Inspiring Orff singing, dance, movement, and percussion instruments

The Orff Schulwerk approach to teaching music to students was developed in the 1920s by composer Carl Orff. Within 60 years, the Orff method had developed and spread, and it is now an approach that is used worldwide. In Orff’s’ music book for children, he relates the importance of rhythm and movement to making music. The concept of the Orff approach is that through singing, dance, or playing a percussion instrument, anyone can easily learn rhythm, harmony, or melody.

Speech and singing

Whether a child is moving or playing a counting game, he or she is often engaging in a form of rhythm. Whenever a child puts two words together that sound like a musical echo, he or she is generating a rhyme. Therefore, when a child speaks or sings rhyme and rhythm together, he or she is developing a sense for beat and pattern. Orff Schulwerk music is based on these rhythmic patterns.

Examples of Orff music:

Heritage based folk songs, Children nursery rhymes, original devised sayings, simple songs, poems, and improvisation.
The objective of the Orff approach is that a child who will understand music will begin to do so in an environment and pace with which he or she is comfortable. Singing along to and being able to hear tonal relationships will often lead to body rhythm and movement.
Music and movement activities

When participating in a play activity, a child is becoming a co-performer. The idea that music is linked to brain development is conveyed as to awaken creativity through music and movement methods.

Music and motion can easily be related when choosing the right activities. Games that involve singing and action songs will encourage the child to engage in movement. Appropriate items such as scarves or balls can be used when moving to music. A child’s ability to tiptoe or spin around 1000 times will only lead to finding out his or her strengths. These abilities can be used to inspire and teach the child musical concepts.

Playing Orff instruments

Each Orff instrument is almost always in the universal pentatonic scale. Setting these instruments up in C pentatonic (pitches of C D E G A) renders them prime for creating melodies with because it would be impossible to hit a wrong note. A pitched instrument played along with an unpitched instrument will make sounds of music that can be used to interpret and represent words of a story. Each involves a sound, and all accompany another sound; whether it is through sound with a pattern or singing, an ensemble is created in the end.
Ideas for instruments

1. Parts of the body, such as hands and feet, are great for body percussion. Clapping, snapping, and stomping are some of the ways to get good sounds.

2. Unpitched good sounding instruments are usually handheld. Maracas, triangles, tambourines, and bongos would be some top choices. A rainmaker or wind chime could also be used.

3. Instruments with a special pitch. These include the xylophone, the metallophone, and the glockenspiel. The recorder can be used as a melody instrument. These instruments are good to play when learning tone, melody, and drone/ostinato accompaniments.