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Reverberations: Teachers Teaching Teachers

Welcome to the June/July 2018 issue of Reverberations: Teachers Teaching Teachers. Other articles in this issue may be accessed from the links in the At-a-Glance table, and can be downloaded and printed using the included PDF files. Please refer to the AOSA Copyright Policy before printing multiple copies.   

June/July 2018 At-A-Glance
2018 Professional Development Conference
Celebration Cincinnati: Where Imaginations Fly
By Sarah Fairfield and Al Heary

Integrating Children's Literature
 Into the Music Classroom

By Joshua Southard

Book Reviews
Children's Books:
A Year in Review

From The Orff Echo

Adult Reflections On Memories
of a Childhood Orff Performance
Compiled By Marjie Van Gunten


Adult Reflections On Memories
OF a Childhood Orff Performance

Compiled by Marjie Van Gunten, Reverberations Editor

A lovely surprise showed up in my Facebook news feed recently: a picture of children who performed in the opening ceremony for the 1980 AOSA Professional Development Conference in PIttsburgh, PA. The person who posted is the daughter of a dear friend. When we first met - and Jane learned I had retired from being an Orff Schulwerk teacher - she shared the story of her daughters performing at an Orff conference and could not contain her enthusiasm about what OS had brought to her children's lives. Jane was relentless in encouraging me to bring OS into the small a capella ensemble in which we were singing: "Body percussion...we need to add body percussion!"

Sadly, my friend died a couple of years ago and I miss her very much. But I keep up with her daughter on Facebook and was filled with emotion upon seeing the picture and reading the comments posted by adults sharing childhood memories of a multi-age Orff ensemble. Below are a few images lovingly saved, along with quotes taken from their posts on Facebook and messages they shared in reply to my comments. Teachers rarely get to hear about the long term influence of OS...clearly the Schulwerk had a profound impact on these students who share memories from nearly 40 years ago!

My time spent in Orff ensemble will always be a treasured memory. I thank the late great Jean Cochran for inviting me to join even though I had never played a recorder. I learned to play but I was definitely the worst player in the group. I am thankful that I was surrounded by so many talented kids. Orff was important because I think it helped me come out of my shell. I was pretty shy, but every time I sang a solo, or we performed on stage, I felt little more confident. Our trip to Pittsburgh was so exciting, it was the first time I left New England and flew on a plane. Orff was important because it taught me how to be a part of a team, and work hard towards a common goal. The diverse music we got to play also opened up a whole new world to me. It was great seeing all the old pictures, it stirred up a lot of great memories. Peace and Love to all. Long live Orff Ensemble! ~Adam Frederick

Oats, peas, beans and barleycorn... ~Paul Pelletier

The memories I have of being in Orff Ensemble are as strong today as they were back then. I can remember Ms. Cochran telling me to improvise on a sopranino or instructing me to play that beast of a bass recorder in a duet. We were pretty skilled for that age, adding the xylophone for even a better musical experience. Music was an integral part of my childhood and I have my music teacher to thank for a wonderful, unforgettable experience. And now, almost 40 years later I still keep in touch with my childhood musical partners. ~Angela Crowley

I have to say I can still feel the love from this group! We were pretty special & tight & even though it has been YEARS since I have seen most of you...I hold a special place in my heart for you all. ~Heather Lane

I can still play the beginning of this - no problem! ...As a child, Orff was a chore. Nearly every day for 2 years of my life, we practiced. The interesting part is, all of us came and all of us - once there - loved it. We were all in. We learned together as a group and, in so doing, there grew a tight knit between each and every one of us. Orff changed the way I thought about music. It enriched my appreciation of how a united group of individuals can create beautiful sound. And if one was missing, it just wasn’t the same. In friendship, this group 40 years later, carries on. Every time I see someone who was in Orff, we embrace and we reminisce about our teacher, Jean Cochran, who was a demanding, encouraging, kind leader with a laugh that filled a room as she’d flip over her sign on the music stand that brightly read, “SMILE TURKEYS.” Orff was a building block for the rest of my life and I am thankful I had the opportunity to be a part of its incredible organization. ~Katy Eveland

This group we were in was incredible for us kids. We worked hard to perform, practice, and dedicated many hours to each other and our music teacher. We learned skills I am certain we all appreciated. Our teacher taught us to aim high. We were a tight group & made life long friendships, connections & memories. ~Heather Henriksen

Many of us hand out certificates like the one pictured below. How lovely to know it was considered worth preserving through the years. Thank you Angela Lorenz Crowley for sharing other newspaper clippings and images that are now tattered with age but still meaningful.

It makes my heart sing that so many of the memories are about their experiences working together and the bonds that were formed as they achieved success. What a tribute to a dedicated music teacher. Never...ever...doubt the importance of the work you are doing! 

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Reverberations - June/July 2018

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