Recently, four of our WAOSA members have flown interstate to complete their next ANCOS level with other Orff state associations. The following excerpts describe their experiences interstate:
I have been desperate to do my Level 4 Orff accreditation for years, but Covid took care of any attempts that were made. When I saw QOSA were offering Level 4, I jumped at the chance and with the support of my school and WAOSA, I registered and booked my tickets!
I would like to say that Brisbane turned on their beautiful sunshine that they are so well known for but alas, we shivered through some of the coldest days ever recorded. However, making music the Orff way with like-minded music educators, for a whole week was enough to warm any soul. We were lucky enough to have the incredible Christophe Maubach over from Germany and hear about his early days a music educator in Salzburg and his dealings with Carl Orff himself. Christophe has a gentle nature and a pure joy, oozes in his teaching. I feel privileged to have learnt from him. Bethany Rowe from Canada taught us movement in her calm, ethereal manner. This is where I feel most at home and comfortable, expressing myself through movement. Nikki Cox captivated us through her clever story telling and weaving her tales into the songs and rhymes we were singing, and Sarah Brooke had the hardest task of all; getting me to grasp and understand the theory behind the modes and playing the recorder with a gammy hand.
I was nervous. It had been so long since beginning my levels journey, would I remember everything I had learnt? Would I manage the theoretical side of it? Would I be able to keep up with my classmates? I needn’t have been worried at all in fact, Level 4 was by far my favourite of all the levels! It was an opportunity to demonstrate my understanding of the content covered through the previous levels, the culminating of the experiences, lessons learnt, teaching techniques, passion, and love of the Orff process. I feel complete. Sad that I can’t continue doing levels courses forever as I have reached the end of the journey, but complete. It is now my turn to begin sharing that joy and creativity that one finds in the Orff world with other music educators. It is my turn to sing, say, dance and play with my students. It is my turn to continue the legacy of Orff.
Lured by the promise of balmy weather in Brisbane, I joined Ash for a week of deep Off learning, completing Level Three. Shockingly, the week turned out to be one of the coldest of the year, but still well worth the trip. It was a great privilege to work alongside a whole new group of dedicated music teachers, as well as fabulous presenters from all corners of the world. Highlights included singing beautiful songs from across Africa with Christoph Maubach, and creating free and expressive movement pieces with Bethany Elsworth. I definitely recommend attending a Levels course interstates if the opportunity arises, but I’m looking forward to completing my levels journey soon, at home with my Orff family!
Flying to Brisbane to complete my ANCOS Level 3 Orff course was like nothing I had ever done before. But after waiting for 2 years to try to complete my Level 3 in WA, when the option came up to complete it with QOSA, I jumped at the chance to hop on a plane and fly over East. Leaving Term 2 behind, I flew into Brisbane hoping for warmer weather but landed in some of the chilliest days Brisbane has seen in years. It didn’t matter though because the joy of singing with Christoph Maubach warmed my heart and soul to no end. Little did I know that spending a week singing traditional African folk songs with Christophe would awaken something profoundly deep and spiritual within me. Being born in Zimbabwe and growing up in Australia, I have lost a lot of my African heritage and culture. Being immersed in song with Christophe’s vocal classes brought everything rushing back and it was a very emotional time for me. I was moved to tears on many occasions with the beauty of song and body percussion. The week was filled with friendships, wonderful recorder and movement experiences with Beth Elsworth, instrumentation with Sarah Brooke and orchestration challenges with Nikki Cox. It was a real treat to share the week’s experiences with new friends from new parts of Australia but above all I’m most grateful to have been able to share a week of beautiful Orff music making with Amanda and Andy from our WAOSA family. You can see Amanda and I in action, having fun, singing and creating a movement piece to ‘Ayelevi’ here.
Having completed Level 1 9 years ago, I was a little concerned that everything about the Orff-Schulwerk approach had been pushed out of my head by school, life and, more recently, COVID. Reading through the extremely detailed Level 2 notes for the week ahead left me scrambling to revise my ‘Orff Vocab.’ and brushing up my recorder skills, much to the disgust of my neighbours. I am sure I can’t be the only one who goes through this before diving headfirst into an intense week of learning and I think teachers can sometimes be the worst students. However, as soon as I walked into St Catherines in Sydney, I knew that all my nervous energy was unnecessary. The atmosphere at Orff Schulwerk Levels is something else, no matter where they are held or what level, for anyone who has attended levels I am sure will agree. NSW Orff Association has everything well organised and ready to go, the group was fabulous and the presenters knowledgeable. It was also a lot of fun and a safe environment for everyone to learn. Where else can you dance like a fairy without being judged? I strongly encourage anyone, musician or otherwise, to give the Orff levels a go. Aside from the valuable learning experience it is, it allows everyone to connect and share best practice and be immersed in a side of music that we not often are.