Orff Schulwerk
Levels I, II, and III

Orff Schulwerk is a philosophy of music education, which is based on the work of German composer and music educator Carl Orff and his colleague, Gunild Keetman. During this course, students will explore music through singing, moving, playing unpitched and pitched percussion instruments and recorder, and improvising. Level I students will be introduced to basic Orff techniques, including a study of pentatonic melodies, drone accompaniment, ostinato and elemental forms. Level II students will be introduced to hexatonic and modal melodies, drone and chord accompaniments, and changing meters. Level III students will begin with a review of the diatonic modes, followed by a study of functional harmony. 100% attendance is expected of students who participate in this certification course.

  • Dates: June 17 – 28
  • Times: Weekdays from 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. except:
  • Wednesday, June 19: 1 p.m. - 5 p.m.*
  • Saturday, June 22: 9 a.m. - 12 p.m.
  • Non-credit Cost: $900**
  • Graduate Credit Cost: Additional $1,500 for three hours of graduate credit (paid separately to SMU after following instructions in the workshop registration email)
  • Housing: There is no on-campus housing available for Orff Schulwerk 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 and will be available to order through a link to West Music Company.

Register Here

*In order to provide participants the opportunity to attend local Juneteenth celebrations, class will be held from 1 - 5 p.m. on June 19. The hours missed will be made up on Saturday, June 22 from 9 a.m. - 12 p.m.

**Inquire about a discount for schools sending 10 or more participants


Level I is a prerequisite for Level II. Level II is a prerequisite for Level III. A bachelor’s degree in music or a strong background in music theory is required for this class. Participants must be able to read and write music notation in order to be successful in this course.

+This certification course is approved by the American Orff-Schulwerk Association (AOSA) and follows the guidelines of AOSA. There will be nightly assignments as part of the course requirements. Please allow a minimum of two hours each evening to complete your assignments. In addition, 100% attendance is required to earn credit and to move on to subsequent levels of training. Absences will be considered on an individual basis. Due to the intensive nature of this program, participants are strongly encouraged to avoid scheduling additional activities during the course.


Mary Beth Alexander, Michael Chandler, Paul Cribari, Amy Fenton, Paul Hallsted, Alicia Knox, Richard Layton, Jacqueline Schrader, Meg Tietz and Michael Vasquez

Mary Beth Alexander (she/her) teaches K-4th grade music and movement at The Nightingale-Bamford School in New York City. She holds a bachelor's degree in music from Vassar College and a Master of Arts in Music Education from The University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota, where she earned Mastery Certification in both the Orff and Kodály approaches to music education. In the summers, Mary Beth teaches basic and movement pedagogy in Orff Schulwerk courses at Southern Methodist University (Fort Worth, TX) and The University of St. Thomas (St. Paul, MN).

Mary Beth is committed to addressing issues of equity and inclusivity in the music classroom through culturally responsive and anti-bias teaching practices. In addition to her work as a teacher in the Orff approach, Mary Beth is a singer and violinist with an active performing career in New York City.

Michael Chandler, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor of Music and Coordinator of Music Education at Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tennessee, where he is also the director of the Clarksville Children’s Chorus. Dr. Chandler taught elementary general music to children in Texas public schools for 16 years, mostly in Lewisville ISD, where he was named "Teacher of the Year" at two elementary campuses. In 2013, 2007, and 2005, his student ensembles performed by invitation at the annual Texas MEA Convention in San Antonio. Dr. Chandler has presented conference sessions, courses, and workshops in 38 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and Australia including for numerous state MEA organizations. He is an AOSA-approved Orff Schulwerk teacher educator in all three levels of Orff Schulwerk pedagogy and recorder and teaches in Orff courses at Southern Methodist University (SMU), the University of Memphis (U of M), and the San Francisco International Orff Course. He is a past-president of the North Texas Chapter of the American Orff-Schulwerk Association (AOSA) and served a three-year term as a Regional Representative on the AOSA National Board of Trustees. Dr. Chandler was a collaborative pianist for the Children’s Chorus of Greater Dallas (CCGD) for 10 years and has guest conducted children’s choirs and ensembles in Texas, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Tennessee, Florida, and Georgia. He is the author of "Everyday Recorder, Recorder Everyday!," an Orff Schulwerk approach to integrating recorder into the general music classroom. His publications have been featured in Update: Applications of Research in Music Education, The Orff Echo, The Southwestern Musician, and Orff-Schulwerk International. He is currently a contributing author for McGraw Hill educational publishing.

Paul Cribari, D.M.A. is Assistant Director of Curriculum and Instruction for the Cherry Creek School District in Colorado. Dr. Cribari 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, and Metropolitan State University of Denver. 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. Paul, along with co-author Richard Layton, recently published THE ELEMENTAL STYLE: A Handbook for Composers and Arrangers, Part I.

Amy Fenton  teaches music and movement to children in kindergarten through 4th grade at Holbrook Elementary in Grand Ledge, Michigan. She holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Vocal Performance (with a minor in Flute) and certification in Music Education from The University of Arizona. She also holds a Master of Education degree in Educational Leadership from Grand Valley State University. Amy was named the 2018 Michigan Music Educator of the Year and awarded 2019 Michigan Arts Educator of the Year.  She has presented sessions at AOSA Professional Development Conferences and workshops at the local, state and national levels. Amy has been a recorder pedagogy teacher for AOSA Teacher Education courses in Texas, Michigan and Connecticut. She has served as President of the Mid-Michigan Orff Schulwerk Association.  Amy is a past member of the AOSA National Board of Trustees, having served as a Regional Representative and two terms as Treasurer. Amy has chaired the AOSA Fund Development Committee and the AOSA Post Level III Committee.

Paul Hallsted is currently teaching choir and guitar at Alma d’Arte Charter High School in Las Cruces, NM. He has been a music educator for over 30 years, teaching all levels of students, which include pre-school, elementary school, middle school, high school, and university.  Paul received his bachelor and master degrees from New Mexico State University. He teaches recorder in AOSA-approved summer teacher education courses at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Metropolitan State University in Denver and University of New Mexico in Albuquerque.

Alicia Knox currently teaches music at St. Patrick’s Episcopal Day School in Washington, DC. She holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree in Music Education from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Alicia has taught music in schools for twenty years, including three years at an international school in Shanghai, China. In 2013, Alicia’s students performed at the Welcome Ceremony of the AOSA National Conference in Denver. She has taught Orff Schulwerk Levels courses in San Diego, Los Angeles, and at Southern Methodist University.

Richard Layton, Ph.D. teaches Music Theory at the University of Maryland, where he has been on the faculty since 1992. He is co-author of THE ELEMENTAL STYLE: A Handbook for Composers and Arrangers. In addition to teaching Orff Schulwerk levels courses at Southern Methodist University since 1997, Dr. Layton has also taught Levels courses at George Mason University, San Francisco International Orff Course, University of Memphis (master class), West Chester University, and University of North Texas. Dr. Layton was on the faculty at The Key School in Annapolis, MD from 1979-2022. In addition to teaching Orff Schulwerk classes to 8th grade students, his course offerings included Music Theory and Chamber Choir in the upper school. Additionally, Dr. Layton served as Key School’s Performing Arts Department Chair from 1990-2020.

For the last 35 years Dr. Layton has been an active clinician and presenter for NAfME national, regional, and state conferences and for the American Orff Schulwerk Association’s chapter workshops and annual national conferences. Dr. Layton’s international teaching includes Taiwan, Australia, Dubai, extensively in Canada, and twice at the Orff Institute in Salzburg, Austria.

Jacque Schrader works for the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra Education Project. In this capacity she has launched the Discovery program within the Academy for students aged five to 10 years old.  This community outreach program uses the Orff approach.  Within this role, she has grown the program from one location to three locations and coaches the other teachers and future teachers in the program. 

Jacque recently retired from thirty years of teaching music and movement to students at The Key School in Annapolis, MD, where for fifteen years, she was department chair of First and Lower School Orff Schulwerk.  Her middle school students were the featured performers at the AOSA national conference in Atlantic City. Jacque currently teaches Level II Basic at Southern Methodist University and was the Movement teacher for Levels I-III for 25 years at the University of St. Thomas. She has been an active clinician for NAfME national, regional, and state conferences, as well as being a frequent presenter at AOSA Professional Development Conferences. 

Before being a guest lecturer at the Orff Institute in Salzburg, Jacque was a student in the Institute’s year-long special course.  She continues to be in demand both nationally and internationally, having taught children and teachers in Taiwan, China, Poland, Austria, Germany, Dubai and Slovakia.  Her canon “The Night is Over” was recently recorded by the women’s singing group Libana. Jacque served on the AOSA Board of Trustees for 4 years and currently serves on an off-board committee.

Meg Tietz teaches K-5 movement and music at Saint Paul Academy in Saint Paul, Minnesota. She is an active presenter for local and national workshops and conferences and also teaches summer Orff Levels in Dallas, TX, Denver, CO, and Saint Paul, MN.  Meg has served the American Orff Schulwerk association as a member of various subcommittees and also as a Trustee on the National Board.

Michael Vasquez teaches Pre K-5 music at Kuentz Elementary in San Antonio, TX.  He earned his bachelors and masters degrees at the University of Texas at San Antonio, and received his Orff training at Trinity University. Michael is the co-author of the Purposeful Pathways supplemental book "Percussive Play" and is an ACEMM spotlight award recipient and active clinician on Orff process and elemental movement.. He is a NISD teacher of the year, HEB Educator of Excellence Nominee and a 2023 Grammy Semi-Finalist for music education. 

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