(Photograph taken by Orff UK)
Throughout the last week of July, I attended the Orff UK Summer School in York and thoroughly enjoyed engaging in creative music making, dance, spoken word and puppetry. Musicking with the other participants and teachers was wonderful and the experience reminded me of the importance of continually engaging in creative musical activity. I used to attend music education courses with the view to enhancing my professional development as a teacher, an opportunity to learn new ideas, activities and discover new repertoire. While this is still true, I feel that I now truly value the opportunity given to engage with other people in a shared creative musical experience, an experience that stands alone in it own right. I feel that this is really important. Active involvement in group music making and dancing provides a time and space for exploring musical ideas individually and collectively. It is a unique opportunity that involves negotiation, cooperation, sensitivity and can be extremely rewarding as you feel part of something very special and unique. Group music making is something that I facilitate and offer to groups of children and adults and so it is important for me to remember what it feels like to be part of a participatory group making experience as a member. It was interesting to observe my teachers, when they were active participants and when they stepped back to allow each group to consolidate their musical responses, a very important and delicate part of being an Orff Schulwerk teacher.I left York feeling really inspired. I am excited by my work and keen to develop, and be a part of, more communities of creative music making practice.
The Orff UK website is wonderful. It is clear, easy to use and creatively documents work and practice. The resources section for members is really useful.