West Music Q&A about Orff Essentials Collection

Anne Carley wrote an article for West Music about the four books in the Orff Essentials Collection. She discusses how to teach from the RIT books, and answers a lot of questions about what the books cover and how they fit in the curriculum. She also provides background about Isabel Carley, and tells the story of how the books came to be. Here are a few excerpts – Anne Carley’s entire Q&A article on West Music’s website is linked here.

What’s in the Essays Book? • Making It Up As You Go – Selected Essays: Writing about Music, Improvisation, and Teaching includes new versions of familiar titles known to many readers of The Orff Echo and the two Orff Re-Echoes volumes, and an important article on hand drum technique first published in Orff Canada’s Ostinato.
Significantly, nearly half the essays are new work, previously unpublished, from Carley’s handwritten manuscripts, typescripts and computer files. Grouped into three sections, Origins, Practicum, and Exhortations, the book provides a wealth of information and opinion from the life of a smart, dedicated, Orff teacher.
Who Was IMC? • As the first American honors graduate of the Orff-Institut in Salzburg (1964), a co-founder of the AOSA (1968), and editor of The Orff Echo for its first fifteen years, Isabel Carley was one of those first-generation North American pioneers who established the Orff approach on this continent.
She taught preschool and school-age children, as well as adults. She wrote, edited and composed extensively, and was an active member of the AOSA. She performed in and led ensembles for early and world music. She taught at Orff certification courses, presented at AOSA, MENC and other conferences, and always advocated for student-centered, creative education. She retired from teaching in 2004, after 40 years in Orff-Schulwerk.
What was Isabel Carley’s vision for the RIT books? • While still in Salzburg, she identified the need for a more integrated approach to using the recorder as an essential part of the learning experience in the Orff classroom. She produced the first editions of the RIT books thereafter, for use in her classes at Barbara Grenoble’s University of Denver Orff certification courses in the 1970’s.
“The emphasis is on playing with the materials of music, on developing musical ideas, just as a composer does. In this way, music comes alive as an immediate and stimulating activity for children. Their participation and their own ideas are being explored and developed. That is why it’s so important to include real choices for the children – and for the teacher, too.” – IMC

Read more here. Enjoy!