2023 Orff Schulwerk Teacher Education Course - Level II

Orff Schulwerk Level II • MUED 893 • 2-3 credits

July 10-21, 2023 • 8:30-4:30 p.m. • 130 Westbrook Music Building

Clinicians:  Karen Benson, & Shelly Smith.

Most music educators recognize the importance of offering active and engaging learning experiences to their students. Orff Schulwerk is a child-centered approach that relies on rhythmic speech, physical movement, and musical play to actively involve students in educational music experiences. This approach uses poems, rhymes, games, songs, and dances - all of which are natural and enjoyable to children - as springboards to learning. The cultivation of imagination and creativity is an important goal of Orff Schulwerk.

Level II extends the foundation built in Level I with increased attention to how the Orff-Schulwerk approach facilitates conceptual understanding of music and movement. The roles of rhythmic speech, singing, playing instruments, movement, and improvisation will be considered in greater depth. Recorder instruction and performance activities will involve the alto recorder, as well as the soprano instrument. Participants also will engage in a broadening range of musical experiences that include more complex compositional elements, including modal melodies, changing meters, and varying accompaniments and textures.

Upon successful completion of the course, participants are awarded a certificate endorsing their achievement in accordance with the guidelines of the American Orff-Schulwerk Association (AOSA). Additionally, participants may choose to enroll in the course through the "credit option" and earn 2 or 3 hours of graduate college credit at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.


Karen Benson

Karen Benson is the Professional Development Director for the American Orff Schulwerk Association. She is a Past President and former National Conference Chair of AOSA. Recently retired, Karen taught music for grades PreK-5 for 29 years in the Millard Public School District in Omaha, Nebraska. She also directed the school’s choir and the district’s Orff Schulwerk Honors Ensemble. Her work as a performing musician includes playing recorders, saxophone, and singing as a member of Sing Omaha’s Master Chorale. Karen teaches in several AOSA Teacher Education Levels Courses, teaches Masterclasses in Orff Schulwerk, presents at AOSA chapter workshops, guest lectures for collegiate music education classes, and leads sessions at national and state conferences.

Shelly Smith

Shelly Smith has over fifteen years of teaching experience with Millard Public Schools in Omaha and Lake Havasu City, Arizona. She has also directed children's choirs at churches in Lincoln and Omaha. She previously served on the faculty of UNL where she taught music education courses and supervised student teachers. Shelly has presented at numerous state and local workshops in addition to the 2002 AOSA National Conference.

Program & Schedule

During the two weeks of July 10 - 21, 2023, the courses run Monday through Friday, beginning each day at 8:30 a.m. and ending at 4:30 p.m. In the course, participants attend classes in Orff Schulwerk pedagogy, movement, recorder, and special topics. The scheduled time includes morning and afternoon breaks and an hour for lunch.


The cost is $525. All participants who register for MUED 893 for graduate credit hours are additionally assessed University tuition,  Program Facilities and Technology fees.


To register click the following link ORFF SUMMER REGISTRATION


On-campus housing is available during the two weeks of the course. For more specific information about the accommodations, contact Guest Housing within UNL Conference Services at conferenceservices@unl.edu or (800) 809-8681

There are also several hotels within walking distance of the campus.


A Downtown Lincoln parking garage, Que Place Garage, is located a block from the course site. A UNL visitor parking pass can be purchased from UNL Parking Service, parking.unl.edu, phone 402-472-1800, email unlpts@unl.edu.