2018 is an exciting year for Orff in Canada! The 25thNational Conference in Niagara Falls was a whirlwind of workshops and opportunities to connect with ‘Orffans’ from across Canada and beyond. It was inspiring to see what other chapters are doing to keep their members engaged and what other teachers are doing to motivate their students. I hope that at the next conference in Edmonton we will have many more participants from BC.
The start to this year was bittersweet as I returned to the my school following maternity leave. I am thankful to the Orff community for keeping me connected to music education during my year away from teaching. Involvement in the BC Orff Chapter has allowed me to take the time I need to continue to make connections in the music education community and take time for myself to continue to improve my teaching through planning and attending workshops. I feel lucky to have had this as I reflect on how changes in my personal life will influence my teaching.
On my return to work, and in talking to music teachers across the country cannot help but thinking about how challenging the last few years have been for teachers in BC. We have a new curriculum and new reporting systems. There have been major changes to class composition and sizes in many districts that have led to many of our colleagues being displaced from their dedicated music spaces, myself included. It is important that music teachers support one another and maintain their connections with each other through these challenging times. Participation in professional development opportunities is a great way to do this…
We began our calendar year with a workshop from Pam Hetrick and Sarah Willner that opened our hearts and minds to Balinese music and culture. They presented the material in a way that could easily be used to introduce music from around the world. This summer will be a busy one for the chapter: in addition to the levels courses in August, the chapter will offer an Intro course facilitated by Cathy Bayley and Debra Geibelhaus-Maloney will be coming from Alberta to teach a week long master-class. All of these master teachers are past presidents of local chapters and/or Carl Orff Canada. I encourage you not only to continue to participate in workshops, but to find opportunities to share your Orff expertise with colleagues in your own district and beyond.
Best wishes to you as you wrap up your school year!