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Andrew Ellingsen leads an Orff Schulwerk class.

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MA in Music Education Orff Schulwerk Concentration

About the MA in Music Education Orff Schulwerk Concentration

The MA in Music Education Orff Schulwerk Concentration features a broad range of courses that apply to your work with children using the Orff Schulwerk approach to music education. By experiencing music through movement, song, speech and instrument playing, your students will become active, creative participants in their education.

Students perform during an Orff Schulwerk Sharing Concert.

Annual Orff Schulwerk Celebrations

Orff Schulwerk graduate students and faculty conclude their course work with celebrations on their last day of classes. They gather for breakfast and skits in the morning and host an Orff Schulwerk Sharing concert in the afternoon.

Curriculum Details

  • Program Overview
  • Core Courses
  • Orff Schulwerk Concentration Courses
  • Orff Schulwerk Electives
  • Other Degree Requirements
  • Program Overview

    The Master of Arts degree with a concentration in Orff Schulwerk features a broad range of core courses balanced by requirements that apply to the general music teacher's work with children using the Orff Schulwerk approach.

    In the Orff Schulwerk music concentration, you learn how to create an environment in which children become active, creative participants in their musical education by experiencing music through movement, song, speech and instrument playing.

    The Master of Arts in Music Education curriculum requires 33 credit hours and consists of three elements:

    • Core courses covering a variety of topics.
    • A concentration to develop specific skills.
    • A master’s thesis or final project to conduct applied research in music education.

    Core Courses

    Core courses provide opportunities for all master’s students to place their specific skills within a broader musical and educational context.

    Required Core Courses (17 credits)
    • GMUS 600 Introduction to Scholarship and Research Methods in Music Education, 3 cr.
    • GMUS 601 Teaching and Learning, 3 cr.
    • GMUS 608 Foundations of Music Education, 3 cr.
    • GMUS 611 Perspectives in Music Theory, 3 cr.
    • GMUS 612 Topics in Music History, Literature and Theory, 3 cr.
    • GMUS 750 Musicianship, 1 cr.
    • GMUS 876 Directed Research, 0 cr.
    • GMUS 890 Master of Arts Final Project, 1 cr.

    Orff Schulwerk Concentration Courses

    The University of St. Thomas Orff Schulwerk program is a model of innovation for Orff Schulwerk certification courses offered in the United States. Our curriculum features education in subjects required by the American Orff Schulwerk Association: technique and improvisation, analysis and arranging, pedagogy, movement and recorder – all of which are highlighted in individual classes and integrated through literature study. A distinctive feature of the St. Thomas program is the opportunity for students to engage in practical application of ensemble work in a daily pedagogy hour at each level of study.

    Orff Schulwerk Concentration Courses (11 credits)
    • GMUS 731 Orff Schulwerk Level I, 3 cr.
    • GMUS 732 Orff Schulwerk Level II, 3 cr.
    • GMUS 733 Orff Schulwerk Level III, 3 cr.
    • GMUS 735 Curriculum Development, 2 cr.

    Orff Schulwerk Electives

    Elective credits provide students opportunities to expand skills in their areas of interest.

    Orff Schulwerk Electives (5 credits)
    • GMUS 517 Developing the Child Voice in the Classroom, 2 cr.
    • GMUS 518 Teaching Choral Music to Young Singers, 2 cr.
    • GMUS 532 Orff Master Class, 2 cr.
    • GMUS 536 Smithsonian Folkways Certification in World Music Pedagogy, 3 cr.
    • GMUS 537 Latin American Music, 1 cr.
    • GMUS 544-xx Topics in Music Education, credits vary (advisor approval required)
    • GMUS 651 Dalcroze Musicianship, 3 cr.
    • GMUS 671 African Music Ensemble, 2 cr.
    • GMUS 726 Intermediate Choral Conducting, 2 cr.
    • GMUS 741 Kodály Level I, 3 cr.
    • Other courses considered for elective credit (advisor approval required)

    Other Degree Requirements

    All students admitted to the Master of Arts in Music Education program with a concentration in Orff Schulwerk will complete the following non-credit requirements:
    • Music Diagnostic Exams
    • Oral Comprehensive Exam

    Program Overview

    The Master of Arts degree with a concentration in Orff Schulwerk features a broad range of core courses balanced by requirements that apply to the general music teacher's work with children using the Orff Schulwerk approach.

    In the Orff Schulwerk music concentration, you learn how to create an environment in which children become active, creative participants in their musical education by experiencing music through movement, song, speech and instrument playing.

    The Master of Arts in Music Education curriculum requires 33 credit hours and consists of three elements:

    • Core courses covering a variety of topics.
    • A concentration to develop specific skills.
    • A master’s thesis or final project to conduct applied research in music education.

    Core Courses

    Core courses provide opportunities for all master’s students to place their specific skills within a broader musical and educational context.

    Required Core Courses (17 credits)
    • GMUS 600 Introduction to Scholarship and Research Methods in Music Education, 3 cr.
    • GMUS 601 Teaching and Learning, 3 cr.
    • GMUS 608 Foundations of Music Education, 3 cr.
    • GMUS 611 Perspectives in Music Theory, 3 cr.
    • GMUS 612 Topics in Music History, Literature and Theory, 3 cr.
    • GMUS 750 Musicianship, 1 cr.
    • GMUS 876 Directed Research, 0 cr.
    • GMUS 890 Master of Arts Final Project, 1 cr.

    Orff Schulwerk Concentration Courses

    The University of St. Thomas Orff Schulwerk program is a model of innovation for Orff Schulwerk certification courses offered in the United States. Our curriculum features education in subjects required by the American Orff Schulwerk Association: technique and improvisation, analysis and arranging, pedagogy, movement and recorder – all of which are highlighted in individual classes and integrated through literature study. A distinctive feature of the St. Thomas program is the opportunity for students to engage in practical application of ensemble work in a daily pedagogy hour at each level of study.

    Orff Schulwerk Concentration Courses (11 credits)
    • GMUS 731 Orff Schulwerk Level I, 3 cr.
    • GMUS 732 Orff Schulwerk Level II, 3 cr.
    • GMUS 733 Orff Schulwerk Level III, 3 cr.
    • GMUS 735 Curriculum Development, 2 cr.

    Orff Schulwerk Electives

    Elective credits provide students opportunities to expand skills in their areas of interest.

    Orff Schulwerk Electives (5 credits)
    • GMUS 517 Developing the Child Voice in the Classroom, 2 cr.
    • GMUS 518 Teaching Choral Music to Young Singers, 2 cr.
    • GMUS 532 Orff Master Class, 2 cr.
    • GMUS 536 Smithsonian Folkways Certification in World Music Pedagogy, 3 cr.
    • GMUS 537 Latin American Music, 1 cr.
    • GMUS 544-xx Topics in Music Education, credits vary (advisor approval required)
    • GMUS 651 Dalcroze Musicianship, 3 cr.
    • GMUS 671 African Music Ensemble, 2 cr.
    • GMUS 726 Intermediate Choral Conducting, 2 cr.
    • GMUS 741 Kodály Level I, 3 cr.
    • Other courses considered for elective credit (advisor approval required)

    Other Degree Requirements

    All students admitted to the Master of Arts in Music Education program with a concentration in Orff Schulwerk will complete the following non-credit requirements:
    • Music Diagnostic Exams
    • Oral Comprehensive Exam

    Faculty

    Our Orff Faculty are considered to be among the most creative and talented team of teacher educators in the country. You will have the opportunity to learn about the approach from those who apply it in their own classrooms each and every school year. You will also gain insights from their experiences of sharing Orff Schulwerk all over the world
    Beth Melin Nelson headshot.

    Beth Melin Nelson

    Beth Melin Nelson teaches K-5 music at St. Paul Academy and Summit School in St. Paul, MN, where she is also the Assistant Principal. She teaches on the faculties of the Orff Schulwerk teacher training courses at the University of St. Thomas, MN, where she also serves as the Course Director, and at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX.
    Read Beth's Full Bio
    Andrew Ellingsen headshot.

    Andrew Ellingsen

    Andrew teaches elementary music and works as an instructional coach in Decorah, IA. He earned his BA at Luther College and his MAME at the University of St. Thomas with a dual concentration in Kodály and Orff Schulwerk. He has served on the OAKE national board, a committee for AOSA, and has held leadership positions in state and regional organizations for both Orff Schulwerk and Kodály.
    Read Andrew's Full Bio
    Megan Tietz teaching.

    Megan Tietz

    Meg Tietz teaches K-5 music in New Prague, Minnesota after several years of teaching in Texas. Meg completed her MAME with a concentration in Orff Schulwerk at the University of St. Thomas. She is an active presenter for local and national workshops and conferences and also teaches Movement and Basic Ensemble during summer levels training courses. Meg is also a past President of the Gulf Coast Orff Association.
    Read Megan's Full Bio