Arvida Marie (Mattson) Steen

March 16, 2023

The following appeared last year on the Minnesota Orff website:

Recently we lost a luminary in the world of Orff Schulwerk. Arvida Steen will be remembered as a Matriarch of the American Orff Schulwerk educational movement, brilliant pedagogue, and loving friend to many. Her wisdom and kindness touched many lives and we are all better teachers and humans for having her in the world.

Arvida Marie (Mattson) Steen, age 86 of St. Paul, passed away March 16, 2023. She touched the lives of so many people. The love she shared with the world through the relationships she built as a mother, grandmother, friend, mentor, church member, and teacher will last for generations far into the future.

Arvida shared her passion for Orff-Schulwerk, joyful music making, and teaching with a world-wide community. She was a past President of the American Orff-Schulwerk Association, AOSA Distinguished Service Award recipient, beloved teacher, and mentor. Arvida was a faithful member of Hennepin Ave United Methodist Church. She led the Childrens Choir, participated in Sanctuary Choir, joined many church committees, and any activity where she felt God’s calling. In retirement, she found a wonderful and supportive community at The Terrace (Episcopal Church Home) where she lived. Arvida was the beloved matriarch of her family through gatherings filled with laughter and love.

Preceded in death by her daughter Marjorie Gardner and husband Philip Steen, Arvida is survived by her daughters Carla Steen and Cindy Elizondo (Ross). She is also survived by four grandchildren and three great grandchildren. A memorial service was held Saturday, April 22, 2023 at Hennepin Ave United Methodist Church in Minneapolis with memorials preferred to the University of St. Thomas Jane Frazee Orff Scholarship Fund or Hennepin Avenue Music Fund.