Students in our class are beginning lessons on playing the recorder. We have worked hard to learn about reading music in standard notation, and now is our chance to play. Below, you will find tips for students, information for parents, and a description of how music will be assessed this term. Have fun practicing!
If you make a mistake, practice that measure a few times by itself. When you can play that measure correctly three times in a row, try to play the entire piece again correctly.
If you get frustrated, put your recorder away for a few minutes and just sing and clap the rhythm. Try again later after you give yourself a break.
Always end your practice time with a song that you love to play. Give a little concert for your family so they can enjoy your music, too!
You can try an ipad app for practicing notes My Note Games.
How can I help my child practice at home?
Even if you don’t think of yourself as a musician, you can certainly still help your child succeed in learning to play the recorder. Here are a few things that will get your started:
1. Help your child find time to practice their recorder each weekend. Some families like their child to practice where family members can hear and encourage. Other families prefer that the child practices in a quiet room on their own. To help, this website will often have background music for students to play along. The website will also have the sheet music, in case your child’s music book is accidentally left at school. Students are asked to play each day for 15 to 20 minutes.
2. Ask your child to play their recorder for you. Let them give you a little mini-concert before bedtime. They may choose to play part of a song they are working on or something they make up on the spot through improvisation.
3. Look through this web page for practice tips that we learn in class, to remind them how to conquer a difficult challenge.
4. If your child is playing with a squeaky sound, suggest they try one of the 3 strategies from our “Try 3” page (above).
5. Encourage your child to persevere and remind them of how they are improving every time they practice. Whatever they decide to play, encourage them with some positive feedback and applause.
How does the teacher assess music this term?
I listen to students in small groups and one at a time to assess their playing and offer individualized feedback. I also offer constant feedback during recorder lessons during class as well.
When I am assessing student performance, I am looking and listening for the following things:
- left hand on top,
- holes covered with flat fingerprints,
- recorder angled downward,
- a soft and light tone quality that doesn’t squeak or tremble,
- keeping a steady beat with little to no hesitation,
- correct pitches and rhythms,
- correct form and tempo (speed),
- ability to play with the background music, and
- ability to play one part when other students in class play a different part in harmony.
Students are also expected to :
- pay attention in class,
- show respect for others, even if they make mistakes,
- have a positive attitude towards themselves as they learn,
- practice on weekends, and
- have their recorder and music book at school on the first day of the week.
Check back each week for the current songs we are working on!