Level I

Orff-Schulwerk Teacher Education: Level I

Next session: July 10 - 21, 2023

Register Here! > https://appstate.irisregistration.com/Form/23orfflevel1. Registration deadline is June 30.

Scholarship Applications are due May 15 (including this scholarship application form and a letter of reference). The scholarship application includes...

  1. (In the form) Information about your background and employment
  2. (In the form) A 500-word essay describing your interest in participating in an Orff-Scholarship teacher education course at the chosen level. If you are enrolling in Level III, the essay should include a discussion of the impact of previous level(s) on your teaching. Use specific examples whenever possible. 
  3. (Emailed to Dr. Lisa Runner) A letter of recommendation to support your scholarship application from a principal, supervisor, or recent college instructor who is familiar with your teaching in the school or church setting or with your work as a therapist. If enrolling in Level III, this recommendation letter may not have been used the previous year to support a scholarship application. Please have your reference email the recommendation directly to Dr. Lisa Runner at runnerla@appstate.edu. Letters must be received no later than Monday May 15, 2023.

About Level I

Designed for anyone with the ability to read music, Level I provides an introduction to the Orff-Schulwerk philosophy and process. Based upon the ideas and teachings of Carl Orff, the course provides a means of discovering and experiencing this contemporary approach to teaching music.

Emphasis is placed on...

  • cultivation of an understanding of the Orff-Schulwerk philosophy
  • enhancement of creative and compositional skills
  • development of music pedagogy and instructional skills appropriate for use with diverse student populations
  • creation of a classroom environment facilitating success of all students.

Class activities revolve around those that serve as the basis for the Orff approach to teaching. The daily program includes basic pedagogy, soprano recorder, movement, and varied special topics instruction.

Content focuses on... 

  • Orff-Schulwerk techniques
  • rhythmic and melodic training
  • improvisation
  • pentatonic scales
  • ostinato
  • simple bordun accompaniments
  • elemental forms

Students also develop facility with the soprano recorder. Activities that are designed to develop satisfactory playing skills and an understanding of the use of the soprano recorder in the music classroom are included.

Visit the main page for the Orff-Schulwerk Teacher Education Program at the Hayes School of Music.

Orff Level I Program and Registration Information

Orff-Schulwerk courses at Appalachian State University have been offered annually since the summer of 2002. Dr. Maribeth Yoder-White and Dr. Lisa Runner have coordinated and taught in the program continually since it began. Biographies of both instructors are available upon request.

Content Overview

Orff-Schulwerk is a unique approach to music education based on the teachings of Carl Orff.  This child-centered approach incorporates speech, movement, song, and instrument playing in a creative atmosphere where students are actively engaged in the music making process.

Designed for anyone with the ability to read music, this Level I course will develop an understanding of the teaching and learning process of the Orff-Schulwerk approach to music and movement. The daily program will include basic pedagogy, soprano recorder, movement, and varied special topics instruction. Content will focus on Orff-Schulwerk techniques, rhythmic and melodic training, improvisation, pentatonic scales, ostinato, simple bordun accompaniments, and elemental forms.


The $475 Level I registration fee covers tuition and all materials needed to successfully complete the course. No additional purchases of any type are required. This fee also includes a course t-shirt and closing picnic.

Register at this link. (The code to enter the form, if needed, is 23orfflevel1.) If you do not have an account in App State's Iris Registration System, the form will ask you to create one. 

3 hours of graduate credit are available for those desiring to apply the class to a degree program. Application to Appalachian State as a non-degree seeking student and regular summer tuition are required. Note that all materials must be submitted no later than May 8, 2023. Learn more about the application process here: https://graduate.appstate.edu/graduate-admissions/apply-graduate-school/non-degree-seeking-applicant

Partial Scholarships

A limited number of partial “gAPP” Orff-Schulwerk scholarships are available annually to assist deserving students. This year’s application deadline is May 15. The scholarship application is available via the registration page.


Individuals may stay on-campus in university housing during Off Level I if desired. Participants will be housed in one of the university’s newest dormitories within an easy walk of the Broyhill Music Building; this dorm will only house adults. Participants will have access to kitchen and laundry facilities. Housing prices for 2023 will be:

  • $360 - shared room.  We are happy to help you find a roommate if this is your preferred option.
  • $660 – single occupant with a suitemate.
  • $55 – optional linen bundle with sheets, towels, and blanket. Most participants elect to bring their own linens. 

For more info, please contact Lisa Runner at runnerla@appstate.edu or 828.262.8051. 

Music Education at Appalachian State University

The Hayes School of Music offers a Bachelor of Music in Music Education, which provides skilled musicians the opportunity to develop expertise in the classroom, ensemble, and private studio in preparation for careers and state certification as public music school teachers and directors. Read more about the Music Education program in the Hayes School of Music.