Author: Michael Chandler
is an important part of a quality music education for children. As a simple, elemental instrument that children enjoy playing, it fits easily into their hands and doesn’t require endurance or highly developed technical skills. It adds another beautiful way for children to make music in addition to singing. Children can MOVE while playing the recorder, carry it with them, and use it to improvise and compose their own melodies while learning notation skills.
In order to be successful playing the recorder, children should have opportunities to play often during music class throughout the entire school year with engaging activities and materials that seamlessly integrate the instrument into other music making activities such as singing, playing Orff instruments, and moving. Everyday Recorder, Recorder Everyday! Is a collection of original recorder lessons I’ve successfully used over the years in my own classroom to accomplish this goal. Simple folk melodies from around the world, proverbs, and other traditional materials provide starting points for student improvisation and composition.
Ten sequential lessons progress note-by-note while giving equal attention to music literacy, playing by Rote (by ear), improvisation, and composition. Each lesson provides opportunities for children to reinforce skills and concepts from the musical elements of rhythm, melody, harmony, texture, expression, and form through the music media of singing, rhythmic speech, instrument playing, and movement. The pedagogical sequence will be familiar to teachers with Orff Schulwerk training but is also easily accessible to teachers trained in other active music making approaches.
An innovative and unique feature to Everyday Recorder, Recorder Everyday! is the CD-ROM which accompanies the book containing interactive visuals for every lesson in three formats: SMART Notebook™, Promethean ActivInspire, and Microsoft® PowerPoint®. With or without an interactive whiteboard, teachers can enhance their instruction by projecting the visuals in their classroom. The visuals are meant to utilize technology so it doesn’t take away from the students’ time making music with their voices, instruments, and through movement.
I hope you enjoy the lessons in Everyday Recorder, Recorder Everyday! as much as I have enjoyed teaching them and sharing them with you!