The learning experiences offered were diverse and informative. From courses built around rhythm to others based in Orff drama, something was there for almost everyone. Once I was there I decided to switch into the dance classes entirely. One of the reasons I decided to go that way was so I could focus my studies into an independent study for my Graduate degree through the U of A. While I never did quite finish that independent study in favour of other ventures, I was happy I changed to the dance courses anyway. I feel I made a special connection to the early days of Orff-Schulerk and connected to the source of what makes it the "schulwerk."
There is something that is quite satisfying about dancing for about 8 hours a day in the Orff way. The freedom and creativity of movement is inspiring and influenced my own practice. As a result of my experience, I now build in quite a lot more free movement and dance. When I first started with music education, the dancing was what made me the most uncomfortable but because of my experience with the Orff philosophy and dance, I have completely changed my feeling about the subject.
I believe it is important to remember how important movement and dance is to helping children achieve musical understanding, and how important dance is for the sake of itself. Indeed, I believe that there are two essentials: singing AND dancing.
One of the things I particularly found inspiring about the Orff way of doing things was how the dances were inspired in an organic way. They seemed to grow naturally from the most innocent of beginnings, Turkish bowls, objects collected from nature, seemed to inspire the most fascinating movements with so few words.
It has been a while since I have been there and many of the memories have begun to fade but I will certainly always remember the artfulness of the place.