Orff-Schulwerk Gesellshaft in Japan





What is Orff-Schulwek Gesellshaft in Japan?

Carl Orff (1895-1982) was a great German composer and an educator. What he wanted to teach us was – not the techniques and theories but – the way to understand self and others through music, and to develop ourselves and find own way of life through music performance and creation.


Through this research association, we hope to explore the specific ways to follow his teachings. We look out for members who are interested in the education of sound and movement, regardless of their academic background.



  • Orff-Schulwek Gesellshaft in Japan became a registered member of Science Council of Japan on October 28, 2005.

  • The association was registered as an academic society for election of the members of the Science Council of Japan on November 13, 2005.

Upcoming meetings/notice



[Regular meetings]


Meeting in October

Admission for this meeting has been closed


Date: Sat, October 6, 2012 (10:00-14:00)

Venue: Aichi Gakusen College (hyperlink: http://www.gakusen.ac.jp/t/ippan/access.html)



  • Movement play” (12:20-13:50)
    Lecturer: Wakako Nagaoka (Hamamatsu Gakuin University Junior College)
    Experience various movement plays that you can enjoy with children!


  • Participation fee:

For public audience*:2,000

For members/students:1,000

*If you wish to join Orff-Schulwek Gesellshaft in Japan on the day of a regular meeting, you can pay the total of6,000 (inclusive of5,000 annual fee).


  • Sign up:
    You can sign up at the venue on the day of the meeting

*Please bring your lunch. There is a vending machine available for soft drinks.

*Please come in a comfortable outfit for movement activities. You will be asked to remove your footwear at the workshop.


Meeting in March

Date: Sun, March 10, 2013

Venue: Spielhaus (hyperlink: http://www.bubukun.net/info/index.html)


[Notice from Carl Orff Institut Salzburg]

A brochure for the special course is now available. It is a yearlong course from October 1, 2012 to June 30, 2013. Click here for details (hyperlink: http://www.orffinstitut.at/fileadmin/orff/site/downloads/orff_SPECIAL_COURSE_WEB.pdf)


Past seminars and workshops



[Report] Past Summer Seminar


Click on the link below to view the picture report:


Summer seminar at Tokyo Gakugei University (August 17-18, 2012)



(Landing page from the above link)


  • A: “Building music with words”
    Lecturer: Noriko Ishigami (Itabashi Tokumaru Elementary School)
    Embracing the musical characteristic of Japanese language, we had a word ensemble session with words that we associate with each season.


  • B: “Acorns and Wildcat”
    Lecturer: Mino Tosa (Iwate University)

  • Using Kenji Miyazaki’s story “Acorns and Wildcat” as the base, we created a performance with movements and body percussion.


  • C: “Playing with sound”
    Lecturer: Junko Hosoda (Tokyo Kasei University)

  • We expressed our ideas inspired from colors, shapes, and words using our own unique sound.


  • D: “Expression with rubbing sounds”
    Lecturer: Mamiko Kumaki (Shukutoku University)
    We created a piece without beat, by compiling sounds made from different items rubbed against each other.


  • E: “For first timers”
    Lecturer: Junko Kawaguchi (Meeting at Aichi Gakusen College)
    Introduction to the life of Carl Orff and the characteristics of his music education with reading materials and practical activities.


[Panel discussion]

  • Development and potential of Orff-Schulwerk in Japan – Looking back at the last 25 years of Orff-Schulwerk Gesellshaft in Japan”
    Panelist: Tohru Iguchi, Junko Hosoda, Mamiko Kumaki, Masayuki Nakaji

Facilitator: Yoshie Matsuno (former elementary school teacher)
Discussion on how Orff-Schulwerk has so far been acknowledged and developed in Japan. We reviewed the history of Orff-Schulwerk Gesellshaft in Japan and considered the further potential and future opportunities.

[Review discussion]

  • School curriculum for Japanese music and Orff-Schulwerk”
    Lecturer: Yoshio Chihara (former director of Hougaku-kyouiku-sinkoukai(NPO))


Summer seminar at Tsurumi Junior College (August 18-19, 2011) (hyperlink: http://www.orff-schulwerk-japan.com/%E5%A0%B1%E5%91%8A-%E9%81%8E%E5%8E%BB%E3%81%AE%E4%BE%8B%E4%BC%9A%E7%AD%89/%EF%BC%92%EF%BC%90%EF%BC%91%EF%BC%91%E5%A4%8F%E6%9C%9F%E3%82%BB%E3%83%9F%E3%83%8A%E3%83%BC/)


(Landing page from the above link)


  • A: “For first timers”
    Lecturer: Junko Kawaguchi (Meeting at Aichi Gakusen College)
    Introduction to the life of Carl Orff and the characteristics of his music education with reading materials and practical

  • B: “Let’s play with body and fabric”
    Lecturer: Reiko Shibata (Spiel House)
    We prepared a movement performance using the unique characteristics of different fabrics.

  • C: “Grass whistle – Children’s sound culture”
    Lecturer: Hidefumi Sato (Tsurumi Junior College)
    We relished the sounds from various grass whistles passed down from generation to generation throughout Japan.

  • D: Joy of ensemble
    Lecturer: Itoko Abe
    We developed music play into ensemble activities using musical instruments.


[Practical report]

  • Behavioral changes in autistic children brought on by music therapy in kindergarten”

Lecturer: Hiroko Tanimura (School of Education, Kwansei Gakuin University)

The lecturer shared her thoughts on the effect of musical instruments and the choice of vocal music education materials, after her clinical developmental analysis into the behavioral changes seen in autistic children through music therapeutic activities.


[Practical workshop]

  • Make, create, build – and play/deliver music”

Lecturer: Yuka Hiraishi (Orff-Schulwerk lecturer, Musashino Academia Musicae)
With the development of music instruments as theme, each group worked on creative activities using sound, voice, movement, etc. Every creation was given unique story and message behind it, and, through the fun production of music for both children and adults, we discussed the origin of music and how music should be.


[Review discussion]

  • Through the 2-day seminar & Learn about Orff”


[Report] Past regular meetings

Click on the links below to view picture reports.


Meeting at Tsurumi Junior College (hyperlink: http://www.orff-schulwerk-japan.com/%E5%A0%B1%E5%91%8A-%E9%81%8E%E5%8E%BB%E3%81%AE%E4%BE%8B%E4%BC%9A%E7%AD%89/20120609%E4%BE%8B%E4%BC%9A/) (Sat, June 9, 2012)

  • Workshop: “Friendly with xylophone (marimba)”

(Landing page from the above link)

  • Workshop: “Friendly with xylophone (marimba)”

Lecturer: Maiko Hosoda (percussionist)
Planner: Tohru Iguchi (former chairperson)


The first things that come to mind when you hear Orff instruments are xylophones and glockenspiel. However, few people are taught to play these percussion instruments. We had a small training session with a specialist as a guest lecturer. Also, we touched on the charm points of the works of Orff and Keetman.


  • Report on Salzburg symposium

Facilitator: Wakako Kawai (committee)


Meeting at Tokyo Kasei University (hyperlink: http://www.orff-schulwerk-japan.com/%E5%A0%B1%E5%91%8A-%E9%81%8E%E5%8E%BB%E3%81%AE%E4%BE%8B%E4%BC%9A%E7%AD%89/20120311%E4%BE%8B%E4%BC%9A/) (Sun, March 11, 2012)

  • Workshop: “Feel and let it go through your body, let go and open yourself, open and connect with others, connect then feel again”

  • Workshop: “Play with musical instruments – making the first encounter with instruments more fun”


(Landing page from the above link)

  • Workshop: “Feel and let it go through your body, let go and open yourself, open and connect with others, connect then feel again”

Lecturer: Yukiko Akita (Tsurumi Junior College)

We spent the time paying full attention to our own bodies and having fun. Difficult things aside, we met different people and expressions through the movements of our bodies.


  • Workshop: “Play with musical instruments – making the first encounter with instruments more fun”
    We played various sound games using sound makers and small percussion instruments. In addition, the group members shared experiences and different creative methods that helped in introducing music instruments in classrooms.



Meeting at Aichi Gakusen College (hyperlink: http://www.orff-schulwerk-japan.com/%E5%A0%B1%E5%91%8A-%E9%81%8E%E5%8E%BB%E3%81%AE%E4%BE%8B%E4%BC%9A%E7%AD%89/20111127%E4%BE%8B%E4%BC%9A/) (Sun, November 27, 2011)

  • Workshop: “Bring body into play (our connection to time and space)”

  • Workshop: “Play with musical instruments – what sounds can we create?”


(Landing page from the above link)

  • Workshop: “Bring body into play (our connection to time and space)”
    *We played with an art form available to everyone = body

Lecturer: Nobuko Shishido (Play & Development Institute)


(Photo captions)

Getting into a circle with the rhythm of music…

Holding a scarf with a partner

We drew a colorful curve using the movement of a scarf

Every time you sit on a chair, do it in a different position

Production with chairs and scarves with the sound of music

  • Workshop: “Play with musical instruments – what sounds can we create?”

* We enjoyed ensemble mainly with Orff instruments

Lecturer: Minekazu Honda (Nagoya Women’s University/Ohkagakuen University)


(Photo captions)

Self-introduction to rhythm

The hidden item in the scarf was a mallet

What rhythm are the camel’s legs tapping in the picture book?

Ensemble of Ding dong digi digi dong (reference: Orff-Schulwerk, Vol. 1)


Meeting at Tokyo Gakugei University (hyperlink: http://www.orff-schulwerk-japan.com/%E5%A0%B1%E5%91%8A-%E9%81%8E%E5%8E%BB%E3%81%AE%E4%BE%8B%E4%BC%9A%E7%AD%89/20110604%E4%BE%8B%E4%BC%9A/) (Sat, June 4, 2011)

  • Workshop: “Pick it up and listen in”

  • Practical report: “Building music in Dorian mode”


(Landing page from the above link)

  • Workshop: “Pick it up and listen in”
    Lecturer: Tomo Shinozaki (Adjunct lecturer, Tokyo Kasei University)

Mr. Shinozaki taught us the basic playing technique of a percussion instrument most commonly used in schools while taking us through the history and mechanism of the instrument.

We explored different ways to create different sounds and enjoyed percussion ensemble.

  • Practical report: “Building music in Dorian mode – practical lessens starting from upper elementary grades”
    Lecturer: Minako Yoshimi (Lead teacher, Bunkyo Kagomachi Elementary School, Tokyo)
    Ms. Yoshimi introduced an example of improvisation in Gregorian mode used in elementary education; she also shared in the presentation her observation of children’s actual responses.


Meeting at Spiel House (hyperlink: http://www.orff-schulwerk-japan.com/%E5%A0%B1%E5%91%8A-%E9%81%8E%E5%8E%BB%E3%81%AE%E4%BE%8B%E4%BC%9A%E7%AD%89/20110306%E4%BE%8B%E4%BC%9A/) (Sun, March 6, 2011)

  • Workshop: “Play with pictures”

  • Discussion: “What are the merits of Orff educational method?”


(Landing page from the above link)

  • Workshop: “Play with pictures”
    Lecturer: Reiko Shibata (Spiel House)
    Using picture motifs, we enjoyed a multidirectional expression activity. The activity included the captioning of a picture actually taken by a participant, bodily expression of the story behind a picture, and improvisation of a picture theme song.

  • Discussion: “What are the merits of Orff educational method?”
    Moderator: Junko Hosoda
    Topic generator: Reiko Shibata
    We considered the factors that made Orff-Schulwerk an all-round education and re-confirmed what is important in each educational branch.


Main activities/Join us

Main activities


There are two main activities conducted by the association:


  1. Seminars and regular meetings

  • Carl Orff music education seminar
    *Conducted once a year during the summer season

  • Regular meetings in February, June, and November
    *Some regular meetings take place outside of the Tokyo area


  1. Magazine publication

  • Music for Children
    The magazine is published twice a year. It contains information on Carl Orff and association news like reports on seminars and regular meetings, information on training conducted abroad, introduction of research papers, and more.


Join us

If you are interested in the association membership, please go through the information below:



  • The annual membership fee is5,000 (there is no sign-up fee)

  • As a member, you will receive special member discounts on fees for seminars and regular meetings


[How to sign up for a membership]


You can sign up through one of the two options mentioned below:

  • Sign up at a seminar/regular meeting

*Please speak to the person at the seminar/meeting admission counter

  • Sign up by post-office/bank transfer sheet

*Fill out the standard transfer sheet with the blue frame (available at the post office/bank) with your zip code, address, name, and phone number, and transfer the5,000 annual fee to association bank account. In the remarks column, please mention: “Membership fee for the association”

  • Transfer through Japan Post Bank:


Bank: Japan Post Bank, Hikarigaoka branch

Account number: 00100-3-566800

Account name: 日本オルフ音楽教育研究会 (Orff-Schulwerk Gesellshaft in Japan)


  • Transfer through other banks:


Bank: Japan Post Bank

Branch code: 019 (zero-one-nine)

Account type: current

Account number: 0566800


For queries regarding the sign-up process, please contact us (hyperlink: http://www.orff-schulwerk-japan.com/%E5%95%8F%E5%90%88%E3%81%9B-%E5%8F%82%E5%8A%A0%E7%94%B3%E8%BE%BC%E3%81%BF/).


Contact us/Admission form

Please feel free to write to us with questions or sign-up requests.

We also accept applications for regular meetings and summer seminar here.

*We may take some time to respond to your request. Thank you for your patience in advance.







Note: fields marked with * are mandatory


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Junko Hosoda (Professor, Tokyo Kasei University) (Hyperlink: website URL)


Vice Chairperson:

Masayuki Nakaji (Tokyo Gakugei University) (hyperlink: http://univinfo.u-gakugei.ac.jp/u-gakugei/hp/nakaji1.html)


Sayaka Arimura
(Odawara Women¸
Junior College)

Akiko Iizuka (Aiiku Yogo School)

Mieko Iguchi (former kindergarten principal)

Junko Kawaguchi (Aichi Gakusen College) (hyperlink: http://www.gakusen.ac.jp/faculty/kawaguti/)
Mamiko Kumaki (Shukutoku University) (hyperlink:

Taku Kousokabe (Joetsu University of Education) (hyperlink: http://www.official.jimu.juen.ac.jp/teacher/j_kyo_info.php?j_id=630)

Reiko Shibata (Spiel House) (hyperlink: http://www.bubukun.net/reiko/shibata.html)
Noriyuki Suzuki
(Tokiwa University)

Wakako Nagaoka (Hamamatsu Gakuin University Junior College) (hyperlink: http://www.hgu.ac.jp/coll_hp/hs/mod/educator/index.php?mode=detail&article=8)

Tomoko Nasukawa (Hyogo University of Teacher Education) (hyperlink: http://www.office.hyogo-u.ac.jp/jgs/member/kyouin_data/NASUKAWA_T.html)
Yoshie Matsuno (former elementary school teacher)


Research consultant:

Tohru Iguchi (Professor, Department of Early Childhood Care and Education, Tsurumi Junior College) (Hyperlink: website URL)

Honorary member:

Norioki Minami(former elementary school president)
Yamato Shimizu (former professor at Tottori University)
Koji Miyazaki (Musashino Academia Musicae) (hyperlink:




The association shall be called Orff-Schulwerk Gesellshaft in Japan


To research the philosophy of music education proposed by Carl Orff known as “Orff-Schulwerk” and to apply learning in the theoretical and practical research for music education in Japan.

Membership and organizational structure

  1. A member must have agreed to the purpose of the association and paid the membership fee.

  2. The committee shall be elected from the association members.

  3. The chairperson shall be elected from the committee.

  4. The committee and chairperson shall serve 2 years; however, the continuance in office will be allowed.

  5. Supporting members can be added to the association with consensuses from its members.


Administrative method

  1. The association shall hold an annual general assembly.

  2. The committee shall meet regularly, as needed, throughout the year on the call of the chairperson.



  1. The association shall hold conferences and training to achieve its objectives.

  2. For the exposure of research results and information sharing amongst its members, the association shall publish a newsletter, etc.

Membership fee and finance

  1. Individual annual membership fee is5,000.

  2. A fiscal year is defined as the period starting on April 1 and ending on March 31 next year; a finance report of the previous year shall be submitted for approval at the annual general assembly.


Head office

The head office address:


Orff-Schulwerk Gesellshaft in Japan

By prof.Junko Hosoda

Tokyo Kasei University

1-18-1 Kaga, Itabashi-ku

Tokyo 173-8602


Terms revision date:

  • Established date: August 28, 1988

  • Partial revision date: July 27, 1997

  • Partial revision date: July 29, 2008


About Carl Orff


1895 Born on July 10thin Munich, Germany

1990 Starts playing the piano with his mother as his teacher

1911 Publishes a compilation of his original songs Song of Kimsee

1914 Graduates from Munich) music school

1917 Joins army

1924 Builds Günther Schule (Gunter-Schule)

1925 Starts teaching his original genreMusic Education for Dancers at Günther Schule

1937 Composes his most famous piece Carmina Burana

1945 Günther Schule burns down

1948 Starts broadcasting children’s music from Bayerischer Rundfunk BR (Bayern radiobroadcast station) in Southern Germany. The show with sound, movement, and words play became popular and continued for 5 years

1953 Professor Naohiro Fukui brings back Orff-Schulwerk philosophy to Japan after attendingISMEInternational Society for Music Education

1954 Completes his renowned music book Orff-Schulwerk Music for Children (5 volumes)

1961 Orff-Institut Salzburg opens

1962 Visits Japan with his assistant Gunild Keetman (invitation from NHK)

1975 Interviewed by Bayerischer Rundfunk BR

1982 Dies in Munich, Germany

1984 A new version of Orff-Schulwerk Music for Children written with the theme of Japanese language and children’s folk songs is published through Schott Japan publisher

1988 Orff-Schulwerk Gesellshaft in Japan is established


Orff-Institut Salzburg


Visit Orff-Institut Salzburg(hyperlink: http://www.orffinstitut.at/)


Orff-Schulwerk Forum Salzburg


Orff-Schulwerk Forum Salzburg (located in Salzburg, Austria) is the global center of Orff-Schulwerk research network.


Over 50 Orff-Schulwerk associations and societies from around the world belong to Orff-Schulwerk Forum Salzburg. Orff-Schulwerk Gesellshaft in Japan is the only approved member from Japan.


Visit Orff-Schulwerk Forum Salzburg (hyperlink: http://www.orff-schulwerk-forum-salzburg.org/)


Supporters links




URL: http://www.orff-schulwerk-japan.com/