Orff Schulwerk Masterclass: Re-Imagining The Familiar: Deepening Your Personal Artistry

This course is designed to explore the process of Orff Schulwerk and the possibilities that can be discovered through collaborative work. The class will use existing materials in visual art, literature, Orff Schulwerk repertoire, other musical genres, and everyday items as a basis for exploration, improvisation, and performance. Finding new ways to re-imagine the familiar and deepen personal artistry is at the center of this course. A process model for bringing these experiences into a framework for lesson planning will help participants reflect and analyze processes to create effective project lessons for the classroom.

Dates: June 19-23

Times: 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. weekdays

Noncredit Cost: $500

Graduate Credit Cost: Additional $1,000.00 for 2 hours of graduate credit (Paid separately to SMU after following instructions in the workshop registration confirmation email.)

Housing Cost: There is no on-campus housing available for Orff Schulwerk Master Class this summer. For a listing of local Dallas hotels near the SMU campus and out-of-state discounts, go to http://www.campustravel.com/university/smu/visit_smu.html

Required Materials: A list of materials will be sent to you prior to the workshop through a link to West Music Company.

*Certification in Orff Schulwerk is a prerequisite of this course.*

Register Here


Beth Melin Nelson is the Lower School Principal at St. Paul Academy and Summit School, in St. Paul, Minnesota. With over 30 years of experience teaching music and movement to children and to adults, she relishes the opportunities to support teachers and students by utilizing the philosophical frameworks of Orff Schulwerk in new and creative ways. She views her practice as a way to pursue her true passions for cultivating creative, authentic self-expression and building connected communities. Beth received her Master’s degree from the University of St. Thomas, in St. Paul, MN, where she currently serves as an adjunct faculty member for the Graduate Program in Music Education. She has taught Orff Schulwerk Levels Courses at The University of St. Thomas, Metro State University in Denver, and Southern Methodist University in Dallas. Beth has presented and performed at national and state conferences and presents workshops throughout the US. Her international teaching includes work in Canada, China, Germany, and Austria. She is a past member of the American Orff-Schulwerk Association’s National Board of Trustees and has served on several NBT Subcommittees.

Kris Olson has taught music and movement for over 30 years in public, private, rural, and urban school settings.  She teaches workshops across the country and has offered classes in both movement integration and early childhood at various universities.  Kris has a master’s degree in Orff Schulwerk from the University of St. Thomas.  At the age of 30, Kris started dancing seriously through Zenon Dance Company’s scholarship program in Minneapolis and was a founding member of Schulfunk, a performance group that combined song, dance, and percussion.  Kris currently lives in Lubbock, TX where she teaches early childhood music and dance, produces a live children’s show, choreographs and dances for Flatlands Dance Theatre, and adjuncts in dance at Texas Tech when needed.  Her love of rhythm keeps her busy learning body percussion grooves, leading children’s Border Morris percussive folk dance, and experimenting with random percussion instruments.

For further information about SMU Music Educators Workshops, or to register for one of these classes, visit admission.smu.edu/portal/musicworkshops; or contact Directors Julie Scott, Lisa Beyer and Courtney Wilson at muedworkshops@smu.edu.