Tossi Aaron, AOSA Distinguished Service Award Recipient and servant leader, passed away March 20, 2018. Survived by her husband Leon, and daughters Rachel and Ellen, Tossi was a leader in the growth of Orff Schulwerk in the United States since early in the development of the American Orff-Schulwerk Association.
An accomplished folk singer, recording artist, visual artist, folk dancer, author, and editor, Tossi’s first introduction to Orff Schulwerk took place in 1965 when she attended a teachers’ meeting introducing the approach. Beginning her studies in Toronto in 1967 with Doreen Hall, Mimi Samuelson, and Jos Wuytack, Mrs. Aaron received her certification in 1968. Tossi completed her own Orff Schulwerk training at Memphis State University and took the summer course at Orff Institute. She taught children K-6 in private schools in Philadelphia and made many trips to Europe. While teaching at Chestnut Hill College, Tossi served as an Orff Schulwerk teacher educator teaching summer courses at universities across the United States and in England as well as presenting at conferences, chapters, and internationally. She presented her first session at an AOSA conference in 1972.
Her role as a leader of AOSA began early in the organization’s history. Mrs. Aaron was a founding member of the Philadelphia Area Chapter and served as a chapter leader and on the AOSA National Board of Trustees. Aaron’s contribution to the publications world of Orff Schulwerk is significant as she authored and co-authored 4 books from 1970 to 1979 as well as contributing to The Orff Echo. Her contribution to The Orff Echo is significant, serving as a member of the editorial board from 1973 until her appointment as editor in 1986. She held this post until retiring in 1994 but continued to contribute into the mid-2000s. Aaron’s commitment to the growth and expansion of The Orff Echo turned the publication into a well-rounded, progressive resource serving AOSA membership and the greater music education community. Tossi designed several additional AOSA publications including the first What is Orff Schulwerk? Brochure and the first AOSA logo.
Her long-time dedication to AOSA and Orff Schulwerk was recognized when she became the recipient of the AOSA Distinguished Service Award in 2002. Aaron’s contribution to OS has been integral in its growth and development in the United States making AOSA the largest Orff Schulwerk association in the world. She will be missed, but her legacy will live on for years to come.