Episode 32: Teaching music and drama outside in all seasons (in Winnipeg)
Play • 50 min

With Jennifer Engbrecht of the Louis Riel School Division and Music Outside

What’s it like to teach music outside in the temperate zone through all seasons? How cold is too cold to learn outdoors? Can drama and movement support students’ learning of complex musical elements like meter, rhythm, and form? What opportunities do outdoor settings afford educators and learners? How does the Orff approach fit into all this? Grade 2–5 teacher Jennifer Engbrecht took her students outside for all but 11 days of the 2020-21 school year, enduring all that Winnipeg, Manitoba’s continental climate (with an annual temperature range of more than 80°C!) had to offer. This experience opened new doors for her and her students and led them to new creative heights. Hear Jennifer’s insights and her riveting story.


Jennifer Engbrecht is a music specialist in the Louis Riel School Division in Manitoba, Canada, with an emphasis on integrating the Orff approach to music education. She has a strong interest in the interrelationship of all subject areas, especially infusing the arts into all learning, and as their own stand-alone subjects. This year, learning outside became an option, and this has led to a transformation of her philosophy of learning in the arts. To learn more about her experiences with music outside this year, visit https://engbrecht.weebly.com/music-outside.

Referenced resources:

Singer/Songwriter Raine Hamilton: rainehamilton.com

Drama Menu: https://www.youtube.com/c/DramaMenu/videos (and the book:  http://dramamenu.com/)

ActionPak Dance Resource: http://www.actionpakdanceresource.com/

Brooklands School and their outdoor learning each spring, Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/331728387 

Manitoba Arts Curricula (on a butterfly): https://www.edu.gov.mb.ca/k12/cur/arts/index.html 

(Description of the “butterfly”: https://www.edu.gov.mb.ca/k12/cur/arts/music/butterfly.html

Nathan Chan and his “character study” of what The Swan by Camille St. Saëns should sound like...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kNLC8ROAXjI (“Lots of people say that I express the music really well, and everyone thinks that’s the best part of me.”)

Soundtrap for Education. Interactive, collaborative music creation: Soundtrap.com 

Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, Education: https://wso.ca/education/digital-learning-hub/ 

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