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Where the most Inspired Musicians
become the most Inspiring Music Teachers

Summer 2023 MECA

Continuing Education Courses


Orff Schulwerk Teacher Education: Level I


July 10-July 21, 2023

Course Code



4 Graduate Credits


$1,420 is due in full with registration.


Learn the fundamentals of Orff Schulwerk, an active approach to music education. This course will include speech, singing, and movement activities, as well as playing recorder, Orff instruments, and unpitched percussion.

All Orff Schulwerk Levels are a two-week course that meets Monday through Friday, July 10 -14 and Monday through Friday, July 17-21. Classes meet from 8 am-4 pm.

Housing Information


Chat Session

Every class will meet from 8:00AM to 4:00PM CST. at De La Salle Institute 3434 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60616



Required Text(s)

Participants will receive books & recorders on the first day of class.

Learning Platform Information - Online Courses Only

Schoology is a learning management system that allows you to interact directly with your instructors, fellow students, and members of the greater VanderCook community.

The evening  before your class begins, be on the lookout for an email from Schoology with log-in instructions. Once you receive credentials, visit to login. 

Some courses have specific online chat meeting times (please see course descriptions), while others have a flexible meeting schedule. You can expect all courses to meet together in a live online chat. If a live meeting time doesn’t work, you can work with your instructor to make other arrangements.

More information about Schoology can be found at

Please see specific software/hardware requirements in the course description.

Online course grades are available within two weeks of the course(s) completion.  If you need a transcript, please CLICK HERE to access the online transcript request form. For a faster turnaround time, please submit the transcript request to the registrar prior to the end of your course(s).


Christine Ballenger

Christine Ballenger

Orff Schulwerk Level I Pedagogy

Christine Ballenger currently teaches general music (PK-4) in Spring, Texas, north of Houston. She holds degrees in music education from the University of New Mexico (M.M.) and the University of Puget Sound (B.M.). Christine teaches Level I movement and recorder for the Gwinnett County Orff Course outside of Atlanta, and Basic Pedagogy for summer courses at VanderCook and UNC-Wilmington. Since 2017, Christine has served as a member of the editorial board of The Orff Echo. She has presented at AOSA National Professional Development Conferences, as well as for a variety of AOSA chapters across the country. Christine has also had training in Kodaly and World Music Drumming, and completed the “International Summer Course” in 2018 at the Orff Institute, in Salzburg, Austria.


Rachel Aupperle

Orff Schulwerk Levels Recorder Instructor

Rachel Aupperle teaches K-12 general music, and choir at Ridgeview CUSD #19, in Central Illinois.  Rachel holds a bachelor of music, master’s in music education, and certification in all three levels of Orff Schulwerk training. She is a Level I, II, and III movement and recorder instructor and has received training in Feierabend FAME Curriculum Certification: Conversational Solfege I and First Steps of Music.


Rachel currently serves as President of the Heart of Illinois Orff Chapter and President of the Elementary General Music Division for the Illinois Music Education Association.  She is an active presenter and guest clinician who has presented at local, state, and national conferences.  Mrs. Aupperle strives to share her love of music education with all teachers by providing a welcome, and safe learning environment for all.

Ben Torres

Ben Torres

Orff Schulwerk Levels Coordinator
, Orff Schulwerk Levels: Movement Instructor

Ben Torres is in his 12th year in the Richardson (TX) school district and his fourth year as the K-6 music specialist at Brentfield Elementary in Dallas, where he also directs the Brentfield Singers, the Rhythm Cats Orff Ensemble and serves as the JJ Pearce Area Team Leader. Prior to this, he was the K-6 music specialist at Richland Elementary, where he also directed a choir and an Orff ensemble, the latter of which was selected to perform at the 2011 TMEA Convention. Torres received his bachelor’s degree in music education from West Texas A&M University in Canyon. He teaches movement in the Orff Schulwerk training course at Trinity University in San Antonio, movement and recorder in the Orff Schulwerk course at the University of Central Arkansas in Conway, and other courses across the country. He is currently the president of the North Texas Chapter of the American Orff-Schulwerk Association.

The mission of VanderCook College of Music is to enrich the lives of present and future generations by developing uniquely skilled music teachers who exhibit strong character, professionalism, and a commitment to excellence.

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