9/26/2020 Denise Gagne

Join us for GRAOSA’s first workshop of the year on September 26, 2020. This will be a virtual workshop from 9am to 2pm with lunch and other small breaks. Membership forms can be completed online from the Membership Page. Single workshop registration is also available on the Workshop page. We are now offering CTLE credits for our workshops!

Denise GagneMaking Music Classes Meaningful

In this session, Denise will share easy ways to plan lessons with activities that can be done in distance learning or in spaced classrooms.   She’ll share ways to adapt existing teaching strategies to ways that will work virtually or in spaced classrooms.  You’ll have fun playing, moving, listening, reading, writing, creating and maybe some singing and recorder if we “flip” the instruction.

Denise Gagne is a music specialist with 40 years of experience teaching band, choir and classroom music from pre-school to College levels.  Her choirs and bands won many awards at Music Festivals and performed for local and national sporting events, on national radio and even for the Queen.  Denise has a Bachelor of Music from the University of Victoria,  a Bachelor of Education from the University of Saskatchewan, a Diploma in Music from the University of Auckland (pending), and a Post Graduate Diploma in Fine Arts (Kodàly Level 3) from the University of Calgary with Lois Choksy.  She has completed Orff Level 3 and additional Orff training with Cindy Hall, Jay Broeker, Jos Wuytack and Donna Otto.

Denise has served on the boards of the Saskatchewan Music Educators Association, the Saskatchewan Band Association, and served for eight years on the board of the Kodàly Society of Canada.  Denise is currently managing editor of Themes & Variations, preschool music teacher and frequent visitor to Red Deer elementary school music classrooms.

Denise is the author or editor of more than 100 publications for K- 6 music teachers.    She has been a workshop presenter in every Canadian province and territory and all 50 states.  She presents regularly for Orff and Kodaly workshops, preschool and kindergarten conferences in Canada, the USA, Asia, and Australia!   Her workshops are fun, practical, and activity based! 

Announcing GRAOSA’s 2020-2021 Workshop Schedule

The 2020-2021 GRAOSA workshop series will begin with Denise Gagne. This workshop will be virtual from 9am to 2pm with multiple small breaks and a lunch break. Denise will offer suggestions for teaching virtual as well as in-person distanced classes with an emphasis on activities that can work in all situations. She will also offer suggestions on how to adapt material for different learning situations.

GRAOSA workshops can now provide CTLE credits! Attend the workshops for the entire length for credit!

Check our our membership page for online registration!

GRAOSA Statement

As music educators, we are charged with teaching not just music and movement, but also respect and inclusion.  As such, GRAOSA recognizes and denounces actions that undermine this work.

GRAOSA denounces injustices imposed on any communities of color; and, particularly, we condemn the violence against Black communities in our country.  We reaffirm our commitment to supporting who we serve which include Black teachers, Black students, and Black families.  We believe Black Lives Matter.

GRAOSA condemns the systemic racial inequalities of our country as we evolve in our awareness of who GRAOSA is and what that represents. 

GRAOSA calls on our membership to support all the students we teach along with their families and their communities, inside and outside of the music classroom.

We pledge to reflect on our organizational practices in order in implement policies that dismantle injustice within our organization.  We will renew and invigorate our work in listening to the Black voices around us and within our ranks so that we will know and do better.

Tim Weigand Presents on March 7

Tim Wiegand graduated from Syracuse University with a BA in Music Education, and received his Masters Degree with an “emphasis in Orff-Schulwerk” from The University of Nevada Las Vegas.  Tim has been teaching Elementary General Music in the Clark County School District for over 21 years and is a regular presenter for school district staff developments.  Tim directed performance groups at the 2002 AOSA Conference. In 2004, 2005, 2010, 2013 and 2015 Tim also presented sessions at the AOSA National Conference.  Tim has been presenting Orff workshops all over the country and Canada since 2004.  Being a percussionist in the field of Orff-Schulwerk has been a natural fit for Tim. 

Tim’s workshop is titled: “Energize Your Music Room then Light Up the Stage!”

For this workshop he will be presenting a continuation of  his  2010 National Conference session titled “Engaging Games, Activities that Work”.  In this two part workshop you can expect to walk away with several practical, creative classroom lessons that will energize and motivated your students to participate like never before.  We will then experience some original performance pieces for choirs, recorder clubs, dance teams, and mallet ensembles intended to raise the level of students’ musicianship.  Along the way Tim will share some great percussion techniques, classroom management ideas, and give examples of incorporating technology into your performances.   

Tim’s Website:


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

Driving Directions: https://goo.gl/maps/R4Z5B1wMJKx

All workshops are included in the cost of membership to GRAOSA.

Saturday workshops are from 9:00 am until 2 pm; participants will receive 5 professional development credit hours. Participants must be present for the entire session to receive their PD certificate.

  • Continental breakfast is available from 8:30-9:00 am.
  • Bring a bag lunch or order pizza.
  • Browse a selection of children’s books, puppets, small instruments and “Presenter’s Picks” offered by Lift Bridge Book Shop.

January Workshop- So Much Fun!

James DesJardins is a man of boundless energy! From bucket drumming to energetic dancing to choral reading and instrumental arrangements , he skillfully facilitated a workshop that provided an abundance of appealing material to bring to the Orff-Schulwerk classroom. Several college students from Nazareth and Houghton enthusiastically joined in to celebrate music in its many forms.


Celebrating 50 Years of Orff- Schulwerk ! GRAOSA-1970-2020

January 25- James DesJardins

March 7- Tim Wiegand

Last January, James DesJardin’s workshop was cancelled due to weather. We are thrilled to welcome him on January 25th! James will present “The Process-Driven Life”

“The Process-Driven Life: Engaging students in an active,purposeful musical environment.”

I believe in the power of great teaching, and in the power of great music. James DesJardins

This workshop promises that “Participants will experience an active journey through materials for general music class and chorus, focusing on engaging pedagogical process.”

The workshop will held from 9AM until 2PM on Saturday, January 25, at Crane Elementary School, 85 Shell Edge Drive, Henrietta NY 14623. Come early and enjoy a bagel or other breakfast treat!

A little bit about James: He teaches “nearby”- in Buffalo. He has been with the NYS public schools since 2006, is a prolific composer and has a great website, http://www.elementarymusicteacher.com. Check it out-it has some great freebies!

March 7 Tim Wiegand

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, http://katietraxler.com/ 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!