IOSFS Convention 2020 Reflection

Having been a member of the Scottish Orff-Schulwerk Association for many years, I was aware of the context of the International Orff-Schulwerk Forum, that it was ‘an international network of Orff-Schulwerk Associations, Associated Schools and related Institutions’ but apart from international tutors visiting Scotland for the ‘Accent On Orff’ weekend courses in Scotland, I had never experienced it.

The Convention brought this sharply into perspective. As well as the very interesting discussions about the business of the Forum, there was a series of fascinating participatory sessions; body percussion, song, movement and dance activities. The process was as interesting as the content however, sessions started for me in Scotland at 7am led by teachers in other parts of the world where it was 2pm; for some participants, it was 4am, but they joined in with gusto. Evening sessions ended at 9pm for us; for some this was afternoon, for others, the wee small hours. This gave a strong sense of the international nature of Orff-Schulwerk.

Many of us have risen to the challenge of delivering sessions over the Internet during the last few weeks. There were both discussions and practical examples of how to use the Internet to advantage, passing a gift to someone in the next ‘window’ who may be thousands of miles away.

For me, the opportunity of meeting colleagues from across the world, to experience ‘the closing down of time and space’ offered by an online event and the sense of shared joy of music in very challenging times for us all made this Convention particularly special.

Moyra Hawthorn, July 2020.

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