Let me start by admitting that I've always followed the traditional route when it comes to recorders. B...A...G. Wash, rinse, repeat. So, when I saw that Lisa Sullivan was presenting a session for "Literacy Through Recorder" at this year's conference, I added it to my schedule. The cynical side of me thought, I'll learn a tip or two that might be useful, but I doubt it'll have any kind of lasting impact on my teaching.
I was wrong. No more wash, rinse, and repeat for me.
Here are the basic steps to Lisa's method for starting her students on recorder:
#1. Read The Napping House to your class. Each time you read "where everyone is sleeping", sing the words using a so/mi pattern (m,s,s,s,s,m,m). Ask the students to join in when they're ready. It's repetitive, so they'll catch on quickly.
|Picture courtesy of Barnes & Noble|
#3. Let the students who need another challenge, switch over to classroom instruments. They will use these to accompany the book, with each instrument representing an object or character in the book.
I got a late start with this since our conference was in January. My students had already learned B, A, and G. Plus, they were still in the throes of Recorder Karate (ugh...more on that in another post). But I took inspiration in Lisa's non-traditional method. I threw my concern out the window and decided to present G and E.
That's it! Naturally, it will take some practice for the students to feel comfortable, but that's what's so great about this method. There are so many wonderful things going on at once that the students don't realize how much practice they're getting. Shhh...they don't need to know.
If you decide to try this in your own class, please leave a message in comments letting me know how it worked for you. My eternal thanks goes out to Lisa Sullivan for introducing me (and many others) to this method!
P.S. Every teacher at the session received this recorder for free. It's my new favorite. You can order your own at Music is Elementary.
|Courtesy of Music is Elementary|