FVOC update Uncategorized

Upcoming Workshop September 11

Mary Lea Clark and Sam Cruz are presenting our next workshop, Saturday, September 11th at our Sugar Grove location. We hope you can join us!

Mary Lea Clark has worked as a music specialist in the Donges Bay Elementary School community and has also taught elementary and secondary music in the greater Milwaukee area. Mary received her undergraduate degree in Music Education with piano emphasis from the University of Wisconsin – Oshkosh and Masters degree in Education from Mount Mary College. She was awarded the Beatrice M. Haggerty Scholarship for three consecutive semesters and completed her Orff-Schulwerk Level III teacher training at Mills College in San Francisco. In 2004 she was awarded the Elementary Outstanding Educator award in the Mequon-Thiensville School District. Mary is past President of the Greater Milwaukee Orff Dimensions and was the Local Conference Chair of the 2009 AOSA Professional Development Conference held in Milwaukee. 

In Mary’s classroom, music class provides a total energizing, organic experience for her students. She believes in emphasizing process over product. Her objective is to empower the children to have ownership of their creation, allowing time for reflection as part of the creative process. 

Sam Cruz teaches general music to grades K-5th in the school district of Whitefish Bay. Holding a B.F.A. in Music Education from UW-Milwaukee, and an M.A. in Education from Mount Mary College, Sam also has worked as an adjunct music professor and college liaison officer for Mount Mary College. She completed Level III Orff-Schulwerk and was fortunate to study with Jos Wuytack through Boston University. Sam is an active member of the Greater Milwaukee Orff Dimensions, and held multiple positions on the board throughout the years. Currently, Sam is on the board of the Whitefish Bay Education Foundation.

All workshops: 

Location: Kaneland John Shields Elementary School | 85 S. Main Street, Sugar Grove, IL 

❖ 9:30 Registration | Workshop 10am-1pm | CPDUs provided 

❖ $20 for members | $40 for non-members | Free for undergraduate students with ID 

❖ Annual membership $40 I Four workshops plus annual membership $90 ❖ Contact us at or check our website at

**If you are unable to attend in person, please email and request a link to view this workshop live.

FVOC update

New Orff Workshops 2021-2022

Welcome back FVOC members. We are ready for the 2021-2022 school year with an awesome line-up! Get ready to join us live and in-person:

September 11: Sam Cruz and Mary Lea Clark presenting Today I Feel Silly & Other Moods That Make My Day

October 9: Meeghan Binder presenting Recorder and Xylophone Improvisation, Fun For Everyone

February 5: John Barnes: “A Night’s Journey, Make It Your Own.”

April 2: Meg Tietz presenting Planning Programs With Purpose


All workshops, unless noted, will be held at Kaneland John Shields Elementary School; 85 S Main Street, Sugar Grove, IL

9:30 Registration, Workshops 10:00-1:00, CPDUs provided

Each workshop is $20 for members, $40 for non-members, free for undergraduate students with ID, Membership to FVOC is $40,

Special price: 4 workshops plus annual membership for $90 total

Contact us at for more information

FVOC update

Ben Torres, April 10th Workshop

Ben Torres teaches K–5 general music at Woodlawn Elementary in the Clarksville-Montgomery County School System. Prior to this, he taught K–6 general music at Brentfield Elementary in Dallas, TX where he was chosen as teacher of the year and where both his choral and Orff ensembles were selected to perform at Texas MEA conventions and the national AOSA Professional Development Conferences. Ben received his bachelor’s degree in music education from West Texas A&M University in Canyon, TX and his Orff training and master’s degree from Southern Methodist University in Dallas. He is a certified AOSA-approved teacher educator in movement and recorder and teaches all three levels of movement in the Orff Schulwerk teacher education courses at Trinity University in San Antonio and VanderCook College of Music in Chicago. Ben presents workshops for Orff chapters and school districts across the country.

This session will focus on ways to motivate and inspire our students’ creativity through poetry, body percussion, movement, recorders and other media.

*Please note, all workshops will be online this year. Email or use the link below to register for this year’s workshops and/or  become a member.  Present members who have paid for the year of workshops will receive the meeting link the morning of the workshop by 9am and need not register again. If you have any questions please contact us at


Registration and Payment

  • *Register for this workshop and membership using this link. Payment details are in the form.
  • All workshops:
  • 9:30 Registration | Workshop 10am-1pm | CPDUs provided
  • $20 for members | $40 for non-members | Free for undergraduate students with ID
  • Annual membership $40
  • Four workshops plus annual membership $90

FVOC update

February 6th, 2021: CHAPTER SHARE

If you would like to present great ideas at this workshop, please email FVOSC before January 19th!

For Registration, Membership & Payment Click Here

All workshops:

9:30 Registration | Workshop 10am-1pm | CPDUs provided

$20 for members | $40 for non-members | Free for undergraduate students with ID

Annual membership $40| Four workshops plus annual membership $90

If you have any questions please contact us at

FVOC update

October 10th workshop with Christa Jones

Christa Jones
Christa Jones

Students and music educators alike benefit from a culturally responsive classroom environment which affirms students’ backgrounds and links students’ home and school communities. A folk song collection within a school setting is one effective method of connecting students’ home and school musical traditions. Participants of this workshop will explore issues of cultural responsiveness, learn how to conduct their own song collection, and discuss how to respectfully integrate music of student cultures into the Orff Schulwerk music classroom. Participants will leave this session with a toolbox of songs and games from the United States and around the world!

Christa Jones teaches General Music at Concord West Side Elementary School in Elkhart, Indiana. She is an active teacher education clinician and has presented at state conferences and workshops in Indiana, Illinois, and Tennessee. She graduated with a Master of Music Education degree from VanderCook College of Music in Chicago, IL where she also completed all three levels of Orff Schulwerk teacher education. 

At her school, she is the Team Leader for the student academic and behavior Strategies Team and Chairperson for “Anne’s Kits for Kids”, an after-school educational workshop series for kindergarten students and their caregivers. In her community, she teaches Music Together family classes through the Goshen College Community School of the Arts, and is a member of the Goshen-based treble choir, Notable Women. 

She is passionate about bringing high-quality music education to her students and is committed to providing a positive, engaging classroom environment where students can grow personally and musically. She facilitates exciting hands-on lessons, integrates traditional folk music from many different cultures, and works to inspire students to become strong and confident individuals through the avenue of music education. Christa is a member of the National Association for MusicEducation (NAfME), Indiana Music Educators Association (IMEA) Board Member, American Orff-Schulwerk Association (AOSA), Indiana Orff-Schulwerk Association (IOSA) Board Member, and the Feierabend Association for Music Education (FAME).

For Registration, Membership & Payment Click Here

All workshops:

9:30 Registration | Workshop 10am-1pm | CPDUs provided

$20 for members | $40 for non-members | Free for undergraduate students with ID

Annual membership $40| Four workshops plus annual membership $90

If you have any questions please contact us at

FVOC update

Online Mini Presentations

September 12, 2020


Andrea Donahoe has taught music and movement to preschool through junior high students for the past 13 years. She is currently teaching elementary music at Head-Royce School in Oakland, CA. She earned her BA in music education at Augustana College in Rock Island, IL, Orff Certification at the San Francisco International Orff Course, and now is on the faculty at SFIOC. She is the Vice President of the Northern California American Orff-Schulwerk Chapter and has presented Orff workshops and sessions at the local, state and national level.

Lessons Re-imagined

This year is going to require some careful creativity! Andrea will lead activities that will work in different scenarios: in-person with social distancing and safety in mind, online synchronously, or online asynchronously. She will address modifications or adaptations in addition to moving and making music together.

Thom Borden has a B.S. in Music Education and a M.A. in Education with a concentration in Curriculum and Instruction focused in Reading. He completed Orff Levels at UNLV and an Orff Master Level at the University of Memphis under Jos Wytac. Advanced studies include music and movement in Paris as well as Kodaly training and certification through CSU with Sr. Lorna Zemke. He is the founder and president of the Las Vegas Urban Chapter of Kodaly Educators and past-president of the Greater Chicago Orff Chapter. Thom has presented at numerous AOSA and OAKE Conferences. He has presented in Australia, Canada, and China and presents at Orff and Kodaly chapters across the United States each year. Currently teaching PreK-5 in Vegas, Thom served as the Vice President of the Early Childhood Music and Movement Association and was chair of the AOSA Diversity Committee. Thom has published Orff arrangements in the McGraw-Hill series, Spotlight on Music and Music Studio and has published materials on using manipulatives in the music classroom and using children’s literature to address music concepts and skills. His most recent publications include FILE FOLDER FUN! Interactive Singing Games.

Virtual Participatory Storytelling

Thom will take the listener into the world of storytelling both aurally and vocally. Join the group as we travel from Tondo to the city for the great wedding of the civet cat and his friends. What wonders await them…what joys will they find…what consequences will they pay? We explore the idea of virtual storytelling through the story with follow-up discussion as to tips and tricks to engage students in the digital platform.

Charissa Duncanson has taught K-5th grade general music in the Metro Detroit Area for six years. Born and raised in Michigan, Charissa began her musical journey in elementary school. Throughout her childhood Charissa participated in choirs, bands, and theatre within her community and schools.  She earned a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Education from Wayne State University and currently teaches at McDonald Elementary School in Dearborn.  As a professional, Charissa has performed and presented throughout the Metro Detroit Area ranging from state conferences to local PD workshops. Being an avid advocate for music education, Ms. Duncanson has served on multiple boards for music education associations. In her spare time  Charissa loves to craft, sew, and go on walks with her husband and dog, Maizey.

Create Mirrors, Windows, and Sliding Glass Doors through Literature in the Music Classroom 

You’ll hear and understand the differences between creating mirrors, windows, and sliding doors when Charissa takes you through children’s lit and uses this to encourage social and emotional learning through understanding.  You’ll walk away with 4 book recommendations for your classroom written or illustrated by Black & Indigenous People/Persons of Color (BIPOC). You will also walk away with 4 lessons to teach musical concepts to go along with the book recommendations given.

Mary-Lynn Doherty:

Teaching in the Affective Domain: SEL and comprehensive musicianship.”

For music educators, social emotional learning is a critical pathway to maintaining student engagement, providing outlets for students under stress or experiencing trauma, and motivating students to look beyond themselves and their environment to better understand others and the world. A comprehensive music education supports learning in the psychomotor, cognitive and affective domains.   Rather than an add-on to the “curriculum”, affective outcomes can be transformational for students and teachers alike. This short session will encourage reflection and assist teachers with looking at current short and long term goals through the lens of the Comprehensive Musicianship through Performance model of teaching.

For Registration, Membership & Payment Click Here

All workshops:

9:30 Registration | Workshop 10am-1pm | CPDUs provided

$20 for members | $40 for non-members | Free for undergraduate students with ID

Annual membership $40 I  Four workshops plus annual membership $90

If you have any questions please contact us at

FVOC update


2020-2021 Workshops

**Please note, all workshops will be online this year unless otherwise noted. We will continue with online workshops until school and Illinois Phase Guidelines deem it possible to meet in person.

Click here to register for this year’s membership/workshops.

September 12: “Out of the Box with Online Mini Presentations”
  • Andrea Donahoe:  “Lessons Re-imagined (remote learning)
  • Thom Borden: “Virtual Participatory Storytelling
  • Charissa Joy Duncan: “Create Mirrors, Windows, and Sliding Glass Doors through Literature in the Music Classroom
  • Mary-Lynn Doherty: “Teaching in the Affective Domain: SEL and comprehensive musicianship
October 10: Christa Jones:  “Celebrating the Music and Culture of Your School’s Families”
February 6: Chapter Share

If you are interested in presenting at our Chapter share in February or have any questions, please email

April 10: Ben Torres –  TBa
FVOC update


April Workshop Update

Posted on March 15, 2020 by foxv3475

Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 situation, our April 4th workshop with Meg Tietz has been cancelled.  The health and safety of our presenter and members is a top priority, so we will not be having a final workshop for this school year in light of that concern.

We apologize for any inconvenience that this may have caused.  We will be sending out more information soon to those who paid for the whole year concerning reimbursement for the last workshop.

We hope that the rest of your school year is safe and healthy and we hope to see you for the 2020-2021 school year!

~Fox Valley Orff-Schulwerk Chapter Board

If you have any questions, please contact us at

Meg Tietz to present April 4, 2020

Posted on March 8, 2020 by foxv3475

Our last workshop of this school year is the amazing Meg Tietz.  She will present “Planning Programs with Purpose” on April 4, 2020 at Kaneland John Shields Elementary school in Sugar Grove, IL.  Save the date, more information to follow.

Chapter Share Feb. 8th 2020

Posted on December 1, 2019 by foxv3475

Our Chapter Share meeting will be 10 am-1 pm, February 8th, 2020 at Kaneland John Shields Elementary School; 85 S. Main Street, Sugar Grove, IL.  Registration begins at 9:30 am.  If you are interested in being a presenter for our Chapter Share or being on our email list, email  Please allow a few extra days for a response.

Josh Southard presents at FVOC in October

Posted on September 13, 2019 by foxv3475

Fox Valley Orff is proud to announce our next workshop October 5, 2019 with Josh Southard.

Orff Schulwerk: Children’s Literature in the Music Classroom

J.K. Rowling said “I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a book.”  Come experience the magic that can happen in the music room using children’s literature! This workshop will feature several children’s books that can be used for grades K-6 in a lesson or concert setting.   It will inspire you to use the ideas and processes learned with your own favorite children’s books!

Please come visit us at our new location:

Kaneland John Shields Elementary School

85 S. Main Street, Sugar Grove, IL

9:30 Registration, 10am -1pm Workshop

Matt McCoy presents September 7, 2019

Posted on August 10, 2019 by foxv3475

From Beginning Steps to Leaps and Bounds: Recorder Pedagogy in the Orff Schulwerk Classroom

Bring your energy and enthusiasm as we explore many possibilities for integrating recorder with an Orff Schulwerk approach to general music instruction. Participants will experience process-based lessons emphasizing the development of recorder technique, improvisation, composition, and ensemble playing combined with a variety of elemental media (e.g., speech, singing, percussion instruments) and movement. Participants should bring a soprano recorder to this workshop and other voices (alto, tenor, bass) are welcome.

**please note our new location:  Kaneland John Shields Elementary School; 85 S. Main Street, Sugar Grove, IL (10 am-1 pm, registration at 9:30)

Come and join us for the 2019-2020 School Year!

Posted on July 9, 2019 by foxv3475

We had a wonderful time this past school year learning and experiencing so many things with each other and are looking forward to the exciting things to come in our 2019-2020 line up!  Not only do we have exciting new presenters and topics, but we are also in a NEW LOCATION this coming year!  Come and join us at Kaneland John Shields Elementary in Sugar Grove, IL.

2019- 2020 schedule:

  • September 7:  Matt McCoy  – “From Beginning Steps to Leaps and Bounds: Recorder Pedagogy in the Orff Schulwerk Classroom”
  • October 5:  Josh Southard – “Orff Schulwerk: Children’s Literature in the Music Classroom”
  • February 8:  Chapter Share

April 4:  Meg Tietz – “Planning Programs with Purpose”

FVOC update


Ready or Not Here We Come…

Posted on August 6, 2018 by foxv3475

The new school year is right around the corner and the Fox Valley Orff  Chapter has a fantastic line-up of workshops this year to refresh your classroom.  We will be meeting again at Country Trails Elementary School just outside of Elgin.  Here is our schedule of workshops and presenters. For more specific information on each presenter or session please clink on the workshop tab above.

2018-2019 Schedule

September 8th, 2018: Diana Hawley- “The Innovative Orff Classroom”

October 6th, 2018: Cynthia Seputis- “Uketoberfest”

February 2nd, 2019: Chapter Share

April 6th, 2019: Lisa Sullivan- “Playing with Improvisation”

Also, the AOSA National Convention is a drivable distance this year and has a wonderful selection of sessions for every topic imaginable.  Their information can be found at

FVOC update


Next Workshop- Saturday, November 18th 2017- Preschool Music: Building the Foundation through Exploration and Play

Posted on November 13, 2017 by foxv3475

The excitement of the beginning of the school year is passed.  I don’t know about your classroom but it seems every pencils eraser has disappeared. It is about this time each year that a lesson idea refresher is due to put some life in those lesson plans while gear up for the holidays. So what a great time to attend a Fox Valley Orff Schulwerk Chapter workshop. We are please to welcome Cathy Dunafin on November 18th, 2017.  Cathy will be leading a workshop in early childhood music from birth through 1st grade. And then as a bonus she will be leading our Orff Moment on great resources for your classroom. So if you have a resource you can’t live without, please bring it and Cathy will be sharing some of her favorites as well. Please join us for our next workshop- Preschool Music: Building the Foundation through Exploration and Play.

2017-2018 Workshop Schedule

Posted on September 9, 2017 by foxv3475

School has begun. The weather has begun cooling down. It is time to refresh yourself with a some professional development.  We have had a schedule change so this year our first workshop will be October 14th. We are welcoming Dr. Jui-Chang Wang for a multicultural workshop  A “Musicking” Classroom: Singing, Playing, and Dancing around the World. We will be visiting a number of countries around the world including Korea, China, and a closer to home place as well.

And while you are marking your calendar you can add the dates of the remaining workshops for the year:

November 18th, 2017- Presenter TBA

February 3rd, 2018- Chapter Share

April 14th, 2018- Nick Wild

CPDU’s will be provided at all workshops.