Kristin Allen-Farmer loves awakening the musician and dancer within people of all ages. As an Orff-Schulwerk trained music educator, private piano instructor, musician and dancer, Kristin artfully crafts each lesson to meet the needs of her diverse clientele, drawing upon many years of experience. Whether it is teaching chorus, playfully facilitating children in musical games, arranging music for a variety of ensembles, organizing school-wide concerts or intimate piano recitals, helping a student with his or her composition, or leading a dance class, Kristin brings a heartfelt and contagious joy to all that she does.
Kristin has been playing piano since the age of 6. She graduated from Orange County High School of the Arts, where she focused on piano performance and had the opportunity to play at a number or world-renowned venues, such as the Segerstrom Center for the Arts. Kristin received her Bachelor of Arts degree from University of California, Santa Cruz, with a major in music (piano emphasis) and a minor in electronic music. Kristin went on to receive her Orff Certification (Mills College, Oakland), her Master of Arts in Education (with honors, Bethany University, Scotts Valley) and her K-12 Single Subject Teaching Credential in Music (University of California, San Diego). Kristin has dedicated her professional life to music education. In addition to being an accomplished pianist, Kristin also plays violin, ukulele, and a variety of percussion instruments. In her spare time, Kristin performs in a Balinese gamelan ensemble, dances samba, and plays Brazilian music. She also loves to do yoga, cook, and spend time outdoors with her husband and two young children.
What is Orff-Schwulerk?
Orff Schulwerk is a way to teach and learn music. It is based on things children like to do: sing, chant rhymes, clap, dance, and keep a beat on anything near at hand. These instincts are directed into learning music by hearing and making music first, then reading and writing it later. This is the same way we all learned our language.
Orff Schulwerk happens in a non-competitive atmosphere where one of the rewards is the pleasure of making good music with others. When the children want to write down what they have composed, reading and writing find their moment.
Orff Schulwerk uses poems, rhymes, games, songs, and dances as examples and basic materials. These may be traditional or original. Spoken or sung, they may be accompanied by clapping and stamping or by drums, sticks, and bells.
The special Orff melody instruments include wooden xylophones and metal glockenspiels that offer good sound immediately. Played together as in a small orchestra, their use helps children become sensitive listeners and considerate participants. With Orff Schulwerk, improvisation and composition start students on a lifetime of knowledge and pleasure through personal musical experience. Learning is meaningful only if it brings satisfaction to the learner, and satisfaction arises from the ability to use acquired knowledge for the purpose of creating. For both teacher and student, Orff Schulwerk is a theme with endless variation.
The title "Schulwerk" is an indication of the educational process taking place: Schulwerk is schooling (in music) through working, that is through being active and creative.