Kotzschmar 4 Kids

Kids OrganWe are in the tenth year of our educational program designed to acquaint grade school students with the workings of the pipe organ. The Kotzschmar 4 Kids, a study of the pipe organ, is a curriculum that integrates language arts, mathematics, music, science and social studies, using a small, portable pipe organ as the focus for activity-based instruction.

School Curriculum – Bach & Messiaen

In an effort to reach young people, FOKO has been working with the Mt. Ararat Middle School, Topsham, (our pilot program school, now in its 9th year) Loranger Middle School, Old Orchard Beach, Hartford Sumner Elementary and the Breakwater School, Portland. The curriculum which includes the composers Bach and Messiaen is structured to comply with the Maine State Learning Standards. The program is designed to be flexible for different learning environments and continues to be developed featuring a number of options for teachers to integrate lessons and activities into the classroom. As artist-in-residence, Ray Cornils will meet with students several times during the period of study. Students will also have the opportunity to meet with organ builder David Wallace.

More info on the Messiaen lesson plan in our Education Resource post.

View the downloadable Messiaen Curriculum PDF.

Kotzschmar Jr.

A major part of this program features the portable, demonstration organ that FOKO commissioned by David Wallace, specifically for educational purposes. The organ, affectionately known as “Kotzschmar Jr.” or “KJ”, has been constructed with exposed pipes and Plexiglas panels so that students can see the inside workings of the organ and play the instrument by manually pumping air to its pipes or by observing the electric blower do the work. It also provides a concrete example of how sound is produced. During the two-three week study period, it will reside in a classroom so that students have access to it at all times.


A festival of integrative arts and science, Kotzsch-O-Rama is an all day immersion in the music of Bach or Messiaen through various stations of activities in art, creative writing, movement, science, creating in various media to the music of one of these composers. This festival day can be tailored to all ages of students, involve the entire school or a grade level and can be the culminating event of our in school experience.

Our goal is to give every child an understanding of and appreciation for the pipe organ, especially the Kotzschmar Organ, through an integrated educational exploration in the areas of math, science, music, social studies and history, as well as to experience a live performance specifically geared to grades K-8, at Merrill Auditorium. For more information contact us.