Orff Schulwerk and Popular Music Education

Martina Vasil, David Dockan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


One way to build a comprehensive, inclusive, and equitable music education is through the inclusion of popular music in curricula. However, it can be challenging for teachers to bring popular music into the classroom for many reasons. We suggest that since many teachers are educated in the Orff Schulwerk approach, this can be one way to teach popular music in the classroom. In this article, we discuss the similarities between Orff Schulwerk and popular music education, share our rationale for creating a weeklong course on popular music and Orff, describe how it was structured, and share resources. We invite teachers to build relationships with their students, talk to students about what and who they are listening to, start with activities that are comfortable for them and their students, and know that music standards can easily be achieved through teaching and learning about popular music.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)37-44
Number of pages8
JournalMusic Educators Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 National Association for Music Education.


  • curriculum
  • group work
  • listening
  • Orff Schulwerk
  • popular music education (PME)
  • resources
  • standards
  • student participation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Music


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