Orff Schulwerk Level III

orff certification

Orff Schulwerk Certification
Level III


In Level III you will review the diatonic modes* melodically and harmonically, work with non-cadential triadic accompaniments and move on to I-V, I-IV and I-IV-V functional progressions in major and minor modes using activities that are accessible and appealing to both you and your students.

Improvisation plays a key role. Rhythmic work will continue to expand to meters in 5, 7 as well as other symmetrical and non-symmetrical meters, and changing meters. Instrumental work will further develop playing skills in percussion (pitched and unpitched). Recorder will include work with additional voices sopranino, tenor and bass recorders – developing playing and improvisational skills and further exploring pedagogy using all recorders. Movement classes will draw on the ideas and concepts outlined above and make use of more advanced techniques and skills in choreography and improvisation as well as pedagogical considerations and the role of dance and movement in the development of Orff Schulwerk.

While Level III is a very important step, it doesn’t signal the end of your studies. You will want to continue your education in ways that will nourish your personal and professional development and help you assimilate what you have learned and experienced. Continue to look for supplemental classes as well as the Master Class – offered every second year at Mason!

Dates: July 17-28, 2023 (two weeks) 
Times: 8:30 am – 4:30 pm
Instructors: Betsy Sebring, John Barnes, Victoria Redfearn Cave
Location:  Mason Fairfax Campus, Performing Arts Building
On-Campus Housing: View Details
Parking: More Info Here
Registration Deadline: June 15, 2023

Sample Daily Schedule
  • An opening warm-up: songs, canons or movement at 8:30 sharp!
  • Two class periods in basic pedagogy and elemental music theory – 3.5 hours total.
  • A recorder class including playing techniques, literature, and pedagogy as well as music and movement applications – 75 minutes.
  • A class in movement including development of vocabulary and skills, pedagogy as well as musical applications – 75 minutes.
  • In addition, there will be four special topic sessions throughout the course in which all three Levels come together for musical and movement experiences.
  • And… of course breaks for travel, refreshment and lunch!

Assignments will be given daily and will be based on activities experienced during the classes. They will consist of writing/composing rhythmic or melodic examples that could be typically used with your students. In addition, there will be reading assignments geared to a better understanding of Orff Schulwerk ideas, models and concepts. You will be expected to work on recorder skills and develop pedagogical ideas in both recorder and movement classes. Participants will receive class notes for each area of study – both in hard copy and/or electronically as the course progresses.


Orff Required & Recommended Book List

Important materials to have for assignments and note taking:  standard music notation paper, pencils/pens, colored highlighters, tape, straight-edge, post-its, a 3-ring binder for notes.

You may want to use music writing computer software for your assignments such as Sibelius or Finale. You may also want to have an individual flash drive for notes and materials generated in class.

Other Suggestions
  • Hand drums – due to shortages, we are asking that those who have access to hand drums to please bring them.  Please put your name or your school’s name on any drums that you bring.
  • A barred instrument from your school is handy to have at home to try out your orchestration assignments.
  • Nursery rhymes, children’s poetry, picture and storybooks will be helpful.
Credit and Non-Credit Enrollment: Assignments and Requirements

Whether you are taking the course for credit or non-credit, you are eligible for Certification in Orff Schulwerk after the successful completion of Level III. Certification is awarded by George Mason University and the American Orff Schulwerk Association. The Certification Program is designed as an ensemble experience therefore active and full participation is expected from everyone so that the pedagogy can be fully experienced. Those who have enrolled in the class for credit have opted to take a graduate-level course and will be asked to complete some extra assignments which will fulfill those requirements, as well as help, prepare them for final exams if they are pursuing the Master in Music program with an emphasis in Orff Schulwerk. Those assignments may consist of additional written responses to reading assignments and/or separate completion of curriculum design.

Please Note: For-credit courses/programs are not approved for VA Education Benefits. For questions related to VA benefits for these courses/programs, please reach out to Katie Fox-Heim at veterans@gmu.edu for additional information before registering.

SoM Masters Hybrid Orff Kodaly Program



For-Credit Registration Instructions:

  • For-credit registrations are managed by Mason’s Continuing and Professional Education office.
  • Click the “Register for Credit” button to register.
  • On the right side of the page, you will see the details of the course including dates, times, and course fees. Click the green “Add to Cart” button.
  • Doublecheck the in-state or out-of-state fee selection and then “Checkout” at the top of the page. This will then prompt you to make an account through the online portal. Please choose “I am a new user or I have an inquiry” and enter your email address and “Create Account.”
  • Please fill out all data required and then “Continue Checkout.”
  • You will then be prompted to complete your payment option.
  • Once payment is received, you will get an enrollment and payment receipt.

Non-Credit: $898

Please note: If you are registering for NON-CREDIT and are paying by check, please contact the Academy for options.

For-Credit: $1,698 In-State/$2,019 Out-of-State

Attention: For-Credit registrations are not eligible for VA Education Benefits. Contact veterans@gmu.edu for additional information before registering.


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