Holding Space: The Gestalt of Orff Schulwerk

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Holding Space:
The Gestalt of Orff Schulwerk

July 1922, 2021
One week only

Gestalt means wholeness. A Gestalt approach to change recognizes that the whole is more than the sum of the parts. Orff Schulwerk teaching, at its best, comes from a place of wholeness. In this course, we examine the ways in which an Orff classroom is a place for children to experience, if even just for a moment, their wholeness in the midst of their demanding lives and a broken world. Simultaneously, we will heighten our awareness as to how this generative approach to teaching impacts the teacher, nourishing well-being from within. This course will be life-changing.

Instructor: Roger Sams

Sams,_Roger_headshot_2020_CROPRoger Sams retired from the music classroom in 2013 after 31 years of teaching music in public and private schools. He has served as adjunct faculty, teaching methods courses and supervising student teachers at Cleveland State University, and has been on the faculty in teacher education programs at the University of St. Thomas, Cleveland State University, Akron University, the University of Montana, University of Missouri-St. Louis, and other venues throughout the U.S. Sams is a regular presenter at state, regional and national conferences, has served on the AOSA National Board of Trustees, and has worked with teachers in Canada, China, Indonesia, India, South Korea, Poland, Spain and Scotland. He is the co-author of Purposeful Pathways: Possibilities for the Elementary Music Classroom Books 1-4, Percussive Play, and Elemental Ukulele. He has published works for children’s choirs in the “Crooked River Choral Project” series and a collection of rounds and partner songs entitled A Round My Heart.
A graduate of the Gestalt Institute of Cleveland, Sams is interested in the power of choice in the artistic process, teaching and life. He owned and practiced healing arts at the Sacred Arts Holistic Center in Cleveland, Ohio, for nearly 20 years before moving to St. Louis in 2020 to birth the next stage of his life as an elder. He continues to support personal and spiritual growth through the arts via transformational circles that meet online and by leading retreats around the world.

Course Details

Holding Space:
The Gestalt of Orff Schulwerk

Course Code 6981

Roger Sams

1 Graduate Credit

$365, due in full with registration

July 19-22, 2021
9:00 a.m.–Noon & 1:00–4:00 p.m.
(Class sessions will be held via ZOOM)


Required Text(s)
The Courage to Teach
by Parker Palmer

Software/Hardware Requirements
Internet access is required.

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Summer 2021 MECA courses officially begin on Monday, June 7. Soon after you register, be on the lookout for an email from Schoology with log-in instructions. Once you receive credentials, visit to login. On the morning of June 7, you'll have access to your classroom and course material.

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.

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