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Department of Music
College of Liberal Arts


The Department of Music is committed to providing high quality educational opportunities in music education, performance, and technology, enabling students to develop the skills required to assume leadership roles in music education, the music industry, and supporting fields. The Department of Music offers courses and performance opportunities which broaden the musical education in the liberal arts tradition and provide artistic enrichment for students, faculty, the community, state and nation.

Orff-Schulwerk Summer Music Institute

Orff Schulwerk Teacher Education for Music Educators K-8

26th Orff-Schulwerk Summer Certification Course

July 11-22, 2022 – Level I & II Course

TBD – Fall Workshop

Changing Minds and Challenging Lives through Orff!!!

Join us for the 26th Orff-Schulwerk certification course at the Jackson State University.

LEVEL I & IIFall Workshop |

What is Orff Schulwerk?
Composer Carl Orff (Carmina Burana) and his colleague Gunild Keetman developed Orff Schulwerk as an active approach to music and movement education based on the central idea that music, movement, and speech form an inseparable unit. Through singing, rhythmic speech, body percussion, and movement, children gain experience and develop instincts for making music in a joyful and accessible way. Orff Schulwerk uses songs, rhymes, games, and dances to explore traditional and original music in the elemental style, introducing skills and concepts in a logical and integrated way. Music and movement are often accompanied by clapping, snapping, and stamping, or with pitched and unpitched percussion as well as recorders.  The Orff Schulwerk program at Jackson State University is a proud member of the American Orff Schulwerk Association.  See AOSA website.

Levels Courses: Earn Your Certification in Orff Schulwerk
Orff Schulwerk Certification offers the opportunity for professional growth through a comprehensive program in one of the leading philosophies of active music education including music and movement skills, theory, and pedagogy for grades K-8.  Certification in Orff Schulwerk is widely recognized as a significant professional step in both the public and private school sector as Orff Schulwerk often forms the foundation of a music curriculum.  Learning to create original teaching materials that have meaning for your students and developing supportive connections with colleagues and instructors are only two of the important benefits of participation in the program.  The courses also help prepare teachers and therapists for the challenge of developing music programs adapted to the needs of their students.  Levels I – III are offered, and certification is awarded upon successful completion of LEVEL III – you can sign up for one course per summer.  Level courses are also eligible for Continuing Education Units {CEU’s} or Teacher Recertification Points {TRP’s} in many school systems. Check with your district for verification. Contact Dr. Ramon Jackson for more information.

Credit and Non-Credit Options Available
At Jackson State University, you have the choice of taking Orff Courses as a “FOR-CREDIT” participant and receiving 3 graduate credits for each Level (applicable towards the Masters in Music Education Degree) or enrolling as a “NON-CREDIT” participant. While each has different requirements/costs, BOTH paths lead to a Certification award upon completion of Level III!

Click here to register today Registration Application

Course Director

Ramon Jackson, DMA
Music Education Coordinator
Orff-Schulwerk Certification courses in my 
opinion assists in further disseminating the Orff Schulwerk approach to teachers throughout the United States. An amazing fact is that each teacher that comes through future courses will affect on average the lives of at least 500 students in the coming school years. Just imagine what effect that will take on various school districts.  This is the positive change we need in music education, education in general, and the world! Join us as we challenge minds and changing lives through Orff-Schulwerk.


More About Us
This unit is home to over 20 music ensembles that master and perform Western classical, jazz, gospel, and world music genres throughout the Southern region.  These include numerous brass ensembles, vocal and instrumental jazz combos, an orchestra, opera workshop, choirs, symphonic bands, and an African music and dance ensemble. The program has produced internationally renowned performers, music educators, and music producers who have matriculated through our National Association of Schools of Music (NASM) accredited programs in Music Education (both graduate and undergraduate), Music Performance, Music Technology, and Jazz Studies.


The department is home to chapters of international music service and professional Greek letter organizations Tau Beta Sigma, Sigma Alpha Iota, and Phi Mu Alpha. Faculty in the area are acclaimed and published composers, authors, performers, and grantees from numerous internal and external funders. Graduates of the department of music are consistently accepted into top graduate programs, performance ensembles, and work professionally in the fields of performance, music education, music technology, and theory/composition. The music department is home to one of the oldest Jazz emphasis programs at an HBCU in the nation.

“Challenging Minds, Changing Lives.”


We have one of the only African music and dance programs at an HBCU and we are the only music department at an HBCU in the state of Mississippi that has a fully functional orchestra and string ensemble, as well as an accredited music technology program with a state of the art recording studio and music technology lab. Additionally, in the state of Mississippi, we are the only HBCU music department with an opera/musical theater workshop. The Jackson State University Department of Music prepares the 21st Century musician to continue their educational endeavors or enter the competitive field of professional music!


Music majors have a plethora of career options:

Audio engineer Film developer Music attorney Acoustic consultant
Executive producer Video game designer Music therapist Concert promoter



Programs of Study

Orff-Schulwerk Music Institute

Useful Links


For more information, please contact us at (601) 979-2141.  We look forward to meeting with you and seeing how our program can help you achieve your goals.



Jackson State University
Department of Music
F.D. Hall Music Center
JSU Box 17055
Jackson, MS 39217-0155



Phone: 601.979.2141
Fax: 601.979.0858