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Workshop Topics for Judy Sills

Judy Sills is available for workshops throughout the United States and Canada. Various workshop topics are available as well as customized sessions for specific needs. Contact Judy if you would like to invite her to present a workshop or lead an in-service training session for your teachers or students.

Listed below are Workshop Topics and Descriptions:

Music for Middle Years:

This workshop will address curriculum requirements in music using songs and activities that appeal to middle years students. Materials go beyond the bordun using I-V and I-IV-V harmonization’s as well as the modes. Find new ways to motivate these students to sing dance and play.

Folk Dance fun for Everyone:

Folk dance is a fantastic medium for learning new musical skills and for reinforcing skills already learned. As students learn the dances from different countries they gain insight into the people and cultures of those countries. Dances in this workshop are suitable for students from grades 1 - 9.

Inspiration for Integration :

This workshop uses poetry and picture books as springboards for integration activities combining music, speech, drama and dance and visual arts along with Language arts , science and social studies. The presenter will introduce exciting and successful strategies for engaging elementary students in integration projects combining arts and academics

Making Music Count:

In order for music education to maintain credibility and to be considered as a core subject, it must be effectively instructed by qualified music teachers. Accurate assessment and evaluation procedures must be implemented and appropriate program and student progress information must be communicated effectively to students, parents and administration. This is no small task even with the aid of criteria provided by the National Standards as well as state or provincial curricula.
This workshop illustrates how an Orff approach provides an ideal medium for addressing curriculum expectations in music along with a wealth of opportunities for accurate evaluation. Three different examples will illustrate some effective evaluation procedures.

Use Ears and Eyes, Then Improvise:

One of the goals of the Orff approach is to develop the skill of improvisation. A music education is not sufficient if it serves merely to reproduce existing musical examples. To be complete it must allow the student to use the acquired skills and techniques as a new means of self expression. Mastery of any skill is only evident when the student can make use of that skill as a means of communication. Then, true music education has been achieved.

Improvisation is best approached in a fairly structured manner beginning with strict adherence to form. It is wise to remember that without structure there is no form and without form there is no creativity but only chaos!
Group improvisations help to provide the necessary security for students to engage in self- expression without the fear of making mistakes. This community approach offers the comfort of support of others in the group.


Many visual artists and many musicians have experimented to establish a connection between art and music. Mussorgsky (Pictures at an Exhibition) and Vassily Kandinsky (Improvisations) are two examples that come to mind. This session will explore ways of integrating art and music setting the stage for the imagination to expand on these ideas and create new and exciting ways to combine the two disciplines.

Orff on the Prairies

This workshop uses poetry and folk material from the Canadian Prairies to address the skills and concepts of the elementary music program, specifically in grades 4 – 6. Connections can be made to Social Studies and language arts.

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