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become the most Inspiring Music Teachers

Summer 2024 MECA

Continuing Education Courses


Orff Schulwerk Curriculum and Arranging


June 10-August 2, 2024

Course Code



3 Graduate Credits*


$1,125 is due in full with registration.


This online course is for Orff Schulwerk teachers who are seeking to organize or redesign their curriculum scope and sequence, even as they arrange and compose for their programs while centering the Orff Schulwerk approach. There are two components.

The first component uses the Backwards Design, Universal Design for Learning, and Culturally Responsive pedagogy  frameworks to establish learning objectives and aligned assessments for each grade level. The coursework references noted publications of national and international Orff Schulwerk specialists. Participants will specifically center culturally relevant and sustaining pedagogy while designing their curriculum, as the essence of the Orff Schulwerk is to center the humans who are making and creating music.

The second component of the course focuses on composing and arranging for music classes as well as Orff Schulwerk ensembles. These will provide space for student agency, improvisation, composition and movement possibilities. This component reinforces the composition, improvisation and arrangement aspects and expectations of AOSA approved levels courses.

Hence, it is required that participating teachers must have successfully completed at least the Level 1 Orff Schulwerk teacher education course.


Chat Session

Tuesdays 5:00 p.m. - 8 p.m. CST, 10 June-2 August 2024


Minimum requirement for the course. Participating teachers must have successfully completed at least Level 1 Orff Schulwerk teacher education course.

Required Text(s)

Required Text

Steen, A. (1992). Exploring Orff: A teacher’s guide. Schott. 

Reference Texts

Cribari, P. B., Calantropio, S., & Layton, R. D. (2019). The elemental style: A handbook for composers and arrangers. Sweet Pipes Publishing. 


manju durairaj

Manju Durairaj

General Music

Manju Durairaj was born and raised in India. She studied in Pune, India. She was involved in graduate research projects on comparative pedagogical practices of Indian (Carnatic) and Western Music at Middlesex University, London, UK. She graduated with her second master’s degree and K-12 certification from VanderCook College of Music, Chicago. Manju is the Lower School Music Teacher at the Latin School of Chicago. She is vice president elect DEI of AOSA, past president of the Greater Chicago Orff Chapter and is a certified Orff Schulwerk Levels Instructor. She is a certified Arts Integration specialist. She is on the Elementary General Music Council of IL Music Education Association. She is an adjunct professor at VanderCook College of Music, Chicago where she teaches curriculum design and elementary methods graduate and undergraduate courses. Her continuing teaching education courses, on campus and online, include Culturally Responsive Music Education, Technology, Arts Integration, Curriculum Development, Responsive Classroom, and Redesigning Teaching and Learning for 21st Century. She is a frequent clinician at various state, national, and international conferences. She has been published in the Orff Echo, Reverberations, Illinois Music Educators Journal, General Music Today, and the Journal of the Council for Research in Music Education. Her publications with Hal Leonard include InterAct with Music Assessment Levels 1 and 2, InterAct Levels 1&2 Student Activities for Devices and Print, Technology in Today’s Music Classroom and Dancing Around the World with Music Express Magazine.

roger sams

Roger Sams

Adjunct MECA Faculty

Roger Sams retired from the music classroom in 2013 after 31 years of teaching music. He has been an active clinician and Orff instructor for over two decades and has taught in China, India, Indonesia, Scotland, Canada, South Korea, Poland, Spain, and throughout the U.S. Roger is trained in Gestalt therapy and is interested in the power of choice in the artistic process and in life. He is co-author of “Purposeful Pathways: Possibilities for the Elementary Music Room” and the composer of several choral octavos published in the Crooked River Choral Project series and a book of rounds and partner songs titled, “A Round My Heart.” He is currently Director of Publications at Music Is Elementary and Creative Director at

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