Testimonials: About our Teacher PLAY shops
“I loved everything! The workshops, the music, the learning and Phil and Susie are brilliant. I am very inspired to use their music with young children in an ECE centre next week. You are such a great team and you really are world class music educators.”
Helen Prichard – Auckland New Zealand
“Hi Janie, yes I loved the workshop with Susie and Phil in Christchurch. I love this new resource and will be able to use all of the songs in my music specialist job. Last week I taught all of my 16 junior classes the ‘Hello’ song. The children absolutely love this song. All credit to the talented and skilled duo of Susie and Phil. I am a definite convert of their music.”
Ros Emeleus, Christchurch, NZ
“Hi Janie, Could you please thank Susie and Phil again for us for a fantastic, fun and inspiring session on Saturday. And let us know of any future PD they will be presenting in the Geelong area.” Ceridwyn Gordon, Jess Dunn, Anika Helene, teachers in Geelong “I loved everything! The workshops, the music, the learning and Phil and Susie are brilliant. I am very inspired to use their music with young children in an ECE centre next week. You are such a great team and you really are world class music educators.”
Helen Prichard – Auckland New Zealand
“It was great fun to sing and dance with you at the House Singing Festival, and to learn about principals of improvisation together with our VCE Music students. The PD on Saturday was equally enjoyable, and very valuable. We all came away with new and inspiring repertoire to teach our youngest student musicians.”
“Thank you for a wonderful day of professional development last Saturday. I use your resources regularly in the classroom but feel even more inspired to use them now having brought them to life in a workshop situation. The “flow” of your sessions is something I certainly aspire to, and this week back in the classroom has brought about a newfound energy towards my own teaching practice. Thanks again for your expertise and your obvious love of music education.”
Kate Webber, Pinehill School, Auckland New Zealand
“Susie and Phil were fantastic on Friday afternoon -we loved the PD. Can’t wait to sing some songs we learnt on Friday -feeling very motivated!!!!”
Sue Knowles, preschool teacher, Melbourne
“What a fabulous day, I loved the workshop and have implemented a song into my classes since. I work as a music teacher in a Special Needs School and their music is perfect. Do hope both Susie and Phil enjoyed their NZ adventure.”
Megan Conroy, teacher, NZ
“I wanted to write and say a big thank you for your workshop on Saturday. I really loved it and it was very inspiring. It was apparent how much thought and time you put into preparing it and giving us all many opportunities to be engaged was fantastic. I feel like I learnt so much and wanted to acknowledge your great efforts.”
Danielle Merlino, Music Teacher, Melbourne
Pam Roberts, Director, Doris Blackburn Preschool, Melbourne
“Susie and Phil MUST be congratulated on their ability to be so vibrant and entertaining to other music people. They obviously love their life and are an inspiration to all people around them. We all learnt so much and especially lots of new ways to inspire our students.”
Kerry Browning, Teacher, Melbourne, Vic
“The next ECCPA session was with Susie Davies-Splitter and Phil Splitter, who took us on a musical journey through the alphabet. We used a parachute to explore movement for Wilbur the Whale, and a rainbow ring to discover jazz with Jack the Jellyfish. Experiencing the songs and movement for the first time was wonderful, and seeing all the adults around me losing their inhibitions, as we expect our students to, was refreshing. I eagerly await my next chance to teach, and use the rainbow ring I purchased as well as the AlphabetZ book and CD, which has been on repeat in my car since the conference!”
Bree Monks, ACU student, 2011
“Please pass on my congratulations to Susie and Phil. The workshop was BRILLIANT … I have used so many ideas already this week … and my teaching will be so much better as a result. Thanks again.” Beth Wheeldon (aka ‘the Singing Star’!) Teacher, Melbourne
“As a primary teacher with an avid interest in the brain and teaching students to think creatively through music, movement and the arts I was very impressed with Phil’s knowledge and delivery of the brilliant activities the ‘Welcome to Music’ program provides. An exciting, educational day for all participants – haven’t laughed so much in ages, thank you “
Shelli Morse, K-6 teacher Mallawa Public School
“On behalf of myself and the staff at Mentone Park Primary School I would like to thank you and Phil for conducting Music Professional Development sessions during 2009.As you know most of my staff have not been involved in Music Education training at university or in their school/s (past and present). Your sessions with both teachers and children showed what our students have been missing out on and have motivated my teachers to incorporate music education into their curriculum.Student wellbeing must underpin all that we do, and the focus that we now have on music education has certainly enhanced the engagement and motivation of our students.Thank you so much for providing outstanding professional learning opportunities for my staff and students. I am looking forward to a continuing association with you both.”
LOUISE DOWNIE- PRINCIPAL, MENTONE PARK PRIMARY SCHOOL
“We had an incursion at school the other day, and every time we have someone in, there are always comments about how good you and Phil were with the kids and how great it was. Everyone really loved you guys, and thought it was a worthwhile experience for the kids – which is more important. So thank you so much again.”
Lousie Docherty, Broadmeadows special school
“Dear Susie and Phil,
I would like to express my thanks for your wonderful PD at Clarinda PS a few weeks ago. The content was practical and useful and I have since used some of your activities in my music classes form Prep to Grade 3/4 – The kids love it and can’t wait for music class! I would recommend your products and services very highly and can’t wait to try out some more!”
Stephanie Pace, Music Teacher
HUME ANGLICAN GRAMMAR, Craigieburn, Vic
“I wish to thank you for your contributions to the Orff Music and Movement Education Program at ACU in Melbourne. Your teaching in the classes has been inspirational. Your insights into the Orff approach and your ability to bring the participants contributions to the foreground is a wonderful example of music learning in action.”
Christoph Maubach – Lecturer in Music Education ACU, Melbourne, VIC
“I attended a workshop with Susie and Phil at the Christchurch College of Education which incorporated the principles of Orff Schulwerk. Susie used a holistic and integrated approach. As a dynamic and enthusiastic teacher she quickly managed to involve us all, at whatever level of expertise, in performing a piece that involved movement, body percussion, singing and playing instruments.”
Diane Hopkins – teacher at Selwyn house School in Christchurch, NZ
I wanted to let you know how inspired I feel each time I meet you guys- and it has only been three times! Your workshops are full of enthusiasm and ideas, and are incredibly practical because you are still teaching. Elana Shatari, Teacher Sydney, NSW
I attended Susie Davies-Splitter ‘Orff Course’ in April, 03 and found it so relevant and practical. With so much emphasis on ‘hearing, feeling, thinking and doing’ in the Orff Schulwerk style, Susie’s music teaching has a marvellous appeal for children and teachers alike. K Warren – Orff Course, Auckland, NZ
Have already done some work with the impro based on the chords you used for
some of your songs with the jazz students and they are doing some amazing
things with harmony and scatting. Thanks for those great chord progressions
and pentatonic ideas that really work. I can’t believe how it has helped
them with their aural and listening skills as well as vocal work.
Jane Bacon, Qld
Hi Susie and Phil, I just wanted to say a huge thank-ypu for the PD last Friday at Hampton. It was so fantastic and really did exceed my expectations. Not only did you motivate me to want to teach music but you gave me answers to all the questions I had like how do you teach choirs and harmonies. I found it quite an overwhelming and emotional experience. I also loved the whole approach to teaching music and hope I can remember all your invaluable information next year.
Thank-you so much for a brilliant day, Sandy Robertson, Music teacher, Vic
Maryborough music conference
I just wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed your sessions at the Music
Conference in Maryborough. They were truly inspiring and I just can’t stop
singing and humming and listening to your music. Desley Meads, Music Teacher, Qld
Dear Susie and Phil,
I would like to express my gratitude for your expertise and wonderful presentations (in Kuala Lumpur July 2006). We look forward for future collaboration.
Ann Lee, Director, Opus Academy of Music, KL, Malaysia
I was in the Get Orff Singing session that you led today and I enjoyed the session immensely – I felt so good afterwards it was like I had been meditating or
had had a massage! The power of song!
I really loved the way you began the session and went what felt like quite a way into it without verbalising to us, just using your expressions and gestures, with
the few words you spoke being really just a vocal invitation to us to join in.
Somehow it helped to flatten the inhibitions, and allowed a group of near
strangers to sing their hearts out together! I know how restorative singing feels, yet like most people I forget to make time to include it in my daily life, and the session served as a refreshing reminder that to sing, especially in a group, is a very healing and
unifying experience. Thanks again! The session was inspirational!
Zoe Smith, student (LaTrobe Uni)
Hi Susie and Phil. We certainly enjoyed your workshop! Thanks so much for all your hard work. The evaluations looked really good! It was very thorough…one comment was: “I felt like I experienced an entire conference in one day of music.” Another comment, “I felt that this was great for helping us (adults) understand what it’s like to be a kid.” This last comment was from our student who was probably at her first Orff workshop. So many teachers are not used to participatory workshops…they are used to being lectured to! Another comment: “Fantastic!”
Sixth grade teacher, “I got so many ideas for my 6th grade class both musically and in general classroom curriculum.” General Music Specialist, “I had never had such a concise way to introduce the blues to my students. Now I can meet my California standards regarding teaching the blues and know my students understand and enjoy their lessons.” Special Education Teacher, “The physical interaction between the activities and the music is perfect for all levels of my students.” Elementary and College Music Teacher, “Phil and Susie Splitter are energetic, positive and full of ideas. Their pedagogy and process are clear and concise.” Lynne E. Halterlein, teacher, Inland Counties Orff Chapter, USA
Phil Splitter and Susie Davies-Splitter were the clinicians at the Orange County Chapter of the American Orff Schulwerk Association in October, 2007. Upon recommendation by one of our board members who had seen Phil and Susie present a workshop in Australia, I contacted them and asked if they would like to present at our chapter while on their way to present at the AOSA National Conference in San Jose, CA in November, 2007. As programs director for OCCAOSA, I handled our chapter communications and accommodations with the Splitters. They were incredibly easy to work with concerning workshop preparations. They presented their workshop to 60 music specialists, classroom teachers, college students and members of the Pacific Symphony Orchestra. Their music and Orff process was very engaging and received many compliments from Orff trained music specialists and others who attended their session. Their presentation was balanced with singing, instrument playing and movement as they demonstrated an exemplary style of Orff teaching and learning processes. We look forward to having them return to present to our Orff chapter. Steve Myer, Vice-President and Programs Director Orange County Chapter of the American Orff Schulwerk Association, USA
In August 07, I attended two workshops by Susie Davies-Splitter and Phil Splitter, “Sing, Jam and Jive” for Primary School and “Teaching music made easy and fun” for Early Childhood. Having only made the change from secondary music teaching to primary this year, I relished the opportunity to gather more information about this vibrant and creative career.
Susie and Phil base their teaching strategies on the Orff Schulwerk approach, i.e. integrating speech, singing, playing, movement, listening and dance. Although these particular workshops were aimed at primary and early childhood teachers, the approach is suitable for all levels of education right through to tertiary. In fact, a cross-culture of the teaching world was represented at the workshops, including a lecturer from USQ, three special education teachers and some general primary classroom teachers.
Using a variety of Susie and Phil’s resources, the groups explored the following:
* Orff techniques – such as imitation, echo, ostinato, canon and question and answer
* Musical media such as speech, singing, movement, dance and instruments
* Orff theory including doh and lah pentatonic scales
* Music elements – such as beat, rhythm, pitch, dynamics, tempo, form, timbre etc.
We also looked at “ways in” through the blues and jazz. Our learning took place in exactly the same way the student’s would – through moving, singing and playing instruments. In a day we covered what could be taught (given the time restraints a primary music teacher faces!) in a year. Every couple of hours we sat down to recap over what we’d done, the experiences and teaching strategies employed.
Susie shared her philosophy of music education with us, being that the primary goal is for each child to experience success and therefore to come away with an improved sense of self, of self-belief and confidence. That, amongst its many educational benefits, music can also be used as a tool to encourage the positive growth of every person.
All songs and repertoire were learned through a mix of speech, solfa-singing, movement, dance and body percussion. We were given a variety of ways in which to approach new repertoire with children, which always makes it fun and exciting as well as a valuable learning experience.
Day One was geared towards the eight to twelve year olds. Much of the repertoire had a strong jazz and blues base, incorporating scatting, improvisation and jazz chords and scales. Included was also some African music, Hip Hop, partner dancing and, of course, music with a distinctly Australian flavour. It was wonderful to see how easily many very difficult concepts could be incorporated into a Primary music program.
The second day was aimed at Early Childhood. I had no idea how much fun puppets, slide whistles and guiros shaped like frogs could be! I was also impressed by the excellent sound quality of many of the instruments that have been designed especially for little people with their small shapes and amazing colours. I still have a very vivid memory of a lecturer at an in-service long ago telling us not to use instruments that look like toys, but rather to use “proper” instruments. Obviously he had never had the pleasure of playing and listening to boom-whackers, sound shapes and (my favourite) the frog guiro! Ribbons and scarves were also used to great effect.
Techniques to use the tuned percussion instruments were also introduced and we all had a wonderful time accompanying many of the songs with xylophones, glockenspiels, chime bars and metallophones. My favourite tip of the day was perhaps “beaters in the pits” – having students place their beaters in their arm pits to bring all sounds to a halt.
The workshops culminated in a surprise appearance by the ‘Piccolo’ group from the Brisbane Children’s Choir “Birralee Voices”. This choir, comprising of boys and girls aged between 6 and 9 years, performed two items for us and then joined in with Susie, Phil and the whole group as we explored a variety of activities aimed at adding interest to choir and class rehearsals.
Without a doubt this will be remembered as one of the most fun and informative workshops and in-services that I have participated in. My only problem now is how to increase my budget in order to buy some more of those fabulous instruments – a chocolate drive perhaps?
by Leanne Laboo, ASME (Australian Society of Music Education), Qld
“Susie and Phil MUST be congratulated on their ability to be so vibrant and entertaining to other music people. They obviously love their life and are an inspiration to all people around them.We all learnt so much and especially lots of new ways to inspire our students.”
Kerry Browning, music teacher, Tasmania
“As a practicing music teacher in schools for the last fourteen years, I have found the resources put out by Welcome to Music absolutely invaluable. I love the Orff approach, and Susie and Phil’s resources take this approach and make it amazingly easy, fun and accessible for all ages and types of children. With them I can deliver valuable, truly musical and educational experiences whether I have a well-appointed music room or just an ipod dock. I have yet to meet a small child who doesn’t love moving and grooving to the jazz based dances which teach so much about movement and phrasing and opens the door on playing. Movement is an oft neglected facet of music education and these resources make it easy and fun to introduce movement to children of all ages. On occasion when I have lost my voice or needed to combine classes to help out another teacher, there is nothing better than a playlist full of Susie and Phil’s dances to save the day; with them I can teach all day without needing to speak! For special needs children I cannot recommend Your Stage highly enough. When I began teaching at a school which had an established recorder program for years 2 and 3 I purchased Take Orff With Recorder and it has been hugely motivating and engaging for those children ever since. I have found that boys in particular love the jazz and latin styles and work hard to achieve each song. My upper primary classes love playing the Orff arrangements and delight in the success that the simple arrangements and groovy rhythms make so accessible at an elemental level. Whether you are an experienced Orff practitioner or a beginning teacher who has been thrust unprepared into the wonderful world of teaching music, these resources will be immensely valuable to you.”
Angela Chapman, The Launceston Preparatory School, Tasmania
“Hi Susie and Phil,
I don’t believe we’ve ever met, but I just wanted to say thank you for your music. I love singing, and when I was in primary school my mother (Martina Golding, who is a primary school music teacher) had a CD of your songs that I loved! So much so that when I was twelve years old I insisted to our music teacher Pauline Greaves that we should write our annual school musical (Roslyn Primary School in Geelong) based around your music. She relented, and we did! It was called “Cool School”…
... Anyway I saw that you were friends with Mum on facebook and just had to let you know that your work is appreciated. Sometimes it’s nice to be told, right? “
Cheers, Sarah Golding
“I would just also like to say, your music classes have made my placement experience so worthwhile. There were many situations where the staff in my room asked me to run group time and sing songs with the children, and with my confidence levels already peaking from your classes, i found this task extremely easy and enjoyable. I was able to demonstrate new dance moves and introduce new songs to the children which they all loved. And therefore I would just like to say thankyou so much for commitment and drive to teach us such necessary and worthwhile techniques to employ in the classroom.”
Amelia Busby, ACU student
“And I just have to say Susie – that you and Phil are gurus to me! I think you both deserve Australian of the Year titles for all you have contributed to the cause of music in Australia (and beyond), and if it wasn’t for your entrepreneurial visions and production of your resources, our country would be a much poorer place. You have both contributed an amazing music legacy, and I know that the costs to do this are enormous and you deserve enormous thanks from us all.”
Lynne Pilbrow, Music educator, Canberra 9.11
“The Welcome to Music Program delivered at our Country Areas Program teachers’ workshop was outstanding. Our teachers gained practical and valuable knowledge and skills which were easily transferred to the classroom. I would highly recommend this program for all preschool to primary teachers who are looking to enhance their music program. We look forward to working with Phil in future Northern CAP initiatives.”
Shelli Morse, CAP consultant
Testimonials: Our e-news ‘Musicnotes’
Hi Susie and Phil,
I’ve just read your newsletter and article. Just wanted to say how much I loved it. I often feel like a lone voice in the wilderness getting my message out that you don’t have to have a music background to teach music. Your article says the same thing beautifully. Congratulations also on your recent international songwriting win – I have sent congrats to Phil previously.
It is a privilege and a pleasure promoting your work indirectly through Kidz-Fiz-Biz. Keep it up – you are both inspirational.
Marlene Rattigan, Early Childhood Educator and Author, WA
Dear Susie and Phil,
I have just received your recent newsletter. Thank you very much, they are always filled with so much valuable information and it really helps to keep in touch with what is happening in music education within Australia.
Karen Wandel, Preparatory Music Specialist, SA