As a player of basic guitar chords, I’ve often jammed away on simple chord progressions. Through this process melodies have emerged. HOT JAMS for RECORDER with Guitar and Drum is the product of these emergencies! Well, okay, I realize that’s not a correct use of “emergency,” but you get the idea. Teaching elementary school music full time, and working with middle/high school students every summer has allowed me to test my favorite pieces with real players. It is literally a thrill when they grab a piece and bring it to life.
HOT JAMS contains 15 recorder pieces accompanied by guitar and drum. “The recorder parts are appropriate for upper elementary school through adult. Many of the guitar chord progressions are standard, a few are unusual. They are all playable by Teachers using basic chords. Some are also appropriate for student guitar players (page 3).”
The enclosed CD has two recordings for each piece: one with all instruments (“Full”), and the second with all instruments except recorder (“Accompaniment”).
Improvisation is featured in five pieces. There are tried and true teaching suggestions for developing improvisational skills. The longer I teach, the more convinced I am that we need to begin improvisation (and composition) immediately with our beginning players. This gives them the tools to create music on their own time, instead of being locked into playing only songs they’ve been taught.
The progression of note introduction in my 4th grade beginning recorder classroom is a combination of two standard approaches. We begin with C2 (high C) to A in the first class, then add D2 in their third class. Using C2 to A allows students to compose and improvise with two notes immediately while performing a mechanically simple finger movement! After they have composed their own melodies for familiar rhymes with those notes, we switch to B, A, G. After that we add E as soon as possible. The notes of the first piece in HOT JAMS are B, A, G, and E.
I hope HOT JAMS for RECORDER provides your students many opportunities to make music come alive!