… does not exist, I explained to the gathered crowd in a vivid dream I had last night. Nor will it ever. I’m perfectly content to be the interpreter of Carl Orff (and Gunild Keetman’s) work and besides, his name is more catchy. But if it did, these would be its 10 guiding principles:
1. Simple idea, great musical result.
2. Train the body, stimulate the mind, open the heart, stir the soul.
3. The class as music— enticing beginning, connected middle, satisfying end.
4. Play first, work next, then play inside the work and work inside the play.
5. Don’t forget humor.
6. Don’t forget jazz.
7. Music lives in the body, voice, imagination and a circle of beautiful people.
8. Listen, listen, listen.
9. Watch the children. When they’re not happy, change your teaching.
10. All of the above.
Membership dues are willingness to risk, commitment to your passion, keeping alive your own musicianship, unshakeable faith in the musical intelligence (and other potentials) of each child and unbridled love for children even when they’re running around out of control in movement class or bending the xylophone nails or sitting closed-mouthed in singing time or talking to their friend while you’re giving directions or… well, you know the list. A lifetime habit of reading great thinkers, educational and otherwise, throwing yourself into studying an unfamiliar music or dance, sacrificing the next cool TV series to meticulously plan classes (Downton Abbey excepted) and habitual questioning of everything you do and think qualify you for the Membership Gold Card with its accompanying perks— you get to arrive first at the workshop to help set up and leave last to help clean up. You also qualify to pack the U-haul van with instruments and drive it to the concert site.
Want to join? Just send the $500 annual dues to yours truly to help me pay for my next book publishing and win a free autographed copy! You’ll get a T-shirt with a photo of me playing bagpipe, downloads of 39 years of my planning books, an Orff ap that instantly arranges any nursery rhyme with complementary rhythms, drones and ostinato, a guided bike tour of Salzburg when you visit the Orff Institute and…
Oh, yeah, that was a dream. Okay, back to planning my next class.