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Recorder help please

Discussion in 'Music' started by boperella, Dec 24, 2011.

  1. Hi there!
    Does anyone have any advice or words of wisdom as to going about teaching recorder to reception class children?! I've been asked to start teaching them from next term and while I play myself I'm slightly baffled as to where to start with them!
    Any advice would be gratefully received.
    Thank you and Merry Christmas!
  2. choralsongster

    choralsongster New commenter

    I've taught Reception for the last 6 years, but wouldn't advocate teaching recorder yet. I used to teach the recorder to children in primary, but I would suggest from Year 3 upwards, as their hands need to be big enough that they can cover the holes. If you have to do this with Reception, I would suggest Recorder from the Beginning, although the initial stages can be monotonous, as they'll be learning to read music as well.
    Good luck xx
  3. Stepping Stones Music Course has had some great success with this. Why don't you contact them and see if they have any courses running
  4. Sir Cumference

    Sir Cumference Occasional commenter

    I agree with the "don't do it" poster. The musical skills will certainly be developing but the coordination required to finger the notes will not be sufficiently mature. Wait until Year 3.
  5. Someone tried to get me to teach recorder to reception...until I pointed out how many of them did not have hands big enough...................we may be trying occarina instead.....
  6. I would personally say reception is too young to start recorders. As previous posts state their hands are not big enough. I start recorders in year 2 and they absolutely love it. This September, 8 of our year 3 children joined the junior Orchestra and they are making incredible progress. A group of 20 year 2 children even played together in our summer concert. Good luck in what ever you decide to do. "Merry Christmas"
  7. I had a web site for teaching recorder until this year, when I took it down to save money. It took me three years to write and was aimed at year 6/7. Even at that age their fingers are not very wide and do not cover the holes properly which leads to squeeky notes and a lot of frustration. Co-ordinating more than one hand is also a problem so anything more than G A B and C are quite difficult.
    Remember, the more fingers you are using, the more chance of squeeky leaks.
    Don't even get me started about breathing.
    There is a general point here about the obsession with starting musical education as early as possible - I just think that, like the similar obsession for early reading, it arises from what I believe is misplaced faith in the policy of "the earlier the better". For a very few students this IS the case and some very young people have a special talent for music that enables them to flourish early. For others it is best left until later otherwise they can believe, wrongly, that because they tried and failed they can not do it. Sometimes children need to start later not earlier.
    What is wrong with chime bars and good old Orf?
  8. bod99

    bod99 New commenter

    I agree with everyone else. Too young, too small.
    If you HAVE to do recorders with small people then you can always stick a plaster over the thumb hole at first. That way you can get DEFF#GABC without crying too much. The removal of the plaster is a huge achievement for those who can manage it.
  9. Hi
    To hell with all practical considerations. Taking part is everything!
    Do you know the theme from "the good the bad and the ugly" film?
    Get the beginners to play "A D A D A" and the more advanced learners play the answers. e.g. Answer 1 "F G (low)D".
    I use a backing track made with "Band in a Box " software and even 5 year olds can take part. They love it!
    Mail me via my website manxman.ch/moodle2 for more info

  10. frustum

    frustum Star commenter

    I'd second the ocarina suggestion. Four holes (or six - but the four-hole has the same fingering, and is easier to start on). Holes are better positioned for little hands. Less shrill.
  11. netmum

    netmum New commenter

    Agree reception is too young for class recorder.
    My daughter's school has an optional recorder club from year 1 and teaches class recorder from Year 3. She begged me when she was in reception to buy her and teach her recorder after hearing them play at the Easter assembly.
    I did so using Recorder from the Beginning however she is very musical, it was one to one tuition from me and she is one of the oldest in her school year so was almost 5 and a half when she started. I played descant recorder for years, never taking exams but playing alongside my main instruments up to a levels.
    My son who is very small for his age (at almost 8 he wears age 5 clothes) started in Year 3 and although he tries very hard his hands just are not large enough.

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