Folk Dancing Abounds in our Fall GRAOSA Workshop!

The smiles and laughter were sure indicators of a workshop filled with the fun of dancing, as Andrew Ellingsen skillfully presented a workshop which sequenced classroom folk dancing. Basic circle steps were built upon to achieve a set of skills that left GRAOSA members and guests amazed at the level of competence they had achieved by workshop’s end! College students who attended seemed to enjoy the first workshop of the 2019-20 school year as much as seasoned Orff-Schulwerk teachers. Such a level of proficiency encourages us to look ahead to our other workshops:

January 25- James DesJardins

March 7- Tim Weigand

You Won’t Want to Miss Our Upcoming Workshops!!!

GRAOSA promises you a lineup of workshops that will instruct, excite, and totally inspire your teaching for school year 2019-20!


September 14 Andrew Ellingsen -“Sequencing folk dances for the Music Classroom”

January 25 James Des Jardins – “The Process-Driven Life: Engaging students in an active,purposeful musical environment”

March 7 Tim Weigand Topic TBA

All workshops are held from 9 AM until 2PM. We will meet at Crane Elementary- 85 Shell Edge Drive, 14623 – come at 8:30 for coffee and bagels! 5 hours of PD are available for each workshop.

” Sequencing Folk Dances for the Music Classroom”- this is the topic of our first workshop on Saturday, September 14.

Andrew Ellingsen, a popular presenter and Orff-Schulwerk instructor, will present.Here is a brief description:

Just as music teachers sequence rhythmic and melodic learning, we can also sequence the teaching of folk dance. In addition to teaching dances for enjoyment and cultural context, come learn and experience a framework for sequencing the “content” of folk dancing. Participants will learn dances for use in the classroom and discuss how to sequence folk dances into a meaningful progression that enables students to spend less time struggling and more time moving.

On January 25, James DesJardins will be our presenter. You may remember that his workshop was cancelled last year due to weather concerns.

Tim Weigand will be our final presenter on March 7.

May 4- Katie Traxler

Saturday, May 4, 2019, GRAOSA will host a workshop by Manhattan educator and popular Orff- Schulwerk clinician Katie Traxler. The workshop , “Creative Music Through Composition,” explores the world of child-created music. Katie states, “Composition empowers our students to express their own individual ideas through music….We will play with movement and accents,create simple melodies, orchestrate shape patterns, compose body percussion”, and much more.

You won’t want to miss this workshop!!!

Katie is active at her elementary school (PS 51 in Hell’s Kitchen), in AOSA where she now serves on the Advocacy Committee, and in many NYC music programs.

Workshop from 9-2 at Crane Elementary, 85 Shell Edge Drive, Rochester NY 14623

Also, Katie has a great website, where you can get more information about her work.

In-service credit (5 hours) is available to all who sign in by 9 AM and stay for the entire workshop. Come early and enjoy bagels and more!

Purposeful Pathways with BethAnn Hepburn

Members of Rochester GRAOSA enjoyed an energetic and informative workshop on March 2. BethAnn Hepburn led us through pathways to play, literacy, rhythm, composition and ensemble. Her excellent notes will help both teachers and college students to recreate the fun and varied activities of the day.

March 2- BethAnn Hepburn

Pathways to Process

Journey down many pathways to develop musicianship with our March presenter, BethAnn Hepburn.

On Saturday, March 2, BethAnn will use the pathways of movement and speech to develop compositions, ensemble skills, and improvisation. A Master Teacher from the state of Ohio and a frequent presenter at National Orff conferences, Ms. Hepburn serves as the Ohio Music Education Association’s Professional Development Chair for General Music. She is the co-author of Purposeful Pathways: Possibilities for the Elementary Music Classroom Books 1-4.

We are looking forward to participating in this wonderful workshop with YOU!!! Please join us on Saturday, March 2, from 9-2.

All workshops are held at Crane Elementary School, 85 Shell Edge Drive, Henrietta NY 14623

In-service credit (5 hours) is available to all who sign in by 9 AM and stay for the entire workshop. Come early and enjoy bagels and more!

Special Weather Alert for January 19 Workshop!

Updated weather reports indicate possible heavy snow for this week-end. In case of bad weather on Saturday either here or in Buffalo (where our presenter James DesJardins lives), please look for an email alert Saturday morning. We will also update this website and our Facebook page with any changes. Rochester and January- and old story, but we’re hoping the weather will cooperate and we will see you at the workshop!

January 19 Workshop to Feature James DesJardins

Buffalo composer, conductor and educator James DesJardins will present, “The Process-Driven Life: Engaging students in an active, purposeful, musical environment” on January 19. This workshop promises that “Participants will experience an active journey through materials for general music class and chorus, focusing on engaging pedagogical process.”

This workshop will held from 9AM until 2PM on Saturday, January 19, at Crane Elementary School, 85 Shell Edge Drive, Henrietta NY 14623.

Mr. DesJardins is in his 13th year of teaching music in the Frontier CSD, and is highly involved in the Western NYS music community as an Orff-Schulwerk clinician, adjudicator, conductor, and composer. He offers resources at

Come join us for a day filled with joyous learning the Orff-Schulwerk way- engaging our students through music, movement, speech and drama.

Workshops for School Year 2018-19

Mark your calendars NOW for an extraordinary season of workshops sponsored by GRAOSA!

You won’t want to miss the excellent line-up of presenters, beginning with the very popular Mary Alice and  Peter Amidon. The Amidon’s workshops include traditional dance, music, and movement that are easily and very successfully adapted to the classroom. Since the Amidon’s are curtailing their very busy schedule, you will want to make a special effort to attend this workshop.

The fall/winter line-up:

September 22, 2018       Peter and Mary Alice Amidon

January 19, 2019           James DesJardins    …..James is an elementary music teacher in the Buffalo area, as well as a composer and ORFF clinician. Take a look at his website

March 2, 2019             BethAnn Hepburn….. BethAnn teaches 4-6 grade students in Ohio, as well as Orff training at several universities. She published Purposeful Pathways, Possibilities for the Elementary Music Classroom, Volumes 1 and 2

**All workshops  will be held at Crane Elementary School, 85 Shell Edge Drive, Henrietta NY 14623 

Driving Directions:

All workshops are from 9AM to 2PM. In-service credit(5 hours)  is available to all who sign in by 9AM and stay for the entire workshop. Come early (8:30) and enjoy bagels and more!