuit) teachings, with the integration of traditional folk songs and dances. With the help of four amazingly talented teachers and Orff-Schulwerk pedagogies it has a been a pleasure learning and growing from them. I have learned how to notate and create ostinati, tonic bordun accompaniments, and create an amazing and enriched environment through all kinds of musical elements. Most importantly I have grown and gained the confidence in myself as an educator and a singer. I have always shied away from singing, but with the help of the creative and safe environment of Orff level I, I was able to express and enhance my musical talents. I have also created many networking opportunities to help keep music alive in schools with true music specialist. I strongly recommend this class to anyone interested in advancing their musical teachings and career.