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calling the mn recorder posse

(9 Posts)
howtodrainyourflagon Sun 07-Dec-14 19:11:35

Dd (just turned 4) started a very gentle violin class in September. She's doing fine but we gave the hired violin back at the end of term because I've got her one for Christmas. She asked if she could practise this evening but I don't really want her playing her Christmas present before the 25th. So I asked her if she wanted to have a go on the recorder as I play and so does ds1.

Her hands are very little so the descant won't work just yet - I fished out my beloved old mollenheauer sopranino (and gave her some dire warnings about biting) and we've had a nice time doing pinchy fingers E and then D and fire engine noises.

Is this going to be a bad idea to continue at this age? Will I be subjecting the family to a year of screechy awefulness and should I wait until next year when we can probably get going on descant? Have any of you taught a child this young? Could it be too much to take in with violin as well? Obv if we do continue she'll be getting her own plastic instrument smile

MuscatBouschet Sun 07-Dec-14 19:15:00

I was taught on a sopranino when I was very little, before switching to a descant. If you have an alto you can play alongside her I think it can sound bearable! Just about to start teaching my 4 year old this way. I'm deferring starting on a string instrument until it see how she responds to the recorder.

bakingtins Sun 07-Dec-14 19:23:54

My boys both started recorder at 4. They go to a group lesson where they do recorder, singing, percussion in YR then add in ukulele and keyboard in Y1 and guitar in Y2. ds1 now in Y3 is now having 'proper' (individual) guitar lessons through school, but I'm pleasantly surprised how much he can play on all four instruments and how much he understands of musical notation. That's with pretty sporadic 'practice' though a fair amount of fiddling about.
I think recorder is pretty good for being able to sound reasonable fairly quickly, as soon as they can blow gently really. I would get a v cheap instrument though, we've been through several £5 recorders that got dropped/ stood on. given a choice of recorder or violin it wouldn't be the recorder I'd be worried about torturing the eardrums!

Mistigri Sun 07-Dec-14 19:25:53

Dd started on a descant at 4/5 so it doesn't sound too young to me. It sounded ok from the start tbh - she got the knack of blowing correctly/ tonguing quite quickly. I think it's one of the few instruments which allows a reasonably fast progression at this age, and a decent instrument certainly helps (dd had a good mollenhauer hardwood soprano from quite early on).

Wafflenose Sun 07-Dec-14 19:58:00

Definitely fine, and a huge advantage for treble later on. I wish I had done it when my DD1 started at 3, but she was pretty big and went straight to descant. Now having to sort out her treble!

DD2 started on descant at 4, and was absolutely tiny. So we just stayed on B and A for about a month, then BAG for ages.

Of course, your DD could do a bit of both! I can't really imagine anyone being smaller at 4 than my DD2 was. She could at least learn the note names for both, and you can play lots of duets.

So sweet!

howtodrainyourflagon Sun 07-Dec-14 21:37:27

Thanks all. I think I'll get her a her own sopranino (mistigri she's pretty good but I'll keep her on a plastic instrument until I've verified she's not a biter).

Wafflenose she's not that small but her hands are tiny. Ds1 is 9 and still can't stretch to f on the treble so I think it runs in the family.

I think all the starter books we have are for descants so I'll improvise - I expect we'll be doing rhythms on c, d and e for a little while smile

Theas18 Wed 10-Dec-14 13:30:06

Aww my goodness you are brave with such a tiny person, but if she wants to learn smile

there are also some tutor schemes where you sellotape some of the holes for little hands.

She can learn to read music I'm sure at 4 as it's picture recognition and tracking eyes left to right. Just think how much faster she'll learn to read if she knows that's how printed things tell you their secrets!

howtodrainyourflagon Wed 10-Dec-14 16:29:09

both my older dc could read rhythms before they could read words (fantastic pre-school music classes), and dd can cope with crotchets/quavers/semiquavers/rests due to her pre-school music class, so I think it shouldn't be too hard for her (and we'll go nice and slowly!)

Sellotape on the thumb hole is appealing for me. Sopranino is hard enough to listen to without her wandering into the next register! Ds1 got a garklein for his birthday, and I've had enough of very high notes for now smile

Theas18 Thu 11-Dec-14 09:12:14


I hope your DS knows that a garklein is what is referred to in this house as " an outdoor instrument" ie best heard across a field or two!

We have sop- great bass in the house but garklein only if absolutely needed and on loan!

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