Orff-Schulwerk Teacher Education Course

Orff-Schulwerk Dates: July 10 – 21, 2023

Level I

The Florida State University College of Music is pleased to offer Level I of the Orff-Schulwerk Teacher Education Course this summer. Orff-Schulwerk centers around the development of the whole child, while encouraging the continued development of the teacher. Orff-Schulwerk uses poems, rhymes, games, songs, and dances as its foundation for teaching music; the melodic and percussive musical activities are easily learned by the students. Designed for all children, the Orff-Schulwerk technique enables students to create good music immediately. The course itself provides a non-competitive atmosphere, where one of the rewards is the pleasure of making good music with others.

Level I is designed for anyone with musical training who wishes to acquire basic knowledge and pedagogic foundations in the Orff-Schulwerk approach. This course is recommended for those with no previous Orff-Schulwerk training and will include:

  • Studying basic Orff techniques, including the use of pentatonic scales, simple bordun, ostinato, and elemental forms;
  • Basic body movements, including structured and creative movement;
  • Vocal and rhythmic training; and
  • Soprano recorder

Tuition and Credit Information

  • Undergraduate Academic Credit (3 s.h.) Est. Program Fee: $700 + FSU fees
  • Graduate Academic Credit (3 s.h.) Est. Program Fee: $1,500 + FSU fees
  • Non-credit Continuing Education Units (6.0 CEUs) Est. Program Fee: $850* (Includes 10-day parking, non-negotiable)

This course offers 3 semester hours of academic credit each at the undergraduate or graduate levels. All those who are not current FSU students and who are registering for academic credit must complete the FSU Special Student Form before the start of the course. This form is available on the Center for Academic & Professional Development website: learningforlife.fsu.edu (select Academic Credit, then Credit Registration). Teachers wishing in-service hours should bring the necessary forms from their schools/districts at the time of the course. Non-credit students may receive 6.0 Continuing Education Units (CEUs) for the course.

Students are asked to come supplied with:

  • A computer with notation software such as Finale or Sibelius
  • Three-ring binder with dividers: Basic Pedagogy/Movement/Recorder/Special Topics
  • Paper and writing utensils or an electronic device for taking notes
  • Children’s poetry books and a pentatonic song collection available to use for homework assignments
  • Students will be asked to purchase materials on the first day of class amounting to $120-150 (cash/credit/check all accepted)
  • Students are encouraged to bring their own ukulele if they have one. FSU has a limited quantity of ukes available for the duration of the course


Suzanne Byrnes

Dr. Suzanne Byrnes, Director

Dr. Suzanne Rita Byrnes is a member of the Music Education faculty at FSU. Dr. Byrnes directs the FSU Capital Children’s Choir, directs the Summer Orff Schulwerk workshop, and teaches a variety of courses including the children’s choir internship and music in early childhood. Dr. Byrnes received her PhD from FSU in 1994.

Previously, Dr. Byrnes directed the Kansas City Children’s Chorus for 12 years, taught Choral Arranging, and was a guest lecturer in many classes at the Conservatory at UMKC. She also managed and taught in her Kindermusik® studio at UMKC for 8 years.

She is French-Canadian and hails from Ottawa, Canada where she taught at École Secondaire De-La-Salle in the Arts Concentration program. There, she headed up the choral, band, and orchestra programs and also participated in the drama program productions.

Dr. Byrnes has studied choral conducting with Dr. Fred Stoltzfus (University of Illinois, formerly at McGill University), Dr. André Thomas (FSU), Dr. Judy Bowers (FSU), Rodney Eichenberger (FSU), Jon Washburn (Vancouver Chamber Choir), James Jordan (Westminster Choir College), and Frauke Haasemann (Westminster Choir College, now deceased). She also studied instrumental and choral arranging with Canadian composer, Donald Patriquin.

Dr. Carla Giallella

Darla Meek, Level I & Movement Instructor

Darla Meek serves as Music Education Coordinator at Texas A & M University-Commerce, teaching undergraduate and graduate music education classes and supervising student teachers. She is presently working toward the Doctor of Education in Supervision, Curriculum and Instruction. Certified in both Kodály and Orff Schulwerk, Darla serves as a teacher trainer for the American Orff Schulwerk Association in both Movement and Level I Pedagogy for Orff Levels courses.

Darla is the author of three resources for elementary music specialists, Journey Around the Globe with Recorder! and Flight 2: Another Journey Around the Globe with Recorder! published by Sweet Pipes, Inc., and All Things Bright and Beautiful published by Choristers Guild. Her articles have appeared in The Orff Echo, The Chorister, and Kodály Envoy. In addition, Darla has published children’s choir curricula for Lifeway Christian Resources and for Celebrating Grace, Inc.

Darla presents professional development sessions for teachers at the district, regional, state, and national levels. She is a past President of the North Texas Chapter of AOSA.

Aaron Lohmeyer, Recorder Instructor

First introduced to Orff-Schulwerk in 2010, Aaron Lohmeyer has applied the approach to elementary general, concert band, guitar, and jazz band classrooms ever since. Long an advocate for musical creativity, Aaron Lohmeyer attributes the teachings of Carl Orff, Gunild Keetman, and Dorothee Gunther to his ability to bridge this value to an actionable practice.

Aaron Lohmeyer taught in Title 1 public schools in both rural Alaska and urban Florida. While serving as the general music teacher, guitar instructor and arts integration specialist for the Apalachee Tapestry Magnet School of the Arts, the school was honored to earn recognition as a Florida Arts Model School in conjunction with the Florida Alliance for Arts Education and the Florida Department of Education.

He completed the three Orff Schulwerk levels with the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District in Alaska and the University of Kentucky. He has since presented his own practice of Orff Schulwerk on local, state, and national stages. His presentations and published research focus on how tools and processes within an Orff approach contribute to creativity and life-long musicianship across multiple genres. A jazz and classical saxophonist by training, he strives to incorporate methods acquired in his own advanced instrumental study to beginning recorder instruction.

Aaron Lohmeyer has earned degrees from Davidson College (BA Religion) and the Florida State University (MM Saxophone Performance, MME Music Education) with additional studies in music at the University of Alaska- Fairbanks. He is currently completing a PhD in Music Education from FSU with an emphasis on General Music.

What will I take back to my classroom?

  • Music activities that match the stages of child development
  • Poems, songs, dances, and games for immediate use in classroom instruction
  • Resources for acquiring and creating your own teaching materials
  • Ideas to help foster creativity in students
  • Lessons with ties to the National Standards in Music

These courses will be held on the Florida State University campus. Classes are scheduled for Monday – Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

For More Information:

Program and Course Materials:
Suzanne Rita Byrnes, Course Director, FSU College of Music: (850) 385-2059

Registration Assistance:
Anthony McDonald, Center for Academic & Professional Development: (850) 644-7542 or use the contact form below.

Orff-Schulwerk Teacher Education Contact Form