The Lois Birkenshaw-Fleming Creative Teaching Scholarship is available to applicants who are registered for Summer Teacher Education courses* taking place at the Royal Conservatory School as listed below:
Orff Summer Intensive
- Orff Pedagogy Introduction (two-week course)
- Orff Pedagogy Level I (two-week course)
- Orff Pedagogy Level II (two-week course)
- Orff Pedagogy Level III (two-week course)
- Orff Master Class with a special guest instructor (one-week course)
Music in Early Childhood Summer Intensive (two-week course)
*Availability of summer courses will vary from year to year
Application forms will be made available each year on this webpage on April 1.
The annual application submission deadline is June 1.
ABOUT LOIS BIRKENSHAW-FLEMING
Lois Birkenshaw-Fleming was an inspiring music educator who was one of the pioneers of teacher education at the Royal Conservatory of Music and elsewhere. She was the Head of the Orff Department for the former Toronto Board of Education during the 1970-80’s, where she led a team of outstanding instructors who taught in all the downtown Toronto schools, armed with creativity, xylophones, music from many cultures, and a deep commitment to holistic music education.
In tandem with this position, Lois became an instructor of Orff Levels Courses at York University, and in due course became the Director of the Orff Teacher Training Program at the Royal Conservatory. She led courses and workshops across Canada and in South Africa, Germany, Great Britain, Finland and the United States, and was personally connected to Orff and music educators worldwide. She wrote numerous practical and comprehensive books for music educators: Music for Fun Music for Learning (Apprenons-nous par la musique), The Goat with the Bright Red Socks, Musictime K-3 and 4-6, Come on Everybody Let's Sing, (Épanouissons-nous par la musique) and An Orff Mosaic from Canada: Orff au Canada: Une mosaïque. Lois’s passionate belief in the importance of creative work by children, and her insistence on informed practices addressing inclusion and equity are part of the reason these books continue to be essential to elementary music educators. She became an internationally recognized leader in the field of music for children with special needs, with a special interest in the hard of hearing, authoring several books on the subject, including Music for All.
Lois was honored by numerous organizations, including The Royal Conservatory of Music which made her an Honorary Fellow in 2003. Her post-retirement life was one of unceasing advocacy, working on the board of the fledgling Coalition for Music Education in Canada, establishing and funding this scholarship, founding the Pedagogy Collection at the Royal Conservatory Library and donating her own books to it, and countless other activities.
Lois is remembered by those who knew her for her fierce loyalty to her friends, her sense of humour, her crazy energy, and her courageous example of a life of service. The Lois Birkenshaw-Fleming Scholarship is part of her continuing legacy to children, aspiring elementary music educators and The Royal Conservatory; it was renamed in her honour after her death in 2015.
Let the children be their own composers.