2022 - 2023 Workshop Series

In-person workshops will be held at:


Loomis Elementary School

369 North Central Blvd.

Broomall PA, 19008

Manju Durairaj

21st Century Orff Schulwerk: Making Responsive Teaching and Collaborative Learning Visible


Saturday, September 10, 2022

9:00 am - 1:30 pm


The Orff Schulwerk approach is one of the most sustainable practices in music education. It adapts and evolves with the times, without compromising child centered and child generated learning outcomes, even in a pandemic. This session illustrates the Orff Schulwerk approach using cultural information and processes to scaffold learning, emphasizes communal orientation, and focusing on relationships, cognitive scaffolding, and critical social awareness. This session provides ideas for using award winning books to design lessons and assessments that are framed in culturally responsive teaching, implementing purposeful inclusion strategies for collaborative learning, designing differentiated performance tasks to evoke creativity and higher order thinking skill, creating meaningful rubrics that assess learning, and structure feedback for growth and proficiency.


Manju Durairaj was born and raised in India. She studied in Pune, India. She was involved in graduate research projects on comparative pedagogical practices of Indian (Carnatic) and Western Music at Middlesex University, London, UK. She graduated with her second master’s degree and K-12 certification from VanderCook College of Music, Chicago.


Manju is the Lower School Music Teacher at the Latin School of Chicago. She is president elect for ILMEA elementary general music division, vice president elect DEI of AOSA, past president of the Greater Chicago Orff Chapter and is a certified Orff Schulwerk Levels Teacher Educator. She is a certified Arts Integration specialist. She is an adjunct professor at VanderCook College of Music, Chicago where she teaches curriculum design and elementary methods graduate, undergraduate and continuing teacher education courses. Her continuing teaching education courses, on campus and online, include Culturally Responsive Music Education, Technology, Arts Integration, Curriculum Development, Responsive Classroom, and Redesigning Teaching and Learning for 21st Century.


She is a frequent clinician at various state, national, and international conferences. She has been published in the Orff Echo, Reverberations, Illinois Music Educators Journal, General Music Today, and the Journal of the Council for Research in Music Education. Her publications with Hal Leonard include InterAct with Music Assessment Levels 1 and 2, InterAct Levels 1&2 Student Activities for Devices and Print, Technology in Today’s Music Classroom and Dancing Around the World with Music Express Magazine.

Liban Gomez

Cultural Connections in the Music Classroom


Saturday, October 22, 2022

9:00 am - 1:30 pm


One of the many ways to learn about students’ culture is though music. Music always brings people together. Participants will explore popular music from Latin America, in particular from the Dominican Republic, as we make cultural connections through movement, songs, and stories. Get ready for some dancing, games/activities, songs, and giggles.


Liban O. Gómez was born and raised in the Dominican Republic and has been teaching for 13 years at The School of Higher Expectations P.S. 66 in the Bronx, New York City. Liban previously taught grades 2 and 5 working particularly with the English Language Learners. He has been teaching General Music, Music Through Literacy, and school violin to students from Pre-K - 5th for over 10 years. At The City College of New York, he received his Bachelors’ Degrees in Childhood Education, Italian Literature and Language, and Mathematics followed by a Master’s in Teaching English to Students of Other Languages (TESOL). He is certified in Orff-Schulwerk. He is the current president of the New York City Chapter of American Orff-Schulwerk Association. Liban frequently and actively attended numerous workshops offered from different parts of the world. Liban is a polyglot and has traveled around the world to learn and explore other cultures. He loves and enjoys teaching, movement, sports, traveling, and photography.

Lisa Hewitt and Rosemary Pilonero

Playing Together through Practical Process


Saturday, January 28, 2023

10:00 am - 12:00 pm EST/Zoom

Zoom links will be emailed prior to the workshop


Join us as we explore the Orff Schulwerk process while building community and foundational skills through a playful process.


Lisa Hewitt is the music specialist at Westbrooke Elementary School in Orange County, Florida. She holds a BME from Stetson University/DeLand, FL. Her education also includes post-Level III (Master Class) Orff Schulwerk Teacher Education, and World Drumming Level I. Lisa attended the International Summer Course at the Orff Institut in Salzburg, Austria in 2018 and Spain Orff in Madrid, Spain in 2019. Her responsibilities with the American Orff-Schulwerk Association (AOSA) include attending the annual International Orff Forum Conference in Salzburg where she presented in 2019. Lisa organized and implemented the first All-State Orff Ensemble in the nation as the FMEA All-State Orff Coordinator for the Florida Music Education Association in 2016. After a short sabbatical to take on national work, she was appointed Co-Coordinator of the FMEA All-State Orff Ensemble. Lisa has presented in several states and at the AOSA Professional Development conference. In addition to conducting several Orff All County ensembles, Lisa was the first All-State Orff clinician for Idaho Music Education Association in January 2020. She has served as president of the Central Florida Orff Chapter, Region IV Representative on the AOSA National Board of Trustees, and served on the AOSA Executive Committee as President, 2019-2021. Lisa was awarded Lifetime Membership in recognition of her exemplary service to the organization.

Rosemary Pilonero is currently in her 29th year of teaching music and 9th year as the music teacher and chorus director at The Villages Elementary of Lady Lake in Lake County, Florida. She previously taught at Lake Panasoffkee Elementary School in Sumter County, Florida, for 8 years. Before moving to Florida in 2006, Rosemary taught music for 12 years in Ramsey, New Jersey, where her job included a variety of roles: fifth grade beginning band director, elementary general music teacher, middle school chorus accompanist, and assistant director of the high school marching band. She has earned two music education degrees - Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and Master’s Degree from Montclair State University in New Jersey. In 2009 and 2018, she was selected Teacher of the Year at her school. Mrs. Pilonero completed her Orff Certification at Stetson University in Deland and has attended Orff Master Classes with Jay Broeker and Karen Medley. She is an active member of the Central Florida Orff Chapter, having served as Treasurer and assistant course director. She has been a clinician for Orff All-County ensembles in Orange and Seminole counties. Rosemary remains an active servant leader as Co-Coordinator of the Florida Music Education Association Elementary Orff Ensemble and Elementary Clinics Chair of the Florida Music Education Association Conference Planning Committee. She has served as a Regional Representative on the American Orff-Schulwerk Association National Board of Trustees and is a Past-President of the Florida Elementary Music Educators’ Association. Rosemary was named 2021 Elementary Music Educator of the Year by the Florida Music Education Association. She lives in Wildwood, Florida, with her husband, Mark, and their dogs, Bella and Dolce.

Brandi Waller-Pace

Culturally Responsive Approaches to Black Music


Saturday, February 25, 2023

10:00 am - 12:00 pm EST/Zoom

Zoom links will be emailed prior to the workshop


Explore various styles of Black music through narratives that frame them and learn ways to approach instruction in a way that centers the experiences of Black people.

Brandi Waller-Pace is a Fort Worth-based artist, educator, and scholar. A former general music educator, she is the Founder and Executive Director of the nonprofit Decolonizing the Music Room. Brandi is a graduate of Howard University, with a Bachelor and Master of Music in Jazz Studies. She is currently pursuing a Phd in Music Education at the University of North Texas. She holds full Orff Schulwerk certification, has completed Kodaly I, and Music Learning Theory I and II. During her 11.5 years as a music educator, she co-wrote district music curriculum and participated in district and community racial and systemic equity work. In 2019 and 2020, Brandi served on the Texas African American Studies Course Curriculum Advisory Team, which helped formulate curriculum standards for Texas’ first state-approved African American Studies course. She presents and speaks nationally and internationally on topics ranging from decolonizing and antiracist philosophies in music education to jazz and the Black history of early American music.

She is the creator and organizer of the Fort Worth African American Roots Music Festival (FWAAMFest), created to highlight blackness in early American music. Brandi has co-produced and curated artist lineups for events with Bluegrass Pride, The Bluegrass Situation, and PineCone. As a musician, some of her notable performances have been at ArtsGoggle, the City of Fort Worth’s Jazz Series and Juneteenth Celebration, the Affrolachian On-Time Festival, The Black Academy of Arts and Letters, the Fort Worth Django Reinhardt Festival, and the Shout & Shine Showcase, produced by The Bluegrass Situation and PineCone. Brandi also sits on the board of directors of Folk Alliance International.

Lori Arner

Orff and Choral singing


Saturday, March 18, 2023

9:00 am - 1:30 pm


An exploration of the Orff process using the first instrument- the voice.


Lori Arner is the general music teacher at Newtown Elementary School in Council Rock School District. She earned her Bachelor's, Master's, and Ph.D. in music education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Westminster Choir College, and Temple University respectively. Lori completed her Orff Certification and Post Level III work at the University of Kentucky. She also completed her Kodaly Certification at Westminster Choir College, Basic Dalcroze Certificate at the Institute for Jaques-Dalcroze Education, and studied Music Learning Theory at Temple University. Lori has served AOSA as Chapter President, Local Conference Chair, and Trustee on the National Board.

Lissa Ray

Ring in the New (School) Year


Saturday, April 29, 2023

9:00 am - 1:30 pm


The soothing sound of bells and chimes can inspire joy, peace, and hope. This workshop will cover a myriad of pathways to engage students at the start of the school year through singing, saying, dancing, playing, and ringing. Participants will be introduced to handbells and chimes and ways to integrate them with an Orff ensemble. Replenish your hope and resilience through singing, moving, and playing together as we approach the coming school year.


Lissa is in her twelfth year of “retirement” after a teaching full time for thirty years. Her teaching experience spans preschool the to adults. She is now teaching music to children three to six years old at Mercy Montessori Center.

She holds a Bachelor's Degree from Western Michigan University and a Master's Degree from Indiana University. She has completed her Orff Certification as well as Master Classes and Orff Curriculum. She attended the summer course at the Orff Institut in Salzburg, Austria. Lissa presents workshops to Orff chapters across the country. She is an approved Movement and Recorder Instructor for OS Teacher Training.

Lissa has been active member of the Greater Cincinnati Chapter of AOSA since 1987. She has held almost every position on the GCCAOSA Board. She has served on AOSA National Board of Trustees as a Region Representative and member of several different committees. In 2018 Lissa was Local Co-Chair of the AOSA Conference in Cincinnati. She has worked closely with Teaching with Orff, (MMB Music), to create a series of videos on repair and care of Orff instruments. Lissa is the Handbell Director at Northminster Presbyterian Church. She is a flute player and rings handbells in the Cincinnati Collaborative Ringing Project, of which she is a founding member.