Why We Love Carl Orff

We love Carl Orff around here and we think you might too.  Even if you don’t know him by name, you and your child benefit from his legacy in every Kindermusik class. Today we wanted to pause and celebrate him. Carl Orff would have turned 120 this month, and his incredible impact on music and music education remains alive and well.

In the 1900s, Carl Orff helped to create an approach to teaching early childhood music that emphasizes the inclusion of singing, movement, instrument playing, and improvisation with a goal of developing lifelong musicianship. The Orff approach is “child-centered” with the fundamental philosophy that just as children can learn language without formal instruction so can they learn music by experiencing and participating in various musical lessons and activities. This was revolutionary!

Here at Kindermusik, we believe as Orff did that prior to understanding music, children must initially “feel” it through music and movement, improvisation, instrument play, and basic rhythmic speech or chant.

Carl Orff explained it this way: “Music begins inside human beings and so must any instruction, not at the instrument, not with the first finger, nor with the first position, not with this or that chord. The starting point is one’s own stillness. Listening to oneself. The ‘being ready for music.’ Listening to one’s own heartbeat and breathing.”


So, happy birthday, Mr. Orff! Thank you for being an important part of what Kindermusik is today and what Kindermusik means to hundreds of thousands of children around the world. As we honor your life and your legacy, we think you would have been especially proud of how these Kindermusik kids engage in instrument exploration as the music inside them bursts forth!


Find a local Kindermusik class and experience how we integrate Orff’s philosophy into our classes.

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