About Susan

Susan Seale

I seem to have been studying and teaching my entire life with decades of practical experience in educational and therapeutic settings with children and with adults, as well as private instrumental teaching.

Having worked for over 10 years in the public school system as a general classroom teacher, learning resource teacher, music teacher and special needs music teacher, my experience is varied. I wear many hats as a teacher, performer, speaker, author, teaching consultant and owner and founder of Musicalia and the online resource site Make Me Musical.

 

Professional Training

  • Bachelor of Education
  • Master’s Level Certification in Orff-Schulwerk
  • Orff Specialist Certification from Carl Orff Canada
  • Teacher’s Certificate from the Creative Dance Institute
  • Professional training in Developmental Movement Therapy
  • Professional training in Special Needs Music Education
  • Professional training Learning Resource Teacher
  • Professional training in Kodaly
  • Professional training in Dalcroze Eurhythmics
  • Professional training from Kindermusik International

My professional studies have taken place around the world

  • University of Victoria
  • University of British Columbia
  • University of Calgary
  • University of Alberta
  • University of Memphis (Memphis, Tennessee)
  • Carnegie Mellon University (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania)
  • San Francisco School (San Francisco, California)
  • Orff Institute, University Mozarteum (Salzburg, Austria)

I regularly attend music education and music therapy conferences around the globe working and studying with world-renowned teachers and mentors.

Professional Association Memberships

  • BC College of Teachers
  • Carl Orff Canada
  • American Orff-Schulwerk Association
  • Canadian Music Educators’ Association
  • Early Childhood Music and Movement Educators’ Association

Performing (past member of…)

  • Folkestra {soprano recorder} Daniel Lapp, Director
  • Capriccio Vocal Ensemble {soprano} Michael Gormley, Director
  • Bel Canto Singers {soprano} Catherine Young, Director

Teaching Teachers

Teacher Training, Coaching and Consulting Services

  • Private coaching and workshops for preschool and primary teachers, music teachers and music therapists in Orff educational approach, music & movement, curriculum development, classroom management and independent business practise
  • Consulting and professional development training provided to preschools and elementary schools in the area of music, movement and creativity for the non-specialist teacher (since 1989)
  • Worked for Kindermusik Canada organizing Educator Training Workshops for western Canada in mid-1990’s.
  • Curator of an online resource site since 2010, educating and inspiring music therapists and teachers at Make Me Musical
  • From 1993-2008 offered Musicalia Certificate Teacher Training Courses at Musicalia
  • Orff Introductory Level training instructor through Camosun College and the Victoria Conservatory of Music

Professional Speaking and Publishing

  • Speaker at the National Symposium for Arts in Education in Ottawa (July 2000)
  • Published in the Canadian Music Educators’ Journal and the ECMMA Perspectives Journal
  • Author of “Musicalia for Teachers”, a music and movement education curriculum for non-specialist teachers
  • Creator of Make Me Musical, a joyful online resource site for professionals who nurture children through the arts
  • Frequent guest speaker at local Pre-school Parent Meetings since 1995

Susan’s Musical Childhood

  • While I now devote my time to serving the musical needs of families at Musicalia, my childhood and early adulthood was spent playing music with my musical family and other musical groups.
  • I grew up thinking everyone could play music and thought family homes naturally came with pianos. My first and main instrument was piano but I studied a variety of instruments and sang in school and conservatory choirs
  • Growing up I had many opportunities to perform in public with family, friends, school groups and as an accompanist for choral groups and solo vocalists
  • I accompanied my mother (who is an amazing fiddler) in many fiddle competitions and also for my sister’s Suzuki violin practises
  • I have sung and played at weddings, funerals and parties
  • Played saxophone in high school concert bands, stage band, tour band, marching band, quartets and dixieland band
  • Played clarinet for the Veselka Ukrainian Dance Orchestra
  • Studied piano, saxophone, clarinet, guitar, fiddle and voice with wonderful teachers in Alberta and in Victoria as well as at the Victoria Conservatory of Music in Victoria, BC

Meeting my mentor

I began my orff training after graduating from UVIC in 1986, and while it was thrilling to meet the Orff instrumentarium and play ensemble music that way, I was not captivated by the approach until I met Professor Jos Wuytack in 1993.

I was in Vancouver, BC attending a provincial music teachers’ conference and I happened to wander into his workshop with about 200 other people. Upon seeing him and hearing him begin to speak, I was mesmerized by his intense focus and joyful presence. I found myself moving to the front of the room so I would not miss a moment of the workshop.

The next thing I knew, I was making plans to travel to study Orff with Prof. Wuytack. He had worked directly with Carl Orff and had spent his life teaching and travelling the globe sharing Orff’s philosophy with teachers in dozens of countries. Prof. Wuytack’s influence in my life has been profound.

Susan’s Thoughts on Performance and Learning

While I was a natural musician in my childhood, I was not a natural performer. It was excruciating for me to play in public and I only did it because I had to.

I am much more comfortable now with performance (relaxed even!) and that has developed with maturity and experience.

Having had much experience as a soloist and as a group member, I have found groups to have much more interest for me.

I enjoy the interaction and camaraderie between members of a group and the feeling of creating music through the interconnectedness of a musical “team effort”.

Arts

– musical, visual, and dramatic arts,

as well as physical education –

may be to learning what parental love is to a child:

Often invisible, impossible to measure.

(Eric Jensen, Arts with the Brain in Mind)

The Importance of Movement in Learning

It was through the Orff approach that I discovered the necessity of connecting music and movement when working with children.

I have always loved dancing as early as I can remember. I have continued my interest in traditional and non-traditional forms of movement throughout my life.

I have explored ballroom dance, jazz dance, Ukrainian dance, creative dance, BrainGym, Alexander Technique, Dalcroze Eurhythmics, developmental movement therapy, yoga and authentic movement.

I now believe it is essential for children learning music to also be engaged through movement and dance activity simultaneously. Children who move become more comfortable in their bodies and express themselves in a way that music learning alone does not facilitate.

I believe it is my involvement with the multi-faceted Orff-Schulwerk approach that has allowed me to become more expressive as a performer. It is my experience that the Orff-Schulwerk approach is the most complete music education that can be offered to young children. I write extensively about this on my blog at Make Me Musical.

A well-developed Orff program includes…

singing, speaking, chanting, moving, dancing, creating, instrumental work, ensemble development, social engagement, performance, relaxation, development of the musical ear and introduction to traditional and non-traditional musical composition.

If you’d like to chat more about the Orff-Schulwerk approach, workshop offerings for teachers or programs offered at Musicalia, please contact Susan.