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Where the most Inspired Musicians
become the most Inspiring Music Teachers

Summer 2024 MECA

Continuing Education Courses


Orff Schulwerk Teacher Education: Level III


July 8-July 19, 2024

Course Code



4 Graduate Credits


$1,520 is due in full with registration. A $50 Early Bird Discount will be applied until 2/1/24.


Building on the skills acquired in Level II, this course includes arranging / composition using major / minor and other diatonic modes with appropriate ostinato and harmony-based accompaniments. Recorder ensemble experience and group composition in larger forms are also covered. Texts will be provided, but you must bring your own alto recorder (or tenor or bass recorder, if you have them).

All Orff Schulwerk Levels are a two-week course that meets Monday through Friday,July 8-12 and Monday through Friday, July 15-19. 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


Successful completion of Orff Schulwerk Teacher Education Level II

Required Text(s)

Participants will receive books 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).


Head Shot SLC 2019

David Thaxton

Orff Schulwerk Level III Instructor

David Thaxton is from Sparks, Nevada where he is currently in his 26th year teaching Elementary music to pre-K through 6th grade. He studied under Elizabeth Gilpatrick, and Judith Cole at Colorado State University, UNC Greeley and the University of Massachusetts Amherst where he received all three levels of Orff Certification, as well completing an apprenticeship with Kay Lehto at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. David has presented workshops and clinics at local, state and national levels and presents to Orff chapters throughout the country. As an AOSA certified teacher trainer for Level I, II and III pedagogy and Level I and II recorder, David teaches Summer Courses for the University of Nevada, Reno, the San Diego Summer Orff Course, and is now very excited to join the team at VanderCook School of music for Level III in 2021. He has served as President of the Sierra Nevada Chapter of AOSA, as well as on the editorial boards of The Echo and Reverberations journals of AOSA. He is currently the Treasurer for the American Center for Elemental Music and Movement, and has been the Lead clinician for the Four Corners Young Musicians Camp from 2015-19. David has recently published his new book “Making Tracks: Recorder Explorations, Creations and Improvisations” through Sweet Pipes.

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.


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.

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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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