Due to COVID-19 our staff is tele-working. For questions, email academy@gmu.edu. All private lessons and classes are now online.

Orff Schulwerk Certification Program


Orff Schulwerk Teacher Education
for Music Educators K-8

Celebrating over 35 years of excellence!


We regret to announce that due to COVID-19, Orff Levels I, II, and III are canceled for Summer 2020.

We are excited to be working with the University to run several online Supplemental courses. Full details will be available in the next few weeks. Current registrants should monitor their emails for more information. Thank you for your patience and understanding.


Join the Orff Schulwerk program at the George Mason University School of Music summer institute, hosted by the Mason Community Arts Academy.  Celebrating over 35 years of excellence, we have developed a comprehensive and authentic curriculum taught by experienced, enthused, and enjoyable Orff specialists.

July 13 – 24, 2020  Levels I – III Courses
July 6 – 10, 2020  Supplemental Courses


What is Orff Schulwerk?
Composer Carl Orff (Carmina Burana) and his colleague Gunild Keetman developed Orff Schulwerk as an active approach to music and movement education based on the central idea that music, movement and speech form an inseparable unit. Through singing, rhythmic speech, body percussion and movement, children gain experience and develop instincts for making music in a joyful and accessible way. Orff Schulwerk uses songs, rhymes, games and dances to explore traditional and original music in the elemental style, introducing skills and concepts in a logical and integrated way. Music and movement are often accompanied by clapping, snapping and stamping, or with pitched and unpitched percussion as well as recorders.  The Orff Schulwerk program at Mason is a proud member of the American Orff Schulwerk Association.  See AOSA website.

Levels Courses: Earn Your Certification in Orff Schulwerk
Orff Schulwerk Certification offers the opportunity for professional growth through a comprehensive program in one of the leading philosophies of active music education including musical and movement skills, theory and pedagogy for grades K-8.  Certification in Orff Schulwerk is widely recognized as a significant professional step in both the public and private school sector as Orff Schulwerk often forms the foundation of a music curriculum.  Learning to create original teaching materials that have meaning for your students and developing supportive connections with colleagues and instructors are only two of the important benefits of participation in the program.  The courses also help prepare teachers and therapists for the challenge of developing music programs adapted to the needs of their students.  Levels I – III are offered, and certification is awarded upon successful completion of LEVEL III – you can sign up for one course per summer.  Level courses are also eligible for Teacher Recertification Points in many school systems. Check with your district for verification.

Supplemental Courses
An outstanding selection of Orff Schulwerk and Kodály supplemental courses designed to enrich and extend the experiences, skills, and knowledge gained during Certification are offered the week prior to the Level courses.
See Supplementals Courses

Credit and Non-Credit Options Available
At Mason, you have the choice of taking Orff Courses as a “FOR-CREDIT” participant and receiving 3 graduate credits for each Level (applicable towards the Masters in Music Degree), or enrolling as a “NON-CREDIT” participant. While each has different requirements/costs, BOTH paths lead to a Certification award upon completion of Level III!


SoM Masters Hybrid Orff Kodaly Program



A limited number of scholarships are available for Orff Schulwerk Level courses (deadline is Friday, May 15, 2020):

Orff Scholarship 2020
(For-Credit & Non-Credit participants are eligible)



Carol Erion Orff Scholarship 2020
(For-Credit, Level III participants only)




Orff Level I

Orff Level II

Orff Level III

Supplemental Courses

On-Campus Housing

Orff Faculty

Read Summer 2019 Blogpost



Stephansky_headshot2011Joyce Stephansky, Program Director