Elemental Education in Music and Dance

by Michael Kugler


  • The first version of the OSW, entitled ›Elementare Musikübung‹ [elemental musical exercises], is published between 1932 and 1935 following a workshop phase at the Günther School of Gymnastics and Dance. The series is not continued as the foreign nature of its music and the principle of improvisation stands in opposition to the ideological specifications of the Nazi period.

  • Following a radio broadcasting series for schools commencing in 1948, the second publication ›Musik für Kinder‹[Music for Children] appears. The swift national and international distribution results in an intercultural reception and acceptance of the Schulwerk which still continues today. Both Schulwerk publications are based on Orff’s artistically and anthropologically inspired concept of ›elemental music‹ which is quasi developed through educational channels.

  • The educational core of the ›Orff-Schulwerk‹ concept is formed by individual artistic activity within the elements of music, language and movement for which the publications merely provide models. Problems can arise with the Orff Schulwerk should these models be played without taking the aspects of improvisation and movement into consideration.
    It is therefore vital that the training and further training of teachers is directed towards the provision of the requirements for creative work and a methodical repertoire.

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Abb: 1, 2 Peter Keetman