Welcome to the first issue of e-improv!  It’s the online newsletter to RMC-AOSA members, through our website rockymountainorff.org  Let’s call this one e-IMPROV 2017.1  the first one of this calendar year.

We hope for a rich interactive dialog among all of us in RMC-AOSA. As you read an issue of e-IMPROV you might see an article, composition, arrangement, reference AND you have an opinion—yea or nay—about it. Or you know of another resource or website that adds to the dialog. Or you want to thank another member/contributor who published an arrangement or lesson plan in the e-improv. Send them in! (See below.)


What will be in our e-improv dialog? That’s up to all of us, and could include:


 CHAPTER NEWS                     MEMBER NEWS


 LESSON IDEAS                             IMPROVISATION INSIGHTS

 WORKSHOP WATCH                      ARCHIVES

   …for starters.


Archives? Yes archives from the Improvisor, the precursor to this electronic newsletter.


Read on, and you’ll see what we mean. WORKSHOP WATCH

section we quote an interview with Keith Terry from ARCHIVES to highlight his upcoming workshop.

And please let us know what you read here in the e-improv that’s most helpful to you.


Ruth Ann Chiaraluce  – ruthannc@comcast.net, Claire Seger – claire.seger@comast.net,

RMC, info@rockymountainorff.org




…from Louise Buckley


July 2016

Greetings to my favorite Orff chapter! My name is Louise Buckley and I’ve been a member since 2011. I have enjoyed everything that this Louisechapter has offered for the last five years and I’m sad to leave such a fantastic group of colleagues and friends.

This August, I will go to Abu Dhabi, part of the United Arab Emirates, to begin my teaching abroad journey at an international school there. I’ll still be teaching elementary music, as I did in Denver (and a bit of preschool music, too!). Fortunately I can deliver instruction in English.

I look forward to the many adventures, travels, and learning experiences that await me. Stay tuned for an update this fall about my life teaching overseas in the desert!

September 2016

Hello, RMC Members,

I was thinking of you and Rocky Mountain Orff today, missing you all. I thought it would be a good time to touch base and say “hey!” I’d love to still write something for the Improviser if you’re interested.

It has been a whirlwind here, definitely. The whole transition process has been tougher than I had expected. The school I am working at is a nice place, though, and I’m enjoying settling in. I have about 500 students, KG1-Grade 5. KG1 is the equivalent of Pre-K (4 year olds!), so that is new for me. I see classes once per week for 40 minutes. That is also a difficult adjustment but I’m learning to be very efficient with what I choose to do with the kids each week. Orff is wonderful for getting great mileage out of a lesson.

My apartment is lovely and the city is fun. The weather is finally starting to cool off slightly which makes it possible to walk and do outdoor activities. For the first six weeks that was impossible! It was simply too hot and sticky! I’m missing the beautiful fall that I’ve come to know in Denver. I know I’ll appreciate the weather here more when you all are chilly this winter.

Anyway, let me know if you’d still like me to write. Also, I’m interested in doing the one week course at the Orff Institute this summer. Is there anyone else from the chapter is interested in joining me? The info is in the AOSA website.

Hope all is well! Talk with you soon.

~~Louise Buckley

“Music is well said to be the speech of angels.”

   -Thomas Carlyle


  • Lisa Holman received recognition from CMEA for Exemplary Service to Music Education. She is in charge of General Music Resources at Meeker Music. Lisa has been a RMC and AOSA member for many years. Congratulations, Lisa!




  •  The Scholarship Committee is humbled and yet thrilled to acknowledge a gift from the Collage Giving Foundation. Formed by RMC member Nora Golden and her family, the Collage Giving Foundation gave a cash gift of $2,000.00, as it also did in 2015.

Collage Giving’s intent is to help chapter members continue and complete AOSA Teacher Education Courses, offered at many colleges and universities throughout the U.S. during the summer.

As in the past the RMC will award scholarships valued at $500.00 each to qualifying RMC-AOSA members to help them bear the cost of teacher education courses. Therefore, the Collage Giving Foundation will again help four chapter members build profession skills on a firm Orff Schulwerk foundation—all for the purpose of teaching children in the best possible way. Our scholarship committee efforts are greatly magnified by the generosity of the Collage Giving Foundation. We are exceedingly grateful.

  •  The Bylaws & Significant Policy Review Committee met this year to review and update our governing documents, bring themabbyheadshot in line with current practices and into the 21st Century. Revisions will be presented to the membership for review and voted on at our March Meeting. It has been an excellent opportunity to review our chapter’s history and operating procedures, and we are very thankful to the committee for their work!
    ~~Abby Fogarty, Chapter President


  •  Get ready for the next Scholarship Fundraiser Event! 


“Kid Lit for Your Music Classroom”

The sale table at the March 11th workshop will probably sag from the weight of a large and wonderful collection of children’s literature, as well as some valuable teacher resource books.tigercan'tsleep

Some of the books are just plain great books for children. Some of them have bonus music lesson suggestions. Some of them have detailed plans and props for full-blown performance. 

Below is a sample plan for classroom music lessons, coordinating with the children’s book Tiger Can’t Sleep. It’s appropriate for second graders and older who are ready to explore in 3/4 meter, F Major Pentatonic, and improvise melodies on Orff instruments (especially metals). The ostinati for voices and unpitched percussion instruments are based on the sounds the tiger stuffy makes to avoid going to sleep in the little boy’s closet with all his other toys. The ostinati could accumulate (be layered) as the story progresses, adding to tiger’s desperation to stay awake and in contrast, make the ending even sweeter.

tigercan'tsleeporffistrationI chose F major because is seems to be a soothing tonality. The improvisation on Orff instrument metals and steels at the end of the story is meant to be a lullaby.tigercan'tsleep2

Tiger Can’t Sleep is just one example of a book-lesson plan-stuffed animal package available at the Scholarship Fundraiser
on March 11. Come browse and buy and enrich your children’s music experience!

~~ Claire Seger


  •  March 11, 2017

237_tsfs-jc-2749Sofia Lopez-Ibor is coming to Colorado! This internationally acclaimed Orff clinician will be right here in our own backyard. Her workshops range from children’s Spanish singing games to arts integration. Don’t miss this opportunity to see this highly acclaimed workshop clinician on March 11, 2017 at Coronado Hills Elementary, 8300 Downing Dr., Denver.

  •  May 13, 2017

Chapter Sharing Chapter members share lessons and ideas that have proven successful in their classroom. If you are interested in doing this contact Abby Fogarty at fogartya9@gmail.com. This workshop is a half day event and is free to everyone. It will be at Carl Sandburg Elementary, 6900 S Elizabeth St., Centennial.  

  • July 21 & 22, 2017

Get ready for Body Musician Keith Terry! This is our annual summer mini-conference which will be held on the campus of Metro State University. College credit and/or licensure hours are available.keithterry

Looking through the Improvisor archives, we uncovered an interview with Keith Terry from Winter, 2007. At that time, Rocky Mountain Chapter of AOSA was lucky and determined enough to sponsor a special workshop by this world-renowned percussionist/body musician.

The following excerpt will activate us all to come, play and learn with Keith Terry at the summer retreat July 20 & 21, 2017:

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Improv: How did you get from percussionist to body musician?

Keith Terry: I still work as a percussionist, but 25 [now 35] years ago I was in a group called the Jazz Tap Ensemble. I realized that everything I was doing on drums I could do with my body. The late great tap dancer Honey Coles was very encouraging. He compared some of my body percussion to Hambone. With his encouragement and that of others, too, I continued with body music. And I’m still pursuing body music, it’s still unfolding for me.

Improv: What is your vision for working with teachers?

Keith Terry:  In my work I have stumbled across some concepts that I hope will help teachers. The concept of rhythmic blocks, for example, and using them in an additive way to keep building—that’s a concept that teachers can use to help students learn in any curriculum area. Sometimes teachers get back to me and let me know how they have incorporated the concepts or changed them for their own situations. I love that.


So, we look forward to a hugely successful workshop with Keith Terry July 20 & 21, 2017. The  e-improv staff hopes to help you stay informed about what’s coming down the road; and every now and then we’ll pull from the 30-year archives of the chapter newsletter to add perspective to RMC liveliness.

  •  2017-18 RMC Workshop Schedule

    Keith Terry – July 20 & 21, 2017

    Doug Goodkin – September 9, 2017

    Katie Traxler – Oct. 14, 2017

    Brian Burnett – January 13, 2018

    Lynn Kleiner (CMEA) – January 24 – 27, 2018

    Sarah Richardson – March 3, 2018

    Chapter Sharing – May 12, 2018

For additional information on all workshops, visit

CategoryNews & Events
©2015 Rocky Mountain Chapter of the Orff American Schulwerk Association
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