New MENC Book Features Soprano Recorder as Instrument of Learning

Music educator and author Lois Veenhoven Guderian has an exercise she likes to conduct with students beginning to learn the soprano recorder. She plays a recording of a Baroque recorder concerto and then asks the student what instrument they hear playing the solo parts. Often they guess flute. When she tells them it’s the same recorder they will learn to play, the students buzz with excitement.

“It’s an economical instrument that can be used to develop sophisticated levels of understanding in music and playing ability. Like any other instrument, learning to play the recorder can be a very musically satisfying experience,” Guderian says.
Guderian is the author of two versions of the new book, Playing the Soprano Recorder: For Church, School, Community, and the Private Studio and Playing the Soprano Recorder: For School, Community and the Private Studio. MENC and Rowman & Littlefield Education (RLE) copublished the books. Unique to this text for music learning and recorder playing are the “Creative Corner” sections of each chapter. These include assignments and suggestions for engaging students in creative thinking-exercises in composing and improvising-directly related to the concepts and instructions for playing that are presented in the book.

“From my own teaching experiences, I realized that it’s important to give students a way to apply their learning in creative ways. This gives students added depth and meaning in their learning,” Guderian says.
“The soprano recorder is a great way to help students develop musicianship in music reading and writing, improvising and composing, and ensemble playing,” Guderian says, adding, “The text is also an excellent foundation for additional instrumental and vocal music study.”
All nine National Standards for Music Education are incorporated in the book. The teaching materials also include music pieces ranging from traditional to classical and a practice/performance CD.
Written piano accompaniments for all seventy-six pieces are included, many with optional, additional instrumental parts for rich ensemble playing. Singing parts are also included in many of the pieces. The variety of literature offers possibilities for connected studies with history, culture, and the other arts.
Guderian wrote the book for general music classes, group and private instruction, self-learners, and for collaborative music making between areas of music education. The pace of learning the materials present in the book is determined by the age of the group or individual. Playing the Soprano Recorder gives both teachers and students a sequential and musical approach to learning Western music notation and soprano recorder playing.

Guderian is a music educator, composer, choral director, clinician, researcher, and performer, who is in the doctoral program at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. She has taught general, choral, instrumental, and private music instruction levels, pre-K through university.
Visit the RLE Store to purchase. A classroom edition without the piano accompaniment parts is also available. MENC members receive a 25 percent discount when ordering through RLE.
Roz Fehr, April 4, 2008, © MENC: The National Association for Music Education