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In this ensemble-format course, children expand their musical skill set and knowledge while discovering the joy of playing music as a band! Learning to work together towards the common goal of performance, children explore important musical concepts together in a supportive atmosphere, preparing them for the next step in their musical development. Ensembles meet weekly to rehearse under the direction of an experienced CMS coach, a professional musician who draws upon their onstage experience to help students reach their full musical potential. These courses are open to all children aged 9 to 12. No previous musical experience is required.

Combining important musical concepts with visual aids and physical motion, the Orff approach to music instruction creates an immersive and inclusive environment for children that builds confidence while fostering inner creativity. Orff instrumentation and repertoire are designed around the specific learning requirements of children. Taking turns playing an assortment of Orff instrumentation and repertoire, students explore how each instrument plays its own role within the larger ensemble. Many of the concepts and skills are directly transferrable across all instruments, and this course is the ideal preparation for the CMS Youth Jazz Ensemble courses.


“Since the beginning of time, children have not liked to study. They would much rather play, and if you have their interests at heart, you will let them learn while they play; they will find that what they have mastered is child’s play.”
- Carl Orff

Meet the Orff Ensemble Coaches

Headshot of Derek Gray

Derek Gray

Portfolio Website

Derek is currently pursuing his PhD in Music Education at the University of Toronto and is a sessional lecturer (Elementary Musicianship) at University of Toronto Scarborough Campus. Since completing... a Bachelor of Contemporary Music degree at Humber College and, more recently, his master's of ethnomusicology at York University, Derek has emerged as one of Canada’s finest young musicians. At home in Penetanguishene, Derek works extensively as a bandleader, arts administrator, composer and performing musician (drumset, Batá, cajón, djembe, Tibetan Singing Bowls, amongst other sound makers) with a variety of projects. Derek tours internationally with Georgian Bay (2019 Trille Or Recipient: Best Artist - Roots), Gray Matter (2016 Julian Award runner-up contemporary-jazz quintet), Franco-Ontarian family band Ariko, Indo-jazz chamber ensemble Justin Gray & Synthesis, and the trans-Mediterranean group Tamar Ilana & Ventanas (four-time Canadian Folk Music Award nominee). Derek has travelled the world studying, performing, and teaching: Cuba (Folkloric Batá studies), Korea (Daegu International Jazz Festival), Indonesia (Erau International Folk & Art Festival), Spain (Camino de Santiago/Studying Flamenco Cajón), Italy (Atina Jazz Festival), Switzerland (drumming mentorship with Julio Davalos), and across North America (Betty Carter Jazz Ahead, Washington, DC; Skirball Cultural Centre, Los Angeles; Vancouver Folk Festival, BC; Artist Residency at Banff Centre for the Arts, AB, Home Routes Tour, MB/SK, Harbourfront Centre/Koerner Hall/Sony Centre/Stockey Centre, ON). In the summer of 2009, Derek travelled to Ghana to study traditional West African hand drumming with master drummers Kwasi Dunyo and Ledzi Agudzemegah in Dagbamete, a village in the Volta Region. Upon returning to Canada, Derek founded the Hand Drumming in the Schools program in which he travels to schools across Canada and facilitates hand-drumming workshops for students of all ages. Currently, Derek is an Orff specialist and Kodaly-certified music instructor on faculty as an itinerant music instructor in the Toronto District School Board (currently assigned to Virtual Schools program), Humber College Community Music School, and Springboard to Music where Derek has served as artistic director since 2019. As a freelance artist and educator, Derek has developed entrepreneurial, budgeting, and administrative skills. On behalf of various projects with which he is in a leadership role, Derek has received $50,000-plus in municipal, provincial, and federal grant support. In various education capacities, he has worked with well over five thousand students in Canada and abroad. As a lifelong learner, Derek values equity, inclusion, diversity, and respect in nurturing trust-based community relationships. For more info, please visit Read More .

New Students

Please contact for information and guidance for selecting programming before registering.

Spring 2022 Term

There are no courses being offered this term