mofmMeeting of the Minds, November 5, 2016
Topic – Post Level III: What do you do now?

Moderator: Joyce Stephansky
Panel: Judith Thompson-Barthwell, Carol Erion, Chris Judah-Lauder, Joyce Stephansky (not pictured), Marie Blaney, Barbara Grenoble (unable to attend)
Reporter: Sharon Mazion, Reverberations Editorial Board


Personal journeys and professional options post level III can and should be more than an immediate pathway to apprenticeship. Each panelist shared their journey with the Schulwerk and their teaching and recommendations for post level III work.

Panelists concurred on the following recommendations:

  • After completion of Level III, one should not race to the apprentice track, but rather take time to explore and develop the artistry of teaching.
  • Take time to reflect what you learned in your levels courses: Revisit your notes and organize materials and see how it fits with your scope and sequence, find extensions, revisit/analyze/digest the volumes, set attainable goals. Determine long-range plans and goals.
  • Consider retaking a level for a new experience with a different instructor.
  • Start working with a local music group and begin sharing your gift.
  • Try organizing an Orff Ensemble with colleagues (local adult friends) for the purpose of discovering more literature and ways to teach it.
  • Read a lot – not just about the Schulwerk, but about lots of things.
  • During recess and lunch. Listen to children and talk with them. Understand their world. Listen and communicate with parents of your students.

Panelists also recommended exploring the option of the mentor program. It was suggested that the mentorship program be expanded: 1 for teachers who want to become good general music teachers who use Orff process and a different mentorship for those who want to become really good elemental music teachers in their work as a music teacher.

Panelists also urged that AOSA should revisit the guidelines for identifying apprentices, and developing guidelines for post-level III courses.

Comments from the audience included the importance of going back to notes, re-taking a level, transcribing old notes to rediscover magical moments and make sense of prior experiences.

Post level III is a beginning point, not just an end. It’s a place to discover next steps, strengths and weaknesses. It is also the time to become involved in local and national AOSA organizations.