Orff Schulwerk Level III


Orff Schulwerk Certification
Level III


In Level III you will review the diatonic modes* melodically and harmonically, work with non-cadential triadic accompaniments and move on to I-V, I-IV and I-IV-V functional progressions in major and minor modes using activities that are accessible and appealing to both you and your students.   Improvisation plays a key role.  Rhythmic work will continue to expand to meters in 5, 7 as well as other symmetrical and non-symmetrical meters, and changing meters.  Instrumental work will further develop playing skills in percussion (pitched and unpitched). Recorder will include work with additional voices sopranino, tenor and bass recorders – developing playing and improvisational skills and further exploring pedagogy using all recorders.  Movement classes will draw on the ideas and concepts outlined above and make use of more advanced technique and skills in choreography and improvisation as well as pedagogical considerations and the role of dance and movement in the development of Orff Schulwerk.  While Level III is very important step, it doesn’t signal the end of your studies.  You will want to continue your education in ways that will nourish your personal and professional development and help you assimilate what you have learned and experienced.  Continue to look for supplemental classes as well as the Master Class – offered every second year at Mason!

Participants will have the opportunity to present a final sharing performance in one of Mason’s professional theater spaces, demonstrating the connection of skills and techniques gained during the program. Friends and family are welcome.

*Note:  Those who completed Level II at Mason followed a curriculum which reviewed and completed work with pentatonic and hexatonic scales and moved on to activities involving the diatonic modes (Ionian, Aeolian, Dorian, Lydian, Mixolydian, Phrygian).

Dates:  July 17 – 28, 2017  (2 weeks)
Times:  8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. (Mon-Fri)
Instructors: Matt McCoy, w/ Victoria Redfearn Cave and John Crandall

Location:  Mason Fairfax Campus, Performing Arts Building
On-Campus Housing:  See Details 
Parking: $25 per week  Purchase A Pass    


Tuition NON-CREDIT:  $898

OR    Register by Fax/Mail


Tuition FOR-CREDIT:  $1,650 in-state or $1,950 out-of-state

Register by Fax/Mail only (no online registration)



Sample daily schedule:
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  • An opening warm-up: songs, canons or movement at 8:30 sharp!
  • Two class periods in basic pedagogy and elemental music theory – 3.5 hours total.
  • A recorder class including playing techniques, literature and pedagogy as well as music and movement applications. 1 hour
  • A class in movement including development of vocabulary and skills, pedagogy as well as musical applications – 75 minutes.
  • In addition, there will be four special topic sessions throughout the course in which all three Levels come together for musical and movement experiences.
  • And… of course breaks for travel, refreshment and lunch!

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Assignments will be given daily and will be based on activities experienced during the classes. They will consist of writing/composing rhythmic or melodic examples that could be typically used with your students. In addition, there will be reading assignments geared to a better understanding of Orff Schulwerk ideas, models and concepts. You will be expected to work on recorder skills and develop pedagogical ideas in both recorder and movement classes.   Participants will receive class notes for each area of study – both in hard copy and/or electronically as the course progresses.

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Important materials to have for assignments and note taking: standard music notation paper, pencils/pens, colored highlighters, tape, straight-edge, post-its, a 3-ring binder for notes.  You may want to use/bring music writing computer software for your assignments such as Sibelius or Finale.  You may also want to have an individual flash drive for notes and materials generated in class.

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You have received (or will receive) a letter listing both recommended and required books and materials as well as other resources to have on hand.  Required and recommended materials will be available at the West Music store, which will be conveniently located near our classes. You may be able to find some of these books online ahead of time.


The beginning of the list includes books from Level II as a reminder to have these on hand as well:

  • Music for Children, Volumes I, II and IV, Murray Edition; Schott
  • Music for Children, Volumes III and V, Murray Editions; Schott
  • The Recorder Consort, Volume II, Rosenberg Boosey and Hawkes
  • Creative Dance for All Ages, Anne Green Gilbert
  • Pieces and Processes, Calantropio; Schott
  • Recorders:  Soprano and alto are required, tenor is highly recommended (and will be available for purchase). Basses, sopraninos, garkleins are welcome!

Recommended: (These selections are good for your professional bookshelf and are handy as you progress through the Levels.)

  • Spielbuch für Xylophon II, III, Keetman; Schott
  • Paralipomana, Keetman, Orff; Schott
  • Orff Schulwerk-American Edition, Volume 3; Schott
  • Orff Schulwerk: Applications for the Classroom, Brigitte Warner; Prentice Hall (hard to find now)

2017 Orff Levels Book Prices from West Music

Other Suggestions:
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  • Hand drums – due to shortages, we are asking that those who have access to hand drums to please bring them.  Please put your name or your school’s name on any drums that you bring.
  • A barred instrument from your school is handy to have at home to try out your orchestration assignments.
  • Children’s Poetry, Myths/Tales and Quality Picture Books

Credit and Non-Credit Enrollment: Assignments and Requirements
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Whether you are taking the course for credit or non-credit, you are eligible for Certification in Orff Schulwerk after the successful completion of Level III.  Certification is awarded by George Mason and the American Orff Schulwerk Association.  The Certification Program is designed as an ensemble experience therefore active and full participation is expected from everyone so that the pedagogy can be fully experienced.  Those who have enrolled in the class for credit have opted to take a graduate level course and will be asked to complete some extra assignments which will fulfill those requirements as well as help prepare them for final exams if they are pursuing the Masters in Music Program with an emphasis in Orff Schulwerk.  Those assignments may consist of additional written responses to reading assignments and/or separate completion of curriculum design.

Download Orff Requirements & Competencies

Summer Program Refund Policy
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If a registrant has to cancel participation in this program, a tuition refund minus a $50 cancelation fee will be given provided that notice is received by the Potomac Arts Academy  no later than 2 weeks before the program start date.  No refunds will be granted after this date without valid medical documentation.   *IMPORTANT: No refunds for on-campus housing will be given after April 14, 2017.