On this page we list links to resources for your classroom or that will help you locate other related organizations. Links are organized by categories and this page will be updated regularly. Each link includes the date it was accessed, please let us know if you find links that are not working or are no longer appropriate. All links were verified on 6/23/17.

AdvocacyInformative Sites  • Teaching Resources
Rubrics and Assessment ToolsBlogsLinks to Related Organizations
(Recent Additions)


Video:Best-selling author Dan Pink discusses right-brained thinking, music education,and today‘s economy.(29 min.)

A Musical Fix for America —This article from the Wall Street Journal proposes music education as a solution to “some of the thorniest and most expensive problems facing American education.”

Richard Gill: Alarm Bells Should Be Ringing!—Australian conductor Richard Gill laments the current state of music education in schools in the country, and discusses a need for musicians from all walks of life to work together with mutual respect for different styles of, and approaches to teaching, music.

The Neuroscience of Singing—Scientific research is used to explain why singing in groups is such an enjoyable experience. This article encourages more singing and outlines the benefits of doing so.

A Child’s Brain Develops Faster with Exposure to Music Education—This brief article outlines the results of a study that tracked the brain development of young children enrolled in extracurricular music activities.

Want to ‘train your brain’? Forget apps, learn a musical instrument—In light of recent studies finding a lack of evidence that varying “brain games” have any sort of effect on the health and longevity of brain function, this article makes the argument that music is the ultimate way to enhance the brain.

If You Want To Accelerate Brain Development In Children, Teach Them Music—This article outlines the results of a 2012 study that “examine(d) the impact of music instruction on children’s social, emotional and cognitive development.”

Music lessons spur emotional and behavioral growth in children, new study says—From the Washington Post, this article reviews the results from a study of the brain scans of over 200 students, ages six to 18, who played a musical instrument.

My View: Everything I Need to Know, I Learned in Music Class—Author Andrew Schwartz presents his own experiences and opinions on why what he learned in his musical studies make him a stronger business-person today.

STEM is incredibly valuable, but if we want the best innovators we must teach the arts—From the Washington Post, this article highlights the value of STEM, and how changing it to STEAM would provide an extra needed creative spark for children.

A therapist goes to middle school and tries to sit still and focus. She can’t. Neither can the kids. —Angela Hanscom, a pediatric occupational therapist, writes about her experience in a local middle school, the lack of ability to move throughout the day, and what effects it has on student learning.

20 Important Benefits of Music In Our Schools —From our friends at NAfME, a list of twenty benefits of music in our schools!

How Playing an Instrument Benefits Your Brain—When you listen to music, multiple areas of your brain become engaged and active. But when you actually play an instrument, that activity becomes more like a full-body brain workout. What’s going on?

Music’s Effects on the Brain: An Infographic—An eye appealing chart from NAfME that explains (and shows) where music effects the brain, how it improves learning, and the best kinds of music to study to.

How We Teach the Arts is as Important as the Fact that We’re Doing It—An article from The Guardian by Michael Rosen, a children’s novelist and former British Children’s Laureate. Rosen lays out a suggested “checklist” for teachers of fine arts to follow in regards to establishing an open and creative environment where students can take ownership of the art that they create.

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Informative Sites

 Music of Kindness: Playing Together Strengthens Empathy in Children—This article summarizes a study that found that children who receive regular music education exhibit more empathy towards others.

Stop Obsessing Over Talent- Everyone Can Sing—Steven M. Demorest, Professor Music Education at Northwestern University, explains the importance of encouraging all children to sing, and not hindering them based on perceived ability.

What Educators and Parents Should Know About Neuroplasticity, Learning and Dance—Written by Dr. Judith Hanna, this article highlights existing and emerging research into the role that dance and movement plays in a child’s education and ability to learn.

Your Brain on Improv—Musician and researcher Charles Limb wondered how the brain works during musical improvisation — so he put jazz musicians and rappers in an MRI to find out. What he and his team found has deep implications for our understanding of creativity of all kinds. (Filmed at TEDxMidAtlantic.)

How Repetition in Music Affects Your Thinking—Elizabeth Hellmuth Margullis, director of the Music Cognition Lab at the University of Arkansas, says that repetition creates an opening for the listener to become imagined participants in the song. In this TED video she’s quoted as saying, “Repetition gives rise to a kind of orientation to sound that we think of as distinctively musical where we’re listening along with the sound, engaging imaginatively with the note about to happen.”

Music and math: The genius of Beethoven – Natalya St. Clair—How is it that Beethoven, who is celebrated as one of the most significant composers of all time, wrote many of his most beloved songs while going deaf? The answer lies in the math behind his music. Natalya St. Clair employs the “Moonlight Sonata” to illustrate the way Beethoven was able to convey emotion and creativity using the certainty of mathematics.

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Rubrics and Assessment Tools

Everything You Need to Know to Write a Stellar Rubric—Author Melissa Purtee provides step by step instructions to creating your own unique rubric for the needs of your students

DePaul University Rubric’s Site—From DePaul University, this page offers information about types of rubrics, how to create your own, and how to evaluate if a rubric is most suitable for your needs.

RCampus Rubric Resources—RCampus is an online forum for teachers to share their own resources. This page links to music rubrics, K-5.

RCampus Elementary Music Performance Rubric—Also from RCampus, a direct link to a rubric that can be used to assess student performance.

Petersen Elementary Online Rubrics—Created by Bryan Wilkins, this school music website provides PDF links to rubrics used in Wilkins music room for student assessment. Included are full versions and student versions.

LMU Rubrics Overview—From Loyola Marymount University, rubric basics are overviewed, including what a rubric is, how to create one, using a rubric for program assessment, and examples.

LMU Music Rubric—Also from LMU, a direct link to a music rubric to assess composition.

Guides to Scoring Student Work—From the fourth chapter of Put to the Test, by Kuhs, Johnson, Agruso, and Monrad, a more detailed outline for the “whys” and “hows” of rubrics to overviewed.

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Teaching Resources

15 Picture Books That Support Children’s Spatial Skills Development—From KQED, this article shares 15 books that teachers can use to help children with their spatial skills.

The Singing Classroom—The Singing Classroom is a subscription based website that offers an ever expanding database of songs, lessons, and activities for use in the elementary music classroom.

Carnegie Hall Music Educators Toolbox—Carnegie Hall presents a website with resources that can be browsed by grade level, resource type, or concept. Videos are also included.

Phil Tulga: Music Through the Curriculum—A graduate of the Eastman school, Phil Tulga’s website shares free music activities and lessons for use in the music classroom.

Music For School—Created by Darva Campbell, this site offers many teaching resources, including, but not limited to, lesson plans utilizing classical music with listening maps and/or movement and active engagement.

The American Folk Song Collection—From the Kodaly Center located at Holy Names University, this website shares a vast collection of American folk songs, searchable by many different parameters and filters.

Robert Amchin YouTube Channel—Created by Robert Amchin, this YouTube channel features dozens of videos about multiple Orff related subjects.

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*Denise Gagne—Created by Denise Gagne, her blog is regularly updated with lesson ideas to use in your classroom.

Creative Music Classrooms with Thom Borden—Created by Thom Borden, this blog offers many ideas organized in easy to search categories.

The Music Parents’ Guide—This blog offers a unique musical perspective; that of the parent of a young musician.

O For Tuna Orff—Created by Aimee Pfitzner, this blog shares Orff inspired lessons and ideas for use in the music classroom.

Beth’s Notes Plus—A blog site with an extensive song list that can be searched in several ways, including name, grade level, and other searches.

Mama Lisa’s World—Created by Lisa Yanucci, Mama Lisa’s World is a website that focuses on international children’s music.

Make Moments Matter—Created by David Row, this blog shares classroom ideas and links to other free resources around the internet for teacher use.

Confessions of a Traveling Music Teacher—Doug Goodkin shares stories of his travels around the world presenting Orff workshops.

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Links to Related Organizations

The Orff Schulwerk Disography

Teaching With Orff

The American Center for Elemental Music

Technology Institute for Music Educators

The Gordon Institute for Music Learning

The College Music Society

Organization of Kodály Educators

Orff Schulwerk Forum – Salzburg

Orff Institute


National Association for Music Education

International Society for Music Education

Early Childhood Music and Movement Association

Dalcroze Society of America

Carl Orff Foundation

Carl Orff Canada

American Recorder Society

Musik Garten

Australian National Council of Orff Schulwerk

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