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

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My recorder class is pretty simple. We don’t have books, or fancy recorders. The recorders I buy for the kids are the brand Tudor. I get them in bulk from music is elementary. At the end of the school year the 3rd graders take them home and keep them. They are provided their first recorder but if they break it they must buy another. Just make sure that the kids understand the rules of having an instrument in their hands. My most important rule is not playing unless the teacher tells you to. If a student plays out of turn I simply walk over and hold out my hand. They are taught from day one that if they play when they are not suppose to then it is taken away for a period of time. I go through the basic rhythms and play games with those. I call the game One Winner. The teacher plays a rhythm on the recorder and then the student echo’s. We do warm up’s where everyone echo’s back and then we play the game. Once I have about 5 students left in the game they come up to the front of the room and we continue to play until there is only one winner left. Students feel really good about themselves if they get to the front of the room. I also teach them notes G-D. Depending on the class level sometimes I teach E. In addition, I do what is called Recorder Karate (there is an actual book for this). More than less, they receive belt colors (to be placed on their bell) for playing certain songs. The first belt (white) is for passing their instrument parts test. The yellow belt is for passing Mary Had a Little Lamb. Each belt color has a more difficult song. Some kids love it and some kids could care less. That is why I make it optional. I take the last 3-4 minutes and do testing if there is time and then the kids come in on morning recess (15 minutes) and test with me by themselves if they don’t feel comfortable doing it in front of the entire class. Hope this helps!