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Music Lessons for young children need a specialized educational approach 

"Tell me, I forget.  Show me, I remember.  

Involve me, I understand." Carl Orff


 Methods used to reach our goals; (These educational methods have been proven more effective for ages 1 - 9!)

Orff Method: Words, poems, stories, songs and chants are explored using a combination of movement with instrumental and vocal sounds. Children use the musical tools learned in the classroom to create their own compositions.

Kodaly Method: Traditional children's songs, rhymes, and their accompanying dances and games are used to foster an enjoyment of singing. The rhythms and pitches of these songs are further explored by employing both verbal and written musical identification. 

Dalcroze Eurythmics: Basic elements such as beat, dynamics, accent and meter are demonstrated with movements such as crouching, jumping, stomping, marching,and clapping.

Carl Orff was a German composer and educator who developed a unique approach to music education. Orff defined the ideal music for children as "never alone, but connected with movement, dance, and speech—not to be listened to, meaningful only in active participation." Orff said, "Experience first, then intellectualize." Based on this ideal, the Orff approach builds understanding of concepts and skills through connecting students with the music by experiencing it on all levels. These levels include speech/chants, movement, singing, drama, and by playing pitched and unpitched instruments. 

The Orff philosophy encourages children to experience music at their own level of understanding. Children are learning in their natural environment of play. Improvisation is encouraged to allow children to explore the possibilities in music. 

Children's brains are naturally wired for music

In 1924 Orff and Dorothy Guenther founded the Guenther school. The school was the co-ordinated teaching of dance, gymnastics, and music. Orff started to see that music, movement and speech are not separate entities in and of themselves but that they form a unity that he called "elemental music". When he refers to this, he means movement, music and speech created by children that children do naturally without thought. After teaching for years he came to understand that children are naturally "wired" for music. He taught that if children's natural wiring is not cultivated or excercised from a young age that the inherent abilities will diminish with time.   

Orff''s approach was so succesful and the public was so impressed, that Germany embraced the methodology. The Ministry of Culture recommended the adoption of the "Guenther / Orff Experiments" in all elementary schools in Berlin.   

Elements of the Orff Music Approach

The Orff philosophy is a music education for the whole person.  It is essentially an active music experiential approach.  Orff encourages creativity through the student's natural responses to music.



Orff begins with rhythm because it is the most basic of all the elements. He teaches this through natural speech patterns. For the child, speaking, singing, music and movement are all naturally connected. The teacher then leads the students through their own creative process. By connecting speech patterns to the rhythms, the child can master whatever meter or rhythm is needed. This naturally also leads to body rhythm patterns and movement to the music. 


Melody is taught in the same way. Simple intervals grow out of the natural pitches from the words. These intervals combine to make a melody. This melody can later be put onto instruments. Orff said, "Experience first, then intellectualize." Only after the playing has been taught does the teaching of notation occur.


Part of the playing and experiencing which is essential to the Orff approach is the element of improvisation. As frightening as improvisation seems to be to adults, it is freeing to children. No rules! The teacher sets up boundaries in which the child can create his or her own rhythm, melody, or dance.


Types of Orff Instruments

In addition to a variety of small percussion instruments, a complete music room should have a combination of soprano, alto, and bass xylophones and metallophones, and soprano and alto glockenspiels. Rhythmic instruments like drums, shakers, rhythm sticks are necessary. Triangles and bells also add to the music making experience. As the child gets closer to the age of 6, 7 & 8 they will begin the recorder. 

History of Orff Instruments

Orff Instruments for children began to be developed in 1928 by K. Maendler under the direction of composer Carl Orff. They were modeled after a wooden African instrument. The unique quality Orff instruments possess are removable bars. This way the bars that are not used can be removed and the student has a greater chance for success. Orff said, "Experience first, then intellectualize." A successful and fun experience is the basis for a positive learning process. 

   music lessons for young children and Orff Music lessons - toddlers music 

Addison Music Learning Centre, 481 North Service Rd W, A7, Oakville, Ontario, L6M 2V6 905-825-8668
Music for young children in Oakville has never been better!