The following reports from the 2015 AOSA Professional Development Conference in San Diego, CA have been edited by Jaree Hall, Reverberations Contributing Editor.

Report from President’s Panel: Core Arts Standards in the Schulwerk

Chris Judah-Lauder, immediate past president of AOSA, presided over this year’s President’s Panel in an informative discussion of the new Core Arts Standards and how the Schulwerk fits in with them.

Glenn Nierman, current president of NAfME, related that the NAfME standards page contains the new arts standards, as well as a wealth of resources related to the new standards. He shared a video showing a series of 2nd grade Orff based lessons and pointed out how the core arts standards were met within a normal Orff style lesson. He also shared a PowerPoint on Core Arts Standards in the Schulwerk.

Michelle Lewis, district staff developer for K-12 music in Louisville, Kentucky, defined the new core arts standards as “a process that guides educators in providing a unified quality education for students in Pre-K through high school.” She shared that her district has worked on developing curriculum documents that follow those standards. She shared a Kindergarten Music Curriculum Map and Kindergarten Learning Targets, currently in draft form. The district has also created a PowerPoint Chart of Verbs to be used in the new arts standards that correlate to verbs commonly used in Orff Schulwerk lessons.

Al Heary, an elementary teacher from Webster, New York, presented two lessons based on Orff Schulwerk and the NAfME Standards.

The final presentation was by Wendy Valerio, professor of music education at the University of South Carolina. She pointed out that the new standards include Pre-K, a change from the past. She demonstrated a short lesson where Pre-K students echo, answer, improvise and imitate.

The consensus among all the panelists was that Orff teachers are already meeting most, if not all of the new core arts standards. The main task for teachers will be matching their existing lessons with the standards and seeing if there are any areas not being addressed.

Meeting of the Minds: Teacher Education Curriculum Progress Report

Jim Solomon facilitated a discussion of the progress made by the Curriculum Oversight and Review Subcommittee (CORS). The panel included the members of the CORS committee: Donna Fleetwood, chairman, Paul Hallsted, Angela Leonhardt, Matt McCoy, Mary Helen Solomon, and consultant Jo Ella Hug.

No major changes were made to the pedagogy part of each level, but movement and recorder needed individual curricula. The resources section of the curriculum document continues to grow and provide teacher educators with a wide variety of resources, including mp3 files, video files, and YouTube videos.

Revisions to the movement curriculum are still in process. The main area of change is in the recorder curriculum. The goal is that Levels participants gain competency in playing recorder as well as teaching recorder to their students in an integrated Schulwerk experience.

Everyone expressed appreciation for the time and effort given by committee members to develop a cohesive curriculum and encourage communication among teacher educators. Special recognition was given to JoElla Hug for her contributions in developing the recorder curriculum. The group gave her a resounding standing ovation.