campus beauty during

Orff-Schulwerk Teacher Education Courses

Levels I, II & III, Monday, June 20 – Friday, July 1, 2022

Register Online

For More Info

Greg Gooden

Course Director

A creative approach to teaching and learning

Orff-Schulwerk is a creative approach to teaching and learning music through speaking, singing, playing instruments, and moving. Created by composers Carl Orff and Gunild Keetman, the Schulwerk is an exciting way to teach and learn music. For more information about the Kansas Orff Chapter, please contact or visit our website at

Baker University’s beautiful tree-filled campus with its brook, bridge, and an English village chapel (moved to the campus in 1996) will be a fantastic site on which to enjoy this rewarding workshop.

The Baker campus is located just 45 minutes from Kansas City and Topeka and 20 minutes from Lawrence, with many recreational opportunities such as swimming, restaurants, historical sites, and parks. Classes meet 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily.

Registration & Fees

The certification course fee is $600. You may register for the course online. A $150 nonrefundable deposit is due by May 10 (*refundable only if the class is canceled because of low enrollment). The balance of payment for the course is due on or before the first day of classes.

Graduate Credit
You may earn 3 hours of graduate credit from Baker University for an additional fee of $80 per credit (total $240). You are encouraged to enroll online, although you have the option of completing the enrollment and payment for graduate credit on the first day of classes.

On-Campus Housing

Inexpensive housing is available through Baker University. The apartments include private bedrooms, shared bath, and kitchen facilities. Plan to bring your own bedding (extra-long twin) and towels. For more information about registration, credit, and housing, contact the Department of Music and Theatre at 785.594.8478 or email

Special Invitation to Orff Chapter Members

We wish to extend a special invitation to the members of the Kansas Orff Chapter and the Heart of America Orff Chapter to attend this workshop.

Cancellation Policy

Baker University may cancel or postpone any course or activity because of insufficient enrollment or other unforeseen circumstances. If a program is cancelled or postponed, Baker University will refund all registration fees but cannot be held responsible for other costs, charges, or expenses incurred by the registrant.


Level I

Level I is for anyone with musical training who wishes to acquire basic knowledge and pedagogic foundations in the Orff-Schulwerk approach. Study of basic Orff techniques, including use of the pentatonic, the simple bordun, the ostinato, and elemental forms; basic body movements and their application to the Schulwerk; soprano recorder; vocal and rhythmic training; and improvisation. Recommended for people who have not previously taken a two-week training course.

Level II

Level II is for anyone who has successfully completed an AOSA-approved level I course. Instruction will review level I techniques with further expansion of rhythm; melodic development of pentatonic and diatonic modes; harmonization to include moving bordun, shifting triad, and nonfunctional harmonic accompaniments; movement and instrumental improvisation, extended forms, and the continuation of the soprano recorder with the introduction of the alto recorder.  Students will teach a short lesson demonstrating Orff process.

Level III

Level III is for anyone who has successfully completed an AOSA-approved level II course. Instruction will review levels I and II technique, emphasizing the teaching process. Students will explore instrumental and vocal improvisation and review modal materials, advanced orchestration including functional harmony (I-V, I-IV, I-IV-B), recorder, and movement. Students will also teach lessons.


Jennifer Donovan: Pedagogy – Level I

Jennifer Donovan teaches at Clear Creek Elementary School in Shawnee, Kansas. She is a past president of the Kansas Orff Chapter and has served on the AOSA National Board of Trustees as Region III representative and treasurer. She served as national conference chair for the 2016 AOSA Conference in Atlantic City and serves in the same position for the 2020 AOSA Conference in Kansas City. Jennifer served on the 2009 and 2018 Kansas Teacher of the Year teams. The 2012 recipient of the World Village Wildcard scholarship, Jennifer attended the JaSeSoiRy World Village in Finland.

Connie Van Engen: Pedagogy – Level II

Connie Van Engen is the music specialist at Bell Prairie Elementary, where she teaches kindergarten through fifth-grade students and conducts the Wind Song Choir. She received her Orff-Schulwerk Certification from Hamline University and apprenticed with Elaine Larson at George Mason University. Connie also serves as the Level II Pedagogy instructor in the Orff-Schulwerk Teacher Education Courses at Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas. She is a past recording secretary of AOSA and has served as a Region III representative. In 2013, Connie was named the North Kansas City School District’s Teacher of Distinction. She is a soprano in the Kansas City Symphony Chorus. Connie and her husband, Ken, share their 100-year-old house in Kansas City with an old English sheepdog named Addy.

Rob Amchin: Pedagogy – Level III

Dr. Robert Amchin is a distinguished teaching professor of music education at the University of Louisville in Kentucky. He studied at the Orff Institute (Salzburg), New England Conservatory of Music, Memphis State University, Hofstra University, Hamline University, and the University of Michigan. Rob was an elementary music specialist in Texas and still works with children as an artist-in-residence. Amchin has taught Orff teacher-training courses and workshops around the world, including invitations to Finland, China, Russia, Austria, Israel, Poland, and Canada. He has presented at numerous American Orff Schulwerk Association national conferences.

Kelly Whisinnand: Recorder – All Levels

Kelly Whisinnand teaches at Reeder Elementary School in Omaha, Nebraska. She teaches preschool through fifth-grade students and conducts the fourth- and fifth-grade choir. She also directs the seventh- and eighth-grade show choirs at Beadle Middle School. Kelly has served as treasurer for the Great Plains Orff Chapter and is currently serving on the AOSA National Board of Trustees. She received her Orff Schulwerk Certification from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and Southern Methodist University. She apprenticed with Sarah Richardson to become a movement instructor and with Julie Blakeslee to become a recorder instructor. Kelly presented at the 2016 AOSA National Conference in Atlantic City and the 2019 AOSA National Conference in Salt Lake City

Freedom Brass: Movement – All Levels

Freedom Brass teaches kindergarten through fifth-grade music in Geary County USD 475 in Junction City, Kansas. She completed all three levels of her Orff training as well as master class through Baker University.  Freedom was the USD 475 Kansas Teacher of the Year winner in 2020.  Her interests include performing flute in pit orchestras for the Junction City Little Theatre as well as Junction City High School musical productions.  She loves to hang out with her husband, Ben, her two daughters, and her boxer fur babies.

Greg Gooden: Course Director – All Levels

Greg Gooden retired from a 39-year career as a music teacher in May 2020. The last 15 of those years were spent teaching military children at Fort Riley Elementary School. He is the director of the Geary County Children’s Choir and previously directed the McPherson Arts Council Children’s Choir. He is a past president of the Kansas Orff Chapter. Greg was the Elementary Outstanding Music Teacher of the Year in 2006 and 2012 for the North Central District KMEA. He was a presenter at the 2005 AOSA National Conference in Birmingham and the 2006 National Conference in Omaha. Greg has been the Orff course director at Baker University since its inception there. He retired from serving as the recorder instructor at the end of 2021.