Erin Scheessele


  • Orgelkids Kit: Introduction/Strategies
    808 Howell St
    July 6 @ 11:00 am
    We will cover the WHO, WHAT, WHERE and WHY of Orgelkids, a powerful tool for engaging the public with the King of Instruments by inviting them to build a working organ. You will a) learn how their AGO chapters can bring Orgelkids to their communities b) explore how Orgelkids fits into AGO’s existing outreach curriculum and c) examine how they can curate the Orgelkids kit as a regional resource for use well beyond typical AGO programing. You will leave the workshop empowered to harness this innovative resource to capture the imagination of the next generation and the public at large. 
  • Orgelkids Kit: Hands-On
    808 Howell St
    July 7 @ 11:00 am
    Our second workshop will provide hands-on training in HOW to lead an Orgelkids build. We’ll address the many ways the kit adapts to a range of build formats, venues, time constraints, ages, and audiences.   


Erin Scheessele (rhymes with Nestlé or Presley) founded Orgelkids USA and has served as its volunteer director since 2016. She studied biology at Duke University and earned her doctorate in ecology at Oregon State University, investigating amphibian declines. Erin has taught at Duke University, Oregon State University, and Willamette University. She made the jump from frogs to pipe organs after she decided to take a break from academia to raise her two sons, the eldest of whom became enamored with pipe organs at age two. The Scheessele family undertook to launch Orgelkids USA, an extension of the original Orgelkids program in the Netherlands, as a family project with all four family members contributing and learning new skills along the way. Exploring its capabilities and helping grow the availability of Orgelkids kits in the United States has taken the Scheessele family to Maker Faires in Seattle and Portland, Oregon, AGO conventions in Salt Lake City, and Montreal, Canada, as well as workshops in Haarlem, Netherlands, and Taiwan. Their adventures with Orgelkids have been published in TAO and Vox Humana. From her work in the field of conservation biology, Erin recognized one of conservation’s tenets in the motivation underlying Orgelkids: “In the end, we will conserve only what we love, we will love only what we understand, and we will understand only what we are taught,” Baba Dioum (1968). Erin and her family continue to witness how the Orgelkids kit can be a potent first step in inspiring passion for the pipe organ.