Reply To: First year recorder program- where to start?

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What a great resource this board has been – thanks everyone for your responses above!

I have been teaching 4-8 instrumental music for the past four years, and will be taking over the 2-3 grade general music classes next year for the first time at this site. The current teacher (who will still be on site next year) does a unit using song flutes for about three months of the 3rd grade curriculum, and I feel pretty strongly about switching over to recorders instead of song flutes next year. The current teacher, who will still be at the school in a decreased role next year, and I just had a long conversation about song flutes vs. recorder. Does anyone else have experience or opinions about one as opposed to the other?

I am Orff trained and have done work with recorder at previous school sites – I think they sound much more musical and are a recognized instrument in their own right. There are more books and repertoire, I have a lot of my own material, and there are lots of recordings recorder ensembles I could share with my class. I’m not convinced that the larger instrument will be a problem for 3rd graders, especially since I will wait to start until probably late October.

My colleague feels passionately that the raised holes (as opposed to holes flush with the instrument) and the smaller size make things easier for the kids to play. I just can’t help but think that they look, sound, and feel like cheap whistles from a toy store – and notice that some of the kids really treat them that way.

I would love to add more voices to this debate before I make my decision regarding curriculum for next year!