Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 2012


Musical independence, improvisation, and composition are important skills that teachers should include within an elementary music curriculum. The musical concepts that accompany these skills can be difficult for teachers to convey and for students to understand due to the difficulty and complexity of teaching musical independence. This study consists of a literature review pertaining to the history and development of the Orff Approach, application of Orff concepts to the creation of lesson plans and classroom activities, action research with elementary students, and conclusions. Three different lesson plans were created implementing Orff techniques specific to the following grade ranges: two-four, four-six, five-eight. Two lessons were taught to students in a local public school and were video-taped for later reflection and analysis. Participants consisted of students in two elementary general music classes, grades four and six. The students and the classroom teacher responded positively to the activities designed using the Orff Approach. Every student successfully participated in the rhythmic and melodic musical opportunities, learning and demonstrating musical independence. Being directly involved with the creative musical process at an elementary level helps foster the musical learning process. When developed at a young age, creativity and musical independence are very helpful skills to utilize during musical performing in later musical training. The Orff Approach naturally fosters musical creativity and independence and highlights individual student success. The Orff Approach is a beneficial teaching methodology that helps to successfully implement improvisation and better teach composition. It also promotes active participation in musical activities that will aid students in applying the skills in later musical experiences.