How it sounds when the fog whispers? Orff instruments and their use (not only) for early musical education

What makes you happier, more sensitive and enriches your life? Right, music. It is no longer a secret that music promotes child development. It is especially important to be active oneself, to sing, to play a musical instrument.

BACKWINKEL blog: Orff instruments

Making music together has a positive effect on the sensitive, creative and social skills of children. This is why early musical education is so important. Children between the ages of 3 and 6 are in a particularly sensitive phase, they are more creative and free than at school age. The creative potential that is developed in the preschool years provides the best basis for the success of creative forms of work at school age as well.

Early music education and Orff instruments – they simply belong together. You don’t have to be a musician to teach your children the joy of music. The most important thing is that everyone has fun making music. In our guide you will find didactic basic ideas and practical tips for beginners. An overview of Orff instruments gives you ideas for your musical journey into the world of sounds.

TIPS: Discover the wide range of Orff instruments in our online shop.


1. What are Orff instruments?
1.1 What counts as Orff instruments and what doesn’t
1.2 Why Orff instruments are ideal for children

4. How to use Orff instruments for early musical education?
4.1 Drumming time in kindergarten
4.2 The drum tingles in the belly
4.3 Sounds are flowers that blossom in the ears of others
4.4 I can hear the stars shining

What are Orff instruments?

The Orff instruments go back to the musician Carl Orff, who in the 1920s developed a music pedagogy in which music and movement complement each other. For this purpose, he chose the appropriate sound and rhythm instruments. Orff did not invent these instruments, rather he rediscovered them, following the cultures of the world.

What counts as Orff instruments and what does not

We owe the form of music known to us today to Orff Percussion games – Xylophones, metallophones and glockenspiels – with a wooden box as a sound box. Inspired by exotic and medieval models, Orff developed the form together with an instrument maker.

Strictly speaking, these are the actual Orff instruments. But also the small percussion instruments and fur instruments, which Orff used for his school work, are considered Orff instruments.

To Small percussion instruments include contrasting rhythm instruments made of wood, metal and other materials. Such as hand drums, triangles, cymbals and rattles. These instruments are virtually the extension of hands and feet, the physical instruments with which people clap and stomp to create sounds.

Fur instruments consist of resonating bodies or frames over which a membrane made of animal skin or plastic is stretched. These include the various drums and timpani. A distinction is made between instruments without and with adjustable pitches.

With the term Advanced Orff instruments Instruments from other cultures, such as the agogo from South America or the djembe from Africa, are referred to as Orff instruments, which are a useful complement to the Orff instruments.

Orff instruments do not really include instruments of the Large percussion instruments, such as gong, tam-tam or tubular bells, which are usually reserved for the orchestra due to their size and acquisition costs. Today, however, there are inexpensive and good-quality versions for schools and kindergartens that enable children to experience the "big" sound experience.

Why Orff instruments are ideal for children

Orff instruments are Elementary instruments with a great call character. The children immediately feel like playing and trying out the sound. The instruments are easy to handle and awaken the joy of making music without a boring practice phase.

The great advantage of Orff instruments is that they are easy to play. Whereas with the violin you first have to hit the "right" note, with Orff instruments a "finished" note sounds right away. This quickly brings an encouraging sense of achievement.

Playing Orff instruments is part of an early music education in which all children can participate equally. Even those children who are not musically encouraged at home have the chance to discover their talent. Every child can show what he or she is made of. Orff instruments are therefore particularly suitable for strengthening children’s self-esteem.

Who was Carl Orff and what was his idea?

Music lovers know Carl Orff as the creator of the stage composition "Carmina Burana," first performed in 1937 and still world-famous today. When Orff was 29. March 1982 at the age of 86 years in Munich dies, he leaves behind an extensive musical stage work. Equally important is his music pedagogical work. Orff’s "Schulwerk fur Kinder", published 1930-1934, inspired modern social and curative education and had a significant influence on early musical education.

Carl Orff was born on 10. July 1895 in Munich. As a 5-year-old, he already receives lessons for piano, organ and cello. At the age of only 16 he writes about 50 songs to texts by Heine and Holderlin, and the following year he composes his first choral work. After studying at the Akademie fur Tonkunst in Munich, Orff becomes Kapellmeister at the Munich Kammerspiele at the age of 20, later also in Mannheim and Darmstadt.

Orff’s pedagogical approach pursues the idea of redefining music education from movement. When he became musical director of the Gunther School for Gymnastics and Dance in 1924, he and his associate Gunild Keetman were offered an ideal field for experimentation. Orff’s basic idea is: music begins in the human being, in his heartbeat, his breath. The certainty that the unity of music and movement is still naturally and undisguised present in the child, gives him the key for his work.

With his Elementary Music, Orff takes up the ancient idea of the holistic unity of music, dance and language. He is convinced that this unity awakens "soul forces" in children that otherwise do not come to fruition. 1 Didactically, Orff’s school work is characterized by the personality-building principles of reform pedagogy: children learn by doing and experiencing things independently and in a vital way.

Overview: 37 Orff instruments, list with pictures

The Bar chimes are considered core instruments. They are simultaneously responsible for rhythm, melody and thus also for harmony.

Soprano xylophone, alto / tenor xylophone, bass xylophone
→ Sticks made of wood (or bamboo) give a short, bright sound.

Soprano metallophone, alto / tenor metallophone, bass metallophone
→ Stronger metal plates provide a voluminous sound.

soprano glockenspiel, alto glockenspiel
→ Thin metal plates give a brilliant high-pitched sound.

A special form of mallet instruments are the Sound building blocks dar. They are available in xylophone and metallophone versions. Sound modules can be played individually or put together in various combinations to form "own instruments.

The timbre is also determined by the material of the Mallet determines. With a wool felt head, the sound sounds z. B. softer than with a wooden head or rubber head mallet.

The typical Fur instruments In Orff instruments are hand drum, shell drum and "Orff timpani" with wooden cylinders open at the bottom. Supplementary Orff instruments are also part of the instrumentarium.

Like this post? Please share to your friends:
Leave a Reply

;-) :| :x :twisted: :smile: :shock: :sad: :roll: :razz: :oops: :o :mrgreen: :lol: :idea: :grin: :evil: :cry: :cool: :arrow: :???: :?: :!: