Mudcat Café message #1842683 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #94923   Message #1842683
Posted By: Rockhen
25-Sep-06 - 05:13 AM
Thread Name: Recorders type/range?
Subject: RE: Recorders type/range?
A little off the thread, sorry, re recorder playing, ...not all teachers 'insist on plonking music in front of young kids...' This isn't a teacher rant, honest!... but...I teach music to children between 4 and 11. I try to give them as many different experiences of music as possible. I teach them to read simple traditionally written music but I also teach them how to do very simple improvisation.

My first aim before ANYTHING to try to help each child find one or more ways of having fun with music and taking that sense of enjoyment with them. We have fun in our recorder lessons and it is not a terrifying learn by rote experience. I play by ear and by music myself. I believe both skills are really useful and help you get the best of both worlds. I am very anti the idea that you have to stick to one method. Playing by ear is great and I have personally had more fun with music, that way, but it has also been useful to read music and allows you to be more flexible.

I teach recorder as well as class-based music. I am not an expert but can help start players off on the way to playing music. Although it is not always a beautiful sound, if the kids are getting pleasure from playing music on a relatively cheap instrument, with others, it is brilliant. The pleasure of all playing together and having fun is worth it.

I have seen children who will never master more than 3 notes on the recorder, play in front of their friends and family with a huge beam of pride, and that is alongside their friends who are far more advanced. Positive attitudes to each other playing music is so important.   It doesn't matter what instrument you learn on if you enjoy it and can have fun sharing music with others.

I vote we give recorders a break! (No, I didn't say break recorders!)
But, I think they have a very valuable place. I had an old pupil come up to me the other week, a hulking 6 foot teenage lad...I didn't recognise him at first then he said, "thanks for teaching me recorder, I am playing guitar in a band and it really helps me figure the frets out" He didn't have any other music lessons as the cost was too great for his family. That lad, and others like him, convince me that learning the recorder is worthwhile. It can be played beautifully and is a valid instrument in its own right.

Learning recorder at school has a lot of plus points....When children buy their first recorder, I usually suggest that their family invest in some cheap ear plugs.... :-)