Sarah Johns has already seen her students learn the music material faster, especially the students in her after-school group Osceola Thunder.
Osceola Elementary School music teacher Sarah Johns became a student for two weeks this past summer as she traveled to Orlando to participate in Orff Level Training courses, which were done in conjunction with the Central Florida Orff Chapter and the University of Central Florida.
From 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday to Friday for two consecutive weeks, Johns got hands-on instruction in classes that will help her more efficiently teach the students in her music classes at the school in Ormond Beach, as well as the after-school music group "Osceola Thunder," which she established in the fall of 2017 soon after she was hired at the school.
"It was just a really incredible way of learning how kids learn music and how to teach them music, especially in the primary grades," she said. "I got to be like a student in my own classroom — just learning how to teach it."
With 75 third-, fourth- and fifth-graders in Osceola Thunder, Johns has already noticed a difference in her students' abilities to more quickly learn material like body movement, recorders, percussion instruments, singing and more in-depth concepts than can be taught during the school day.
The summer course Johns attended was part one of a three-part certification, and she's looking forward to taking the second and third Orff level programs over the next two summers.
See Osceola Thunder perform during a winter concert at 6 p.m. Dec. 13 at the school, located at 100 Osceola Ave.