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This course is appropriate for anyone with musical experience who is interested in developing foundational knowledge and pedagogical skills in the Orff Schulwerk approach, and is particularly relevant for elementary general music teachers.
Orff Schulwerk is an approach to music education based on the work of pedagogues and composers Carl Orff and Gunild Keetman. Program participants will complete a minimum of 60 hours of class time, and will have daily homework assignments. Participants can take the course for professional development units, and will receive certification through the through the American Orff-Schulwerk Association. One hundred percent attendance is expected of students who participate in this certification course. Oregon State University's Orff Schulwerk teacher education course is approved by the American Orff-Schulwerk Association.
Level I curriculum introduces students to principles of Orff teaching techniques and pedagogical processes, and provides lesson strategies and materials ready for immediate implementation in the music classroom. Daily activities are experiential and focus on exploration of music through singing, movement, rhythmic speaking, playing pitched and unpitched percussion instruments and recorders, and improvisation. Special topics will include folk dancing, singing games, history of Orff Schulwerk, and world music.
Chris Bulgren serves as Instructor of Music Education at Oregon State University. He has previously taught courses at Georgia Southern University, the Oberlin Conservatory, Eastern Michigan University, and Adrian College. Prior to his doctoral study in Michigan, he taught in Kansas Public Schools for seven years where he taught elementary general music, beginning band, and high school band. During this time, he completed his Orff levels certification and served on the board of the Kansas Orff Chapter. His research interests include gender in music education, popular music, and songwriting.
Christine Ballenger currently teaches general music (K-5) in Bismarck, ND. She holds degrees in music education from the University of New Mexico and the University of Puget Sound, and received her Orff Schulwerk certification from George Mason University. Christine is on the AOSA list of approved instructors for movement (level I) and recorder (levels I & II) and is a member of the editorial board of The Orff Echo. Additionally, she teaches courses in music for elementary education majors at Bismarck State College and Dickinson State University. has also received training in Kodaly and World Music Drumming, and completed the “International Summer Course” in 2018 at the Orff Institute, in Salzburg, Austria. She performs regularly with the Bismarck-Mandan Symphony on alto saxophone, clarinet, and bass clarinet.
Darla Meek serves as Lecturer and Music Education Coordinator at Texas A & M University-Commerce, teaching undergraduate and graduate elementary music education classes and supervising student teachers. She holds the Bachelor of Music Education from Dallas Baptist University and the Master of Music from Southern Methodist University. Mrs. Meek also earned a Performer’s Certificate from the Performing Artist’s Musical Theatre Conservatory in Dallas. She is currently working toward the Doctor of Education in Supervision, Curriculum, and Instruction. Certified in both Kodály and Orff Schulwerk, Mrs. Meek serves as a teacher trainer for the American Orff Schulwerk Association in both Basic Pedagogy I and Movement for Orff Levels courses.
Meek has served as assistant conductor for the Mesquite Children’s Chorus and the Children’s Chorus of Collin County, and has served as Children’s Choir Coordinator for three churches in the Dallas area. She enjoys conducting elementary honor and festival choirs.
Meek has written children’s choir curricula for Lifeway Christian Resources and Celebrating Grace, Inc. Her recorder method books for elementary music specialists, Journey Around the Globe with Recorder! and Flight 2: Another Journey Around the Globe with Recorder! were published by Sweet Pipes, Inc. A resource for church musicians, All Things Bright and Beautiful, is available through Chorister’s Guild. She presents sessions for teachers at conferences and workshops at the district, regional, state, and national levels.
Mrs. Meek is a member of several professional organizations in addition to AOSA, including the Organization of American Kodaly Educators, the Kodaly Educators of Texas, the Texas Choral Directors Association, the Texas Music Educators Association, the Dalcroze Society of America, the College Music Society, and the National Association for Music Education. She is a past President of the North Texas Chapter of AOSA. Mrs. Meek is married to music educator Keith Meek and has two children, Gregory and Aubrey.