Critical pedagogy for music education (Abrahams, 2005), as influenced by Freire’s (1970) conception of critical pedagogy, emphasizes the importance of deconstructing power imbalances between students and teachers, in addition to placing students’ musical cultures at the forefront of learning. Though the Orff Schulwerk teaching approach is similar to CPME in terms of its emphasis on student creation, collaboration, and improvisation, Benedict (2009) posited that Orff pedagogy might be a systematized, rigid method that neither fully engages students to critically interact with music nor considers their varying musical interests. The purpose of this paper is to examine how tenets of CPME can inform an Orff Schulwerk approach to enact critical reflection and action. By enacting Freire’s conception of praxis, teachers might discover how students’ musical cultures could influence an Orff Schulwerk pedagogy, resulting in learning experiences that are directly related to students’ musical worlds both inside and outside of the classroom. When teachers discover how Orff Schulwerk can be realized as a problem-posing education, students might discover how they can use music to name their worlds and take action for purposes beyond musical outcomes.
"Reimagining Pedagogical Possibilities in the Schulwerk:
Intersections of Critical Pedagogy for Music Education and Orff,"
Visions of Research in Music Education: Vol. 35, Article 10.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.lib.uconn.edu/vrme/vol35/iss1/10