What is an Orffestra?


Students at the Junior School receive Orff music instruction from Kindergarten to Grade 3. Orff is a very lively, child-centered approach to music that incorporates singing, dancing, acting and playing instruments in every class. Students in Kindergarten begin with songs, games and simple percussion instruments. Each year, they develop additional skills in all areas of music.

They gradually learn more and more instruments until they reach the point where they can play a full range of xylophones, metallophones and glockenspiels to accompany themselves while they sing. The Orff instruments are a very special component of the program, allowing each child to experience early success with instrumental playing.

By the time students reach Grade 3, they are able to play in a full “orffestra” with up to six different parts being played while they sing the song. Children are empowered by the experience of ensemble playing at such a young age. They develop confidence and strong positive beliefs about their ability to play music, which sets the stage nicely for their musical development in future years.

Student Comments

“The instruments are really fun and they make me love music.” – Cate

“I play something a bit smaller than a marimba at music and I like it.” – David

“It’s really cool to hear once we’ve got it all together. It’s fun because you get to play notes. One day we were just playing random notes and the Director of the Senior School thought it sounded really cool and he came in to listen. We have to sing when we play instruments.” – Sofia

“It’s really fun and we get to make up songs.” – Cypress

“In my old school, we weren’t allowed to play instruments and it’s pretty cool we get to play.” – Bree

“It is fun to learn. The best part is that I like learning all music. I like the glockenspiel the best.” – Brynn

“I think it is a great opportunity to play different instruments.” – Cassidy

“You get to learn the notes and how to play them like piano. The glockenspiel is my favourite instrument.” – Elizabeth

“I like it that we get to do this because it is a good opportunity to learn it here because there aren’t many chances you ever get to do it again.” – Nevaeh

“The bass xylophone is really fun because I like how it is deep and it makes a really peaceful sound.” – Marcus

“It is really fun and it’s exciting. We get to play different songs.” – Jonah

“It’s great doing this music together.” – Anna

“I think it’s an amazing experience. It will really help us when we grow up.” – Ava