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Thobekile Mbanda

Affectionately known as Ntomb'Yelanga, Thobekile is a conceptual artist, storyteller, singer, song writer, guitarist, poet, and indigenous instrument maker and player. 

A strong activist for the development, promotion and preservation of indigenous music and instruments, using music as her medium and muse, fueling her current project 'Songs of our Ancestors'. 

Ntomb'Yelanga has performed locally and internationally, writing and producing 'Princess Magogo' in Barbados. She is the founder of Abancane Art Academy, which focuses on the preservation of language through creative activities for children using multiple art disciplines as a teaching tool. 


Pedro Espi Sanchis

Pedro is a music educator residing in Cape Town, having grown up in Spain and France. A leading instrumentalist, specialising in African instruments, Pedro has been involved with music education for over 35 years. He has written textbooks for schools through Oxford University Press and has been active in workshops as a storyteller throughout the world, as well as teacher workshops where he shares his talent and love for the shared experience. 


Tero Pajunen

Tero Pajunen is a singer, songwriter and music educator from Finland. He has a double Master's degree in Music Education and Folk Music from the Sibelius-Academy (Helsinki).

He is specialized in vocal improvisation and early childhood music education, and especially known for vocal music training for educators and for his compositions for children.

Tero Pajunen is a musical magician who creates communities and togetherness wherever he goes.


Elisa Seppanen

Let me introduce myself. I am Elisa Seppänen, a music educator from Finland.
As a freelance educator, my work comprises planning, organizing, and giving courses in music education nationally and internationally. I am a musician with personal interests ranging from rhythm collectives and global music to traditional and classical music styles. My passion lies in teaching in different environments and diving deep into collective and creative learning processes with whom I meet.
I consider myself an open-minded person and always ready for an adventure. I am committed to my work with body and soul – wholehearted and with endless inspiration towards pedagogy and learning.

I am convinced that new opportunities must be found to strengthen education's social position and re-establish equality and community as a core value of our education, and music education is definitely a considerable key for that!

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Sarah Brooke

Dr Sarah Brooke is a creative arts educator who has taught in preschools, primary schools, secondary schools and universities, to early childhood educators, music, movement and drama teachers, mothers and babies, children, adults, community workers, classroom teachers and prisoners.  


She has presented creative music and movement workshops and training courses in Singapore, Malaysia, China, Hong Kong, New Zealand and across Australia.  Sarah’s doctoral thesis examined the principles underlying Orff Schulwerk, and how families can learn music together through this approach.  She is on the IOSFS Board, and part of the Victorian Orff Schulwerk Association committee.


Rob Amchin

Dr. Robert Amchin is a distinguished teaching professor of music education at the University of Louisville (KY). 

An active clinician, Dr. Amchin has taught Orff teacher-training courses and workshops at home in The United States, and around the world.

Dr. Amchin has contributed to various publications and projects related to music teaching and learning. He has also published collections of compositions and arrangements for elementary children including a collection of Jewish and Hebrew songs arranged for school-age children, published as a supplement to the American Edition to the Orff Schulwerk, and Modal Mosaic, a set of original elemental pieces for Orff ensemble.


Shirley Salmon

Shirley studied Music at York University and, after teaching at Ibstock Place School, London for two years, studied for a Postgraduate Certificate of Education (PGCE) at the Froebel Institute, London. She also studied for an MPhil in Educational Science at the Leopold-Franzens-Universität Innsbruck, Austria.

From 1987 – 2000 she worked as a music and movement teacher for the County of Styria, Austria, was a lecturer at the Orff Institute, Mozarteum University Salzburg from 1984 – 2019 and was a part-time lecturer at the Universities of Teacher Education, Graz, Austria from 2000 – 2015.

Shirley has over 40 years experience teaching infants, children, teenagers, and adults with a range of abilities in kindergartens, schools, and other institutions and also in extracurricular contexts – including deaf and hard-of-hearing children, emotionally disturbed children, and adults with severe disabilities, especially in inclusive groups.

Her international courses and workshops for teachers include topics such as creative work with play songs, creative music and movement in the inclusive classroom, listening – feeling – playing, social learning through games with music and movement, planning with mind maps.


Olaotse Mmileng

Olaotse Locx Mmileng is a renowned percussion and an enthusiastic marimba music teacher and arranger. Growing up in Mmabatho, he moved to Johannesburg in 2005 and connected with the Wits music school. He then formed Sankofa Wits marimba band and later Mr Affithi marimba ensemble, who performed as far abroad as Mexico. He has worked with the market theatre and led the band in arranging music for an international production Elephant from the UK. He has also worked and performed alongside Lucas Ligethi . 
Locx has continued his passion in Marimba coaching career in schools around Johannesburg. He is known for his vibrant and energetic performances and arrangements, where he showcases his team performances in and around Johannesburg and popularly at the Education Africa international marimba and Steelpan Festival. He also ran workshops for under privileged schools and communities with Stone Age instrument projects. 
Locx continued to enhance his teaching concepts and ideas by working and attending the ORFF Society workshops and has since completed his level 2 certification with the society. 
He performs collaboratively with house performers and DJs under the name Locx Moropa. 
He also facilitates in the manufacture of and education surrounding marimbas and other ethnic instruments under the umbrella of MarimbaNation manufacturing, education and performance foundation. 


Tersia Harley

Tersia Harley is a multi-talented performing arts teacher and specialist from Cape Town.  She has worked in both the Western and Eastern cape, and her experience ranges from school music teaching, to pianist for the Alexander Playhouse, as well as Musical Director for Productions, particularly Pantomimes in the Guild Theatre and Arts Theatre. Her passion for community music is seen in her involvement with The Rosa Choir, a community choir for people from all ages and diverse backgrounds in Cape Town. 

Tersia holds ad BMus degree in Education (UCT) as well as an Advanced Diploma in Choral Conducting (NMMU). During her course of study in Choral Conducting she worked part-time at NMMU as a lecturer in Music Theory in the Eastern Cape. She has received local and international training in Orff Schulwerk, and her passion for continuous learning and development has been an asset in everything she undertakes. 


Margriet van Zyl

Margriet has been teaching class music for 24 years. For the first 12 years she ran her own music school for toddlers. After that she taught music at a primary school for grades RRR- 7 for 12 years.

She currently teaches music to high school boys at Afrikaans hoër seunskool in Pretoria. 
She completed Orff level 1 in South Africa under Sofia Lopez from San Francisco. Level 2 and 3 were completed in Australia respectively in Melbourne and Sydney. 

Recently she has been involved training teachers to use the Orff approach when teaching music. 
Her two greatest passions in life is being a wife and mom to 4 children and teaching music. She credits the Orff approach for changing her way of thinking about teaching music. “It inspires me every day.”


Ilke Alexander

A music educator passionate about the Orff approach, Ilke has worked in schools and organisations in  South Africa and the US.


Prior to obtaining her Master’s in the US, she attended the San Francisco  International Orff Course, the Orff-Afrique Masterclass in Ghana, and the World Village seminar in  Finland, all of which served to lay the foundation of her practice as an educator.


She wishes to create a  musical environment for children that is engaging, free from fear, encourages their individual voices, and  fosters their ability to work together in groups while developing an increased understanding of, and  competency in, music making.

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Hastings Nyirenda

Hastings Nyirenda is an accomplished music educator, elemental and body music specialist, drummer and percussionist. He is an alumnus of the International San Francisco Orff Course. Hastings lectures in courses and workshops for music teachers across South Africa. He was invited to lead some workshops at the International Music Village course for music teachers hosted by JaSeSoi ry, the Finnish Orff association in 2018. 

Hastings is currently part of a group of international mentees in a year-long Mentorship Programme in Orff-Schulwerk Pedagogy under the mentorship of Soili Perkiö, Christa Coogan and Elisa Seppänen. 
As a Zimbabwean, now based in South Africa, he hopes to bring the rich musical culture of Southern Africa to the 50th anniversary of the South African Orff Society.

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