Carl Orff (1895-1982) composed one of my favorite pieces of music, Carmina Burana. He was also an educator in the sense that he created a philosophy and approach toward music education. His thinking was that students needed to experience music, through movement, dance, physical interaction, instrumental, and choral methods. Putting it all together gave students much deeper understanding of the music that they were learning before jumping completely into theory. Music is something kids need to experience. (This is my own take on it, so I apologize if anything is off…)
Our school was part of the “Orff the Wall” concert on Monday evening at the Jack Singer Concert Hall in Calgary. The performances were absolutely amazing by each school, as well as the huge numbers where all the students banded together to do the big introduction and finale. It made me amazingly proud to see our students engaging in music in ways that I just never had the opportunity for. Wow, do I wish I could have connected with music in similar ways when I was young!
Belvedere Parkway students performed a song called “Lullaby,” where they were using instruments, dance, body percussion, movement, and singing to create a dynamic performance that even included props and birdcalls. The work that these kids have been putting in since January paid off completely. The engagement that we could see and the excitement that they exuded demonstrated a different connection with music instruction compared to when I grew up, as I remember music being something where you do what you’re told rather than demonstrate a passion for.
Now, in my very old age, I am very passionate about music but just never had developed a practical or theoretical background from when I was younger. Now, I so wish I had learned an instrument and learned more about music, so that I could be on par with these amazing kids, who I hope will continue to pursue their music education in the future! With music teachers like we saw on Monday, I am sure this would have good odds!
To all the performers and teachers who were involved in the Orff the Wall performance, I was so proud of your work and I was proud of our work in the CBE to show what happens when true engagement takes place in learning! Phenomenal work, all!
Work hard, learn tons!