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The Elemental Style: Composing and Arranging, Part I

This online course is for students of the Schulwerk who have experienced the possibilities of elemental style through participation in an Orff Schulwerk teacher education course. Participants in this course should have practical hands-on experience with the works of Carl Orff and Gunild Keetman, and a basic understanding of the traditional developmental flow of Western European art and folk music. This course is intended for students who have completed either Orff Schulwerk Level I or Level II. Each day will include approximately 45 minutes of presentation by the instructors followed by 30 minutes of discussion and collaboration on student work. Each class will conclude with approximately 15 minutes of goal setting for the next day’s class.


Over this ten-day class, students will complete six compositions with the following focuses:

  • Pentatonic Modes
  • Major and Minor Hexatonic
  • Ionian
  • Aeolian
  • Minor Modes of Phrygian and Dorian
  • Major Modes of Lydian and Mixolydian

Dates: June 7-18 Weekdays

Times: 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Noncredit Cost: $150

Graduate Credit: Additional $1,000.00 for 2 hours of graduate credit (Paid separately to SMU)

Required Materials: The Elemental Style: A Handbook for Composers and Arrangers, Part I by Paul B. Cribari and Richard D. Layton, Competency with Music Notation Software, Application, or Website (Finale, Sibelius, Musescore or Noteflight are preferred)


The Elemental Style Faculty:


Paul Cribari, D.M.A. is an Orff Schulwerk teacher in the Cherry Creek

School District in Colorado. There, he is the Coordinator for Visual and Performing Arts, K-12.

Paul received his MA with a concentration in Orff Schulwerk from the University of St. Thomas,

and his doctorate in Music Education from Boston University. In addition to his work with

children Paul teaches levels I, II, and III of Orff Schulwerk at SMU, Metropolitan State

University of Denver, and the San Francisco International Orff Schulwerk Course. Paul is a

regular clinician for local chapters of AOSA and has presented sessions at state and local

conferences, as well as numerous national conferences of AOSA. Internationally, he has taught

in Italy and Hong Kong. Recent publications include THE ELEMENTAL STYLE: A Handbook

for Composers and Arrangers, Part 1.


Richard Layton, Ph.D. has taught at The Key School since 1979. In addition to the SMU Course and his work with grades 8-12 students at Key, Rick has been on the faculty at the University of Maryland, College Park teaching music theory since 1992.  For the past three decades, Rick has been an active clinician and presenter for NAfME state and regional conferences and for the American Orff Schulwerk Association’s chapter workshops and yearly national professional development conferences. Rick’s international teaching includes Taiwan, Australia, Canada, Dubai, and twice at the Orff Institute in Salzburg, Austria. Recent publications include THE ELEMENTAL STYLE: A Handbook for Composers and Arrangers,

Part 1.

For further information about SMU Music Educators Workshops, or to register for one of these classes, visit; or contact Julie Scott, Lisa Beyer, or Courtney Wilson at; or call the SMU Music Office at 214-768-1951.

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