Educational CyberPlayGround ®


Karen Ellis biography
TEACHER, Author and Publisher of Print and Online Media.


The Circle of Trust: There really is a face behind the machine. You have to trust the person because you can't trust the link.

Karen Ellis

Karen Ellis CEO The Educational CyberPlayground, Inc.® and™
Teacher, Author and Publisher

"Netroots from 1991 before the Websites began!"
Using email since 1993.

Standing with K12 Internet Pioneer Gleason Sackmann.

The World Wide Web is the system that allows documents and sites to connect via the Internet, and it was born March 12, 1989 [remember]

A woman may be small,
but will accomplish big things
U.S.V.I. West Indian Proverb



Internet History and how I got here.

Karen Ellis
Education Publisher
of Print and
Online Media

It was August 6, 1991, at a CERN facility in the Swiss Alps, when 36-year-old physicist Tim Berners-Lee published the first-ever website. It was, not surprisingly, a pretty basic one — according to CERN: was the address of the world's first-ever web site and web server, running on a NeXT computer at CERN. The first web page address centered on information regarding the WWW project. Visitors could learn more about hypertext, technical details for creating their own webpage, and even an explanation on how to search the Web for information. There are no screenshots of this original page and, in any case, changes were made daily to the information available on the page as the WWW project developed. You may find a later copy (1992) on the World Wide Web Consortium website.

Imagine, in 1991 there I was using a modem, bulletin boards and Lynks connection then 300, baud modem, then upgraded to 1200, 2400 bps, 9600 bps, 14.4k, 56 kp, 36.6k,baud, 56k, DSL, and now cable.

I was there and got to watch the first websites came online.

Nov. 3 1992 On the day that Bill Clinton is first elected U.S. president, there are 50 pages on the World Wide Web.

2021 Currently I am offering K12 Schools across the nation access to STEAM classroom projects for financial literacy that includes Bitcoin educational technology, mining and interdisciplinary projects.

My work just seamlessly moved from the meatspace playground to the cyberplayground: from publishing offline to publishing online. This was an organic, authentic process, a path that I followed in my life. That's the short story of how I got here.

Guavaberry Books
Published the compilation titled "Domino" in 1990 using Pagemaker and a Mac 68000.
Picture of my first computer 1990
(Way back in 1985-86 the Apple IIc starter system cost $1098.00)

My Best Advice

That happens when you are improvising, being in the moment, but in the end you are really only free to pick the structure you want, and to study; because everyone is interdependent, and that is the fact of life. The more you study the structure you've picked to live within, using those boundaries to figure out how to solve something; the more depth of knowledge you will achieve!!

Collect the Oral Culture of Children's Playground Chants and Folk Songs.

What do you want to show off? Click Here and link to the video of children's achievements! in your school.

The Best Way
to Sum Me Up

culture keeper

A researcher filmed children romping in a school playground at lunch hour each seemed to be "doing his own thing." When they played it and rolled the film, the two fit perfectly-- for all of the film's four and a half minutes. But there was no music playing in that playground, says the author, "Without knowing it, they were all moving to a beat they generated themselves." music and rhythm are part of what draw us into the larger body of the superorganism.

Early in 2002 I helped Allan Slutcky produce 2x Grammy Winning and Nominated for Best Documentary Standing in the Shadows of Motown.

Careful study showed that the group was moving in synchrony to a silent rhythm
But careful analysis revealed that the group was moving to a unified rhythm. One Little Girl, far more active than the rest, covered the entire schoolyard in her play. Hall and his student realized that without knowing it, she was "the director" and "the orchestrator."

I wear many Hats

I'm a teacher, culture keeper, researcher, thought leader, author, publisher of print and online media, webmistress, web developer, consultuant, lecturer, interdisciplinary curriculum content developer, blogger, tweeter, online publicist, and the overall RingLeader for the Educational CyberPlayGround.

Imagine helping over 2 million people a year since 1998! Which explains why I'm on the net and not in the meatspace classroom.



After watching American Bandstand everyday when I came home in school, I knew I wanted to play the guitar. The problem was that as a little kid the guitar was to big for me. That is why in 1963 I started to study the ukele with George Britton at the Jenkintown Music School who was heavily involved with the Philadelphia Folk Festival, which he and Tossi Aaron helped establish in 1962, and that's how I met my friend Joel Bernstein (Ringleader on this site) who was in my class. Tossi also taught Joel how to play guitar and at his request took him to the Main Point club to hear Joni Mitchell play, and take photographs and eventually became the music archivist for America and the world. Tossi was the one who started his carreer and mine.

Thanks to my teachers from Oak Lane Day School Anita Medick, wife of Armand Mednick. I found Tossi teaching Orff Schulwerk Teachers Certification Program at Abington Friends where she reintroduced me to Orff Schulwerk and that's when I first met John Broomall Pennsylvania Alliance for the Arts RingLeader on this site. Tossi was one of the founders of the Philadelphia Folk Festival, the American Orff Shulwerk Associartion and the Pennsylvania Chapter.

-IN THE BEGINNING Orff Schulwerk

# Germany Orff Institute in Salzburg, Austria.
Schulwerk Pedogogy by Carl Orff, Gunild Keetman, and Traude Schrattencker.
Traude Schrattenecker was a Dancer. Traude studied and danced with Mary Wigman the Mother and Founder of Modern Dance. Traude was Mary Wigman's protege. Most people have heard of Martha Graham, who brought the movement to the United States and popularized "modern dance".
[MORE ABOUT TRAUDE BELOW]Traude Schrattencker

# Canada - Toronto University Royal Conservatory of Music ,
Dorreen Hall, Maraget Murry, Mimi Samuelson, Traude Schrattencker, Yos Wuytack, student Tossi Aaron

# America

Fanabell Kremins had just received her training directly from Carl Orff and Gunild Keetman in the class of 1962 at the Royal Conservatory of Music, University of Toronto.

click to enlarge the picture

Fannabell Kremins Carl Orff and Gunild Keetman 1963 class picture. 1963 and 1964 my first Orff Schulwerk teacher in the United States was Mrs. Fanabel Kremens.
Karen Ellis was the first person in the US to get her Orff Cert From Memphis State University having been taught Orff Schulwerk by Fanabel Kremins as a child. RIP 3/1/2015, she was 95 years old.

My 2nd Orff teacher was Tossi Aaron [ Folk Historian] followed by Canadian Margaret Murray founder of the Orff Society in the UK RIP 1/31/15. You can find both Fanabel and Margaret in the picture above.

1962 Student Class of Fanabel Kremens, Gunild Keetman and Carl Orff given to me by Fanabel through my mother, who also told me that Fanabell built her own clavidord, taught piano, and was on the admissions committee of Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia.

This class photo is from the 1962 Music for Children course at the Royal Conservatory of Music at the University of Toronto.
The original photo was given to Karen Ellis by her teacher, Fannabell Kremins, who served as her elementary music teacher at the Oak Lane Day School in Glenside, Pennsylvania in 1965 and 1966. Ellis went on to study Orff Schulwerk at the Royal Conservatory of Music at the Royal Conservatory of Music University of Toronto in in 1970 and 1971. She completed Level III training with Jos Wuytack in Memphis, State University in Tennessee in 1973.
She was one of the first children to be taught Orff Schulwerk and then later receive teacher training in the approach. Ellis later taught Orff techniques to her colleagues at Temple University during the summer of 1975. Barbara Grenoble was also in attendance, but not present for the group photo.

Joani Brandon jlbrandon [at] 2012 Dissertation is on the development of Orff Schulwerk teacher training in the United States (1958-1980).

From the body of the dissertation (out of the section on the 1962 course in Toronto): Of the 167 taking the full course, 54 were from the United States including Isabel Carley, Sarah Goldstein, Barbara Grenoble, Ruth Hamm, Fannabell Kremins, B.J. Lahman, Joachim Matthesius, Judith McCoty, Grace Nash, Jacobeth Postl, Candace Ramsey, Miriam Samuelson, Lillian Yaross, and many others from the United States, Canada and throughout the world.

Tossi Aaron
was a
folk historian

#America - Tossi Aaron RIP March 2018

Harry Tuft
Album notes by Harry Tuft
Opening notes by Sandy Paton
When I returned to Philadelphia in 1957, I found a lively folk scene centered around a coffee house, The Gilded Cage. Ed and Esther Halpern, the owners, not only allowed people to use the back room for informal singing, but also ran a "round-robin" sing on Sunday afternoons. It was there I was first encouraged to sing in public, and there I met Lee and Tossi Aaron, who included me in a concert in York, Pennsylvania, my first time on stage. At a Sunday hoot in 1959 I met Dick Weissman, who was then living in New York. Dick's approach to the music was (and still is) unique and refreshing to me. We began a friendship that continues to this day.

Then down the road both Joel and I would meet Tossi Aaron -- remembering Tossi
Aaron's role as a leader of AOSA began early in the organizations historyl. She presented her first session at an AOSA conference in 1972.

American Orff Schulwerk Association
Orff Teacher, Founder of Orff Schulwerk PAOSA chapter, Author, Publisher, Folk singer
and one of the founders of the Philadelphia Folk Festival in 1962 along with Kenny Goldstein who was the chair of the Dept. of Foilklore and Folklife at Penn for 20 years.
I KNOW YOU RIDER In the mid-1950s, traditional musician Bob Coltman found the song in the Lomax book, arranged it and began singing it frequently around Philadelphia and New England circa 1957-1960. In 1959 Coltman taught it to Tossi Aaron who recorded it in 1960 for her LP Tossi Sings Folk Songs & Ballads on Prestige International. Joan Baez recorded a version for her 1960 debut album on Vanguard Records but the track was not released until 2001. ( It's a woman's non- blues, first cut on my 1st album, cut in 1961, released in 62)

Joni Mitchell site: A.K.A. Gene Shay One day, folk singer
Tossi Aaron telephoned Mr. Shay's radio station, suggesting that he might like to hear the Blind Boy Fuller original of a jazz tune he played on his, "Mostly the Blues" program on WHAT-FM. "I soon met one of the most creative and imaginative persons I've ever known," Mrs. Aaron said. During one of the Philadelphia Folk Festivals, Mrs. Aaron hung her banjo on the lobby notice board of the Schwenksville motel housing the talent. She hung thin, curled, red ribbons from the neck of the instrument to emulate broken strings, attaching cards to the ends of the tentacles, upon which she wrote the names of each performer. She drew a smiling face upon a circular piece of paper, which she placed over the face of the banjo. "Ivan saw this image and then had his agency base the Philadelphia Folk Song Society logo upon my design," Mrs. Aaron explains. Mr. Shay ended up taking guitar lessons from Mrs. Aaron who introduced him to the members of the Philadelphia Folk Society. "First, Tossi taught me the hammer-on riff opening of Joan Baez' 'Silver Dagger' and I was overjoyed," recalls Mr. Shay.



Tossi Aaron's birthday, so she teaches us a dance: Simi Yadech


Traude Schrattenecker danced with the mother of Modern Dance Mary Wigman and taught Karen Ellis.Ms. Traude Schrattenecker was a Dancer
Traude studied and danced with Mary Wigman the Mother and Founder of Modern Dance. Traude was Mary Wigman's protege.
Most people have heard of Martha Graham, who brought the movement to the United States and popularized "modern dance". Ms. Traude Schrattenecker was one of the original creators of the Schulwerk, she developed the movement approach with Orff and Keetman at the Orff Institute in Salzburg, Austria.
Mary Wigman was born Marie Wiegmann on November 13, 1886
, in Hanover, Germany obtained her secondary education at schools in Germany, England, and Switzerland. During a visit to Amsterdam she attended a dance performance by students of Emile Jaques-Dalcroze, originator of the system of musical instruction known as eurythmics. The experience instilled in Wigman an awareness of dance as an expression of life. in 1913 to enroll in the summer course given by Rudolf von Laban, whose theories helped pave the way for the modern dance movement. Offshoots of her Dresden Central School were set up all over Germany, and in the United States by Hanya Holm. In addition, educational authorities prescribed her dance training for the public schools. She had become the center of a national movement and was honored officially in the early 1930s by the German government..In 1920 Mary Wigman opened a school in Dresden, which soon became the focal point of German modern dance. Traude appeared in her dance troupe, which made its first public appearance in 1923..

Orff Institute
I met Tossi then Traude in 1970 when I attended the University of Toronto Royal Conservatory of Music. She was was my dance teacher and friend, sadly Traude has now passed away.

Doreen Hall studied with Orff and brought the method to Canada and is responsible for implementing this technique throughout the Canadian School System.

Jos Wuytack at Memphis State University and recorder with Mimi Samuelson, through all 3 levels.

I used the Orff Schulwerk technique as a Music Therapist at the Philadelphia Child Guidance Clinic, in 1976.
At that time, I worked with children 3 - 18 years old and their families. The Child Guidance Clinic was nationally renowned for a technique known as "Family Therapy". The father of Family Therapy was Dr. Salvador Minuchin he brought this technique to the clinic.

1977 - 1979 Collected and recorded Childrens songs, games, chants from the United States Virgin Islands, Using this material to teach reading and spelling. Using Play as Assessment! !st live sound recording from that area of the world in the brand new Library of Congress Folklore Archive.

1991 published "Domino" ©1990 by Karen Ellis collection of 60 Traditional Children's Songs, Games, Proverbs, and Culture From the United States Virgin Islands 45 minute Live Sound Field Recording ©1979 Registration Number TXu 822-111 Cross Curricular, Interdisciplinary, Multicultural Resource

Down In The River and Four White Horses from Domino collected by Karen Ellis © 1978 From the book Titled DOMINO collected From the Children at Ricardo Richards School St. Croix, USVI the video on this page calls the song Four White Horses on a River but it is from my book and they changed the words.and melody.




I promote schools who choose to promote the arts through interdisciplinary stories and help the public, the teachers, the students link to their video's of their projects on the https://K12 site.
If someone video's students performing please link to it from your school page on the site The Educational CyberPlayGround Inc. transformed Internet Pioneer Gleason Sackmann's 1996 text file into the first K12 school website database July 9, 1998. This was the first website in the world to allow the public to enter their own K12 school information and website data and have it published online which was found by the earliest search engines. [History]


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