Recorder lessons

(8 Posts)
fishoils Mon 07-Sep-15 22:40:43

DS is in Year 4 and has mild cerebral palsy which means he can't use his left hand much and his left fingers not at all. So the recorder is an instrument that will be impossible for him to play.

They did a bit of recorder in Year 2 and I borrowed a one handed recorder from a charity. But it was very complicated and different from the normal recorder. It is not possible for the class teacher to teach this alongside all the other kids learning. Plus the one handed recorder was very difficult for my son to even get at sound out of (and me too!).

DS plays the trumpet and has just passed Grade 1. Would it be possible do you think (teachers especially) for him to join in with the rest of the class playing his trumpet with a silencer/mute?

Or can anyone think of another way that DS can join in with the rest of the class? Because he can already read music it would be a shame for him to just be tapping the tambourine for every lesson. He'd get bored.

Thank you.

Ferguson Mon 07-Sep-15 23:29:53

I'm a bit confused, but I think I know what you mean.

This is the same DS, has Grade 1 trumpet AND did some recorder, but difficult for him? And do you want him to play trumpet, along with the others playing their recorders - is that it?

The trumpet is (normally) a B-flat instrument, so it would need someone to transpose recorder music, to make it suitable for trumpet. Recorder (I think, is in C -concert pitch, but possibly sounding an octave higher?)

Do you know if they have just Descant recorders, or may there be some Treble recorders as well?

Anyway: Yes, in principle, muted trumpet COULD be incorporated into a recorder group, provided the person in charge knows the ins-and-outs of what is required. Keyboard might be another possibility, and then the transposing wouldn't be required.

[I'll look back sometime, see how you getting on.]

LittleMissGreen Tue 08-Sep-15 12:42:02

I would think the hardest part would be as Ferguson says that the music for the trumpet would need to be transposed which could mean that he would have to play lots of notes that he doesn't currently know.
Would something like a glockenspiel be an alternative (trying to think what tuned instruments the school may already have)?

fruitpastille Tue 08-Sep-15 13:00:23

I think trumpet would be tricky for the reasons above. Agree keyboard, glockenspiel or chime bars to accompany would be easier. Also other children could do these instruments with him if he is bothered about being the only different one. I've taught recorders and would struggle to know how to incorporate a trumpet.

puddymuddles Tue 08-Sep-15 13:17:52

Harmonica can be played with one hand. Maybe also a small tin whistle can, not sure.

Ferguson Tue 08-Sep-15 19:26:54

OP - you have a few options to choose from with these replies, so I hope you can get something sorted out.

Meanwhile, this wont' help you at all, but it is something to listen to: muted trumpet, and not recorder, but flute. "The Midgets" by Count Basie Orchestra:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=tl1cRxqcKGQ

fishoils Tue 08-Sep-15 22:22:44

Thank you everyone. Those ideas are really helpful.

Gosh that muted trumpet sounds like a fly buzzing about.

The lady in a music shop said today about the trumpet being in a different key to the recorders. So yes - I think keyboard or glockenspiel would be better. And DS would really like to play those.

We have a harmonica and I don't think DS could get an actual tune out of it. The music shop did find a cheaper one handed recorder online. It was just ??20 instead of hundreds. So I will probably try that and suggest keyboard and glockenspiel too.

Minicaters Tue 08-Sep-15 22:45:29

As mentioned, the "normal" school recorder is a descant, which is an octave higher than orchestral instruments. I think glockenspiel or something similar is a great idea - easy to play in the right octave, and your DS will be learning a new skill while improving his understanding of music i think.

If keyboard I guess he would need more input for the fingering though, and that might be difficult for the teacher to fit in.

Every day's a school day - I played recorder for 12 years and I'd never heard of a one handed recorder! Btw I would advise against a penny whistle. They are very like recorders in fingering.

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