Reply To: Recorders

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I’ve taught recorder for years to 3rd and 4th graders, and I love it, but there was a learning curve! I have every child purchase a recorder of their own through the school; I send home a parent letter and order form. I see having their own recorder as an opportunity for kids to learn responsibility. If they can’t afford it, our PTA covers the cost. I’ve been using the MPI Antiqua from Groth Music which has a good sound and comes with a great zipper case.

I tell the students they must keep them in their backpacks all the time so they will be available both for practicing at home and for music class at school. When they’re done practicing, the recorder should go right back in the backpack. This works well. Most students do bring recorders every week, and practicing does happen! I do not wash recorders; if a child forgets their recorder, they use a practice recorder: this is a recorder with the mouthpiece removed, so they just practice fingerings. Not so much fun, but they participate, and it’s effective for one class. If someone really can’t keep track of a recorder, I’ll give them a school recorder and keep it in the music room. I also have a special letter I send home to parents if someone forgets 2 or more times. I always order extra recorders with PTA money in case one is lost, or we get a new student.

I don’t have them get books, I just copy songs from the Recorder Karate book, or print out folk songs using Sibelious.