Starting a recorder group for P5 - any advice?(6 Posts)
I have a few lesson plans made up so far, but the more I read, the more I find different approaches to starting a group like this - some go with rhythms and playing back first, and not teaching reading music for quite some time, others get straight into the written music.
Any thoughts from those with experience of doing a group like this?
I ran recorder groups from Yr2 upwards for ten years, and also keyboard club with Yr6, and a Percussion club for a while. I coached Yr2 on percussion to accompany the school production each Christmas for ten years.
My recorder groups were 'informal' and varied each year, depending on the interest and effort I could expect from the Yr2 children. Some years I would use written music, other years not, if the children weren't up to it. I also encouraged making up tunes, the beginnings of harmony, but above all it needed to be FUN and not WORK!
Your children are older, so you can (possibly) expect more from them.
The main thing is to teach clean 'tonguing' right from the start, 'breathing' through the recorder recorder rather than 'blowing'. Also NO 'tootling' while you are talking or demonstrating, or another pupil is playing.
Encourage LISTENING to good sound, from themselves and others.
Good Luck, and ENJOY!
The breathing is soooo important- particularly the control of breath for different registers. I spent a long time with my 8 and 9 year old recorder players making sure they didn't over blow the low and high notes ( low squeaks up the octave and high goes sharp in pitch) Also realising how much of the recorder to actually out in their mouth ( not much) and ensuring they have the left hand at the top ( if not this eventually causes problems with the low c .)
I used a combination of Red Hot Recorder and my own Sibelius backing track resources which relied partly on their ability to play by ear.
I tend to concentrate on the rhythm reading combined with playing by ear.
I always thought Recorder Karate sounded like a good idea -
Children earn "belts" to put on their recorders. You can assign different pieces to each level as you want.
(No, not much help from a pedagogical point of view but may help from a motivational point of view).
In general I use a mixture of written music, clap the rhythm, say the notes and then play in most of my teaching with young ones.
Thanks very much for all the responses - have taken on board all the comments, and think I will, at least to begin with, focus more on rhythms and playing by ear, before bringing in the written music. Fingers crossed they enjoy it.
I'm not a teacher - just a parent who is keen to bring some music into the school, as much as its a great school in most other ways, there does seem to be a lack of music, so the teaching bit is more of an unknown quantity to me, but I am keen that its fun, and the group won't be huge to begin with, so will go in confident with my plans, and make it as fun as I can.
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