A letter from the chapter VP…

December 1, 2019

Dear SDAOSA Friends,

I am writing to you with a full heart in this season of gratitude. What a beautiful week we shared in Salt Lake City for the 2019 AOSA National Conference, then parted as we went to our own families to share Thanksgiving. For the 11 SDAOSA members who attended conference, I know connections were made, experiences were shared, and growth took place that we will carry back to our students when we see their faces again tomorrow morning.

The last three years have been years of change and transition for our chapter. From the 2017 SDAOSA sponsored Orff Schulwerk level 1 course offered in Chula Vista until today, our membership has expanded rapidly as Schulwerk has reached a new cohort of music educators. In our communication with AOSA, Sasha Stone (our incoming Vice President) and I have learned that SDAOSA chartered in 1977 and became an official chapter in 1979. It seems appropriate in this historic 40th year to reflect on the incredible foundation-laying of our predecessors and look towards the future.

Diversity and Inclusion were important themes for the “Orff Elevated” conference in Salt Lake City. As a national entity, AOSA is reflecting on past practices and looking for ways to grow and reflect the diversity of music educators and students nationwide. Music education has struggled to thrive in Southern California for many years, but I am hopeful as we watch the political and social tides turn. It is our duty and our responsibility as a chapter to make sure we widen the net and gather as many educators into our vibrant community as possible.

In that spirit, Sasha has begun compiling a list of schools in San Diego county to do the work of contacting music educators who may feel alone in their work. It is our hope to grow our community and shore each other up for the continued reestablishment of music throughout our region. We have also discussed ways to celebrate the work SDAOSA has been doing for 40 years. We look forward to a year of continued growth and community.

In this busy season as you shepherd students through performances, know that we are grateful for every one of you. The future of this chapter is bright and promising because of the role each of you plays in building it. It is a pleasure to serve this organization. I wish you a holiday season of love, family, and peace.

Crystal Pridmore

A word of thanks from Margie and Debbie…

Dear SDAOSA Friends,

Thank you, all, for the part you played in making yesterday’s workshop a fun day.

You played every game, danced every dance and sang every song. You volunteered, participated and helped our Two-Ring Circus move along smoothly.

You worked. You played. You laughed. And we thank you from the bottoms of our sore feet to the tops of our rejoicing heads. 

If you were unable to attend or you did not receive a complete set of the notes and handouts (Workshop Notes, Scope and Sequence, Movement Chart, Minor Rounds), please contact Crystal, Sharon or Margie.

We are so very proud to be a part of this generous, talented and loving chapter.  


Margie and Debbie

2019-2020 Professional Development Workshops

September 14, 2019 – David Frego
October 19, 2019 – Debbie Burton & Margie Orem
February 1, 2020 – Brian Burnett
March 14, 2020 – Chapter Sharing

All workshops begin at 9:00am.
Location — E.B. Scripps Elementary.
Walk-in fees for non-members apply.
Click HERE for details and to PAY FEES.

David Frego
September 14, 2019
(9:00am – 3:00pm)

“Meaningful Movement: Dalcroze Eurythmics in the General Music Classroom”

David Frego is professor and director of the School of Music at Penn State. He joined the music faculty in 2017 after serving for nine years as chair of music at the University of Texas at San Antonio and 12 years as faculty and associate director at The Ohio State University.

Dr. Frego is past president of the American Eurhythmics Society and the Dalcroze Society of America, and regularly presents workshops on Dalcroze Eurhythmics throughout the globe. While performing artists of all ages benefit from rhythmic training, eurhythmics in teacher training is an important focus of Dr. Frego’s research. Other teaching and research areas include dance philosophy and the application of Dalcroze Eurhythmics as palliative care for adults with post-traumatic stress.

David Frego has published book chapters, DVDs, books, and articles in both music education journals and medical journals for arts medicine. Meaningful Movement: A Music Teacher’s Guide to Dalcroze Eurhythmics was co-authored with Dr. Marla Butke.

Debbie Burton & Margie Orem
October 19, 2019
(9:00am – 1:30pm)

“Falling Through The Holidays”

This workshop shares piggy-back songs, games, movement activities, and dances highlighting Autumn through Winter. This workshop incorporates Debbie Burton and Margie Orem’s personalized Kodaly/Orff Scope and Sequence lesson planning materials, analysis of activities shared, and techniques for ways to integrate your material into your own scope and sequence. Bring your recorder and be ready to play and take pictures of their many posters and activities. TOO MANY for the notes! See you Saturday, October 19th from 8:50-1:30 at EB Scripps. Happy Fall, y’all!

Debbie Burton has her B.A. in music education from Union University in Jackson, TN; and her MMED with Kodaly emphasis from Holy Names College in Oakland, CA. She has Orff Levels I, II, III (University of Memphis, TN), and Kodaly Levels I, II, III (New England Conservatory of Music, Boston, MA). She has been an elementary, middle, and high school music specialist for over 30 years, specializing in elementary education, concert and jazz band instruction, and choral and handbell performing groups. Ms. Burton taught classroom music, K-5, at Jerabek Elementary School and Crown Point Junior Music Academy, and is/has been an adjunct professor at several San Diego universities and colleges teaching Music for Elementary School Teachers. She is a local and national Orff and Kodaly presenter. Ms. Burton is a past treasurer and past president of the San Diego AOSA chapter and was co-local conference chair (LCC3) in charge of instruments for the 2015 National AOSA Conference in San Diego.

Margie Orem is an award-winning choral director who is devoted to music education for children and teachers alike. Since 1975, she has taught music at every level, from preschool through college. Ms. Orem received her bachelor’s degree in music education and a master’s in the art of teaching. She has completed all three levels of Orff and completed level one of Henry Leck’s Creating Artistry choral conducting program. Ms. Orem conducted the San Diego Unified School District’s (SDUSD) honor choir in 1992, 1999, 2007, and 2010; and the Tennessee All State Treble Choir in 2017. She was honored as the Choral Director of the Year for SDUSD in 1999 and as the 2005 MENC/CMEA-SBR Outstanding Elementary Music Specialist. Ms. Orem served in many capacities for the San Diego AOSA chapter including president and 2015 National AOSA Conference instruments committee co-chair. She is a local and national presenter for the American Orff-Schulwerk and Kodaly Associations. She was a classroom music teacher at Jerabek Elementary School (1990-2017) teaching pre-kindergarten through fifth grade. Ms. Orem has been a teacher/conductor with the San Diego Children’s Choir since 2004.

Brian Burnett
February 1, 2020
(9:00am – 3:00pm)

“Process? What Process?”

Examine the most effective approach for your task. Move from simple phrase-rote process to antiphonal process depending on the experience and ability of the students. The latter illustrates the phrase structure of a melody or movement. This speeds up the understanding for call & response songs. Canon work, and Dalcroze quick-reaction games, lead students to an awareness of the other while building concentration and audiation. Please bring your soprano recorders.

Brian Burnett taught elemental music K-6 near Toledo, Ohio for 35 years, teaches AOSA teacher-education courses, and serves as the National Conference Director for AOSA. He was a contributor to both the Share the Music and the Spotlight on Music textbook series and has published articles for the Orff Echo, the OMEA Triad and MMB Music’s Teaching With Orff website. He has presented workshops across the nation and Canada.

Chapter Sharing
March 14, 2020
(9:00am – 1:30pm)

“Chapter Sharing”

Members of our chapter share their favorite lessons.

Please note: While the workshop materials are designed to be used by those who work with children, SDAOSA workshops are for ADULTS ONLY. Our liability insurance does not allow us to have children at these workshops.

2018-2019 Professional Development Workshops

September 15, 2018 – Keith Terry
October 20, 2018 – Maribeth Yoder-White
February 2, 2019 – Richard Lawton
March 23, 2019 – Chapter Sharing

All workshops begin at 9:00am.
Location — E.B. Scripps Elementary.
Walk-in fees for non-members apply.
Click HERE for more details and to pay fees.
For a flyer to download/ print/ share, please click HERE.

Keith Terry
September 15, 2018
(9:00am – 1:30pm)

“Body Music”

As a “Body Musician,” Keith Terry uses the oldest musical instrument in the world — the human body (his own) — as the basis for exploring, blending and bending traditional and contemporary rhythmic, percussive and movement possibilities. In this very active workshop, Keith shares with music educators how he bridges the gap between music and dance and cultivates interdisciplinary, intercultural and interdepartmental artistic relationships. Keith shares how he expands his students’ abilities to hear and execute complex rhythms through Body Music and related rhythmic studies, how he gets students to connect with their inner choreographers and composers, how he encourages intercultural collaboration, and how Body Music can facilitate the creation of multi-disciplinary performance. A collaborator by nature, Keith worked to cultivate the connections between World Arts and Cultures and the Departments of Theater, Music and Ethnomusicology and others.

Keith Terry is a percussionist/rhythm-dancer/educator whose artistic vision has straddled the line between music and dance for more than four decades. As a soloist he has appeared in such settings as Lincoln Center, Bumbershoot, NPR’s All Things Considered and Morning Edition, PRI’s The World, the Vienna International Dance Festival, and the Paradiso van Slag World Drum Festival in Amsterdam. His groups (Corposonic, Slammin All-Body Band, Crosspulse Percussion Ensemble, Crosspulse Duo with Evie Ladin, Professor Terry’s Circus Band Extraordinaire, and Body Tjak with I Wayan Dibia) have performed in a variety of venues including Joe’s Pub, WNYC, and Lincoln Center Out-of-Doors (NYC); Grand Performances, LACMA Jazz, the Roxy, and the Skirball Center (LA); SFJazz, Vancouver Island MusicFest, Woodford Festival in Australia, and the Bali Arts Festival. In addition, Keith has performed with a wide range of artists including Charles “Honi” Coles, Turtle Island Quartet, Bill Irwin, Jovino Santos Neto, Barbatuques, Gamelan Sekar Jaya, Kenny Endo, Freddie Hubbard, Tex Williams, Robin Williams, and Bobby McFerrin. As a producer he has created 5 CDs and 4 DVDs for Crosspulse Media. Keith Terry is the founding Artistic Director of the International Body Music Festival (IBMF). Launched in 2008, this annual festival explores the language of body music from culture to culture and has been produced in the US, Brazil, Turkey, Indonesia and France.  In 2010 Keith directed and performed in IBMF’s “Americas” concert for the Lincoln Center Out of Doors Festival in New York. Keith is a Guggenheim Fellow and an Asian Cultural Council Fellow, as well as the Founding Director of Crosspulse, a 38 year-old, Oakland, CA – based, non-profit organization dedicated to the creation and performance of rhythm-based intercultural music and dance. For more info see: http://www.crosspulse.com/

Maribeth Yoder-White
October 20, 2018
(9:00am – 1:30pm)

“From Point A to B: It’s All About Process”

While music teachers differ in pedagogical approach, materials, and instructional strategies, we share a common goal of adding value to children’s lives through the vehicle of music. Our current National Music Standards suggest we enrich children’s lives by cultivating music literacy through creating, performing, and responding. Certainly these artistic processes are deeply embedded in the Orff-Schulwerk approach. While we may share common goals, one of the defining features of the Orff-Schulwerk approach separating us from “traditional” music instruction is process, the steps by which we lead children to experience and understand music. Through active learning, children imitate, explore, and create music, thereby developing music literacy and skills. This workshop is designed to allow participants to experience and reflect on varied approaches to process and to consider the application of various strategies in their respective classrooms. Come prepared to sing, dance, play, and create in community as together we experiment with ideas and learn with playfulness, freedom, and joy!

Dr. Yoder-White is a certified Orff-Schulwerk specialist and frequently presents workshops featuring her compositions and arrangements. She teaches Orff-Schulwerk certification courses at Appalachian State University and Gwinnett County Schools in Georgia, and serves as clinician and author for Silver Burdett Making Music and Silver Burdett Interactive Music. Additionally, Yoder-White maintains active participation in music education research and has presented papers and authored articles in international, national, regional, and state arenas. She was a presenter at the Spokane (2010) and Pittsburgh (2011) National American Orff-Schulwerk Association (AOSA) Conferences and has presented workshops to AOSA chapters in Washington, Virginia, Ohio, North Carolina, and Hawaii. She served as keynote presenter at the 2003 and 2005 Hawaii Music Educators Association Conferences in Honolulu and traveled to Thailand and Hong Kong in 2004 to present at the East Asia Regional Council of Overseas Schools (EARCOS) Conference. Yoder-White frequently works in international schools in Asia, teaching demonstration lessons and leading professional development workshops for teachers.

Richard Lawton
February 2, 2019
(9:00am – 1:30pm)

“Getting Your Orff Groove On”

The groove — it is that wonderful spot where musicians of all skill levels meet to exchange ideas, give and witness testimony, or just hang out and make merry. It is also, Orff teachers know, the spot where the most successful instruction takes place.

This workshop will showcase a variety of student-tested strategies designed to spark creativity and to get kids blissfully improvising and collaborating in what psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi calls “a state of flow.” Bring your soprano recorder and/or your ukulele. And get ready to get down!

Richard Lawton is the K-5 general music teacher at Roscomare Road Elementary School in Los Angeles. Richard received his M. Mus. and Orff Levels Certification from California State University, Los Angeles. He is an American Center for Elementary Music and Movement Spotlight Award Winner (Summer 2016) and the 2018 CMEA/Peripole General Music Teacher of the Year. Richard is an American Orff Schulwerk Association certified recorder instructor, a member of the Orff Echo and General Music Today editorial boards, and a past presenter at numerous state and national conferences, including the 2015 and 2017 AOSA National Conferences.

Chapter Sharing
March 23, 2019
(9:00am – 3:30pm)

“Make It, Take It, Share It”

“Make It, Take It, Share It” will be a 6-hour workshop (9:00a-3:30p*) devoted to successful classroom activities from talented peers within our chapter. The morning will open with mixers, songs, and games and then will move to activities utilizing makeable props/manipulatives for quick implementation in your classroom. The final portion of the day will focus on literature using books, manipulatives, games, songs, and dances to systematically take us through the Schulwerk process. *We will provide a paid lunch option for the day.

Please note: While the workshop materials are designed to be used by those who work with children, SDAOSA workshops are for ADULTS ONLY. Our liability insurance does not allow us to have children at these workshops.

Rob Amchin – Sept 16

“Come And Play The Orff-Schulwerk Way!”

Please join us for our first SDAOSA workshop of the 2017-2018 school year! See the menu (or sidebar) for more info you might need. Hope to see you there!

Saturday, September 16th
At (new location!!!) Ocean Air Elementary School

The presenter will be the wonderful Dr. Rob Amchin.

Workshop description: Start your year by engaging your students in child-centered learning and exploratory activities. We will explore ideas to start your year and ways to extend these throughout the year. Discover the magic of teaching with the Orff process. Sing, dance, laugh, and play! Please bring a recorder.

Presenter Bio: Dr. Amchin is a distinguished professor of Music Education at the University of Louisville. His training includes studies at the Orff Institute (Salzburg), New England Conservatory, Memphis State, Hofstra University, Hamline University, and the University of Michigan. Dr. Amchin is the author of many books for the elementary general music classroom. A sought after Orff pedagogue, Dr. Amchin has taught Orff teacher training courses, master classes, and workshops at local, state, and national events throughout the world.

Dr. Amchin’s website:

July 20, 2017

Dear Fellow Board and Chapter Members,

It is with deep regret that I announce my resignation as president from our SDAOSA Chapter, effective at our next board meeting sometime in August. My husband accepted an exciting new job offer and we will be moving out of the area. This makes it very difficult to be an effective president for the remainder of my term.

Please know that I have thoroughly appreciated and enjoyed the opportunity to serve the chapter to further the professional development and networking of music teachers in our area. I am proud of a successful workshop year and how you all came together to help while Marci transitioned out and I transitioned in with a newborn. It has been an exciting year with Lauren Shelton, the VAPA Coordinator at Chula Vista Elementary School District investing in music teachers and helping bring back an Orff Level 1 course to the San Diego area. I am proud that I could be a small contributor to our chapter’s achievements and honored to have been given this role. You are all tremendously talented teachers and I greatly value your friendship and fellowship over the past 7 years I have lived and taught in San Diego.

This move has happened rather rapidly but I know it is going to be a smooth transition with Michelle Beeson stepping up to the President role. She has been the reason the Levels course was made a reality and she is a mover and a doer. I do recognize that my leaving is going to leave a vacancy among the executive board and I challenge our members, rookie and veteran, to consider stepping up into a leadership position to keep our chapter going strong. I will always be a San Diego chapter member at heart and plan to remain available to the organization via telephone or email. I can’t wait to see what you all accomplish in the future and know that our Orff chapter is making an impact for music programs in our area. In the Orff world it is never goodbye but “Until next time!”

Sincerest regards,
Dawn Zurcher

April 16, 2017

Dear San Diego Orff-ans:

Next Saturday April 22 is our final workshop of this school year. Tim Wiegand from Las Vegas will be presenting “Bring Back the Joy!” with fun activities that get kids smiling and bring joy to singing, dancing, recorder (bring yours!), and instruments.

Arrive 8:45 to check in for 9:00-1:30 session.

Late-morning snacks offered for cash donation.

Tim will have his bookstore of materials (credit card payable)
His website is: http://www.viegansong.com/

Also, early bird registration for 2017-18 school year will start Saturday. We realized that teachers might have some extra April dollars (as opposed to August) so we are opening early — save $10 with the $60 early-bird registration. Check please. Form will be at workshop.

Congratulations SD Chapter: Level 1 is almost completely full – we have 23 registrations already! Please email me (Course Director) if you are thinking about our summer Level 1 Course held in Chula Vista – just a few more open spots left.

Hope to see you all on Saturday!