I am excited to partner with Oak Meadow today to bring you this GIVEAWAY and sponsored post on How to Teach your Child to Play the Recorder.
A long time ago, when I was freshly out of teacher’s college and hunting for that first time teaching job I had an interview for a position as a part-time music teacher. At that time teaching positions were very hard to come by, so I was thrilled with this opportunity! I didn’t even consider the fact that I didn’t have a background in music when I excitedly accepted the interview.
Well, let me tell you how that interview went. To do so, I need to write it with my real words said, (and my inside voice of reason). Ahem:
The interview began with the Principal asking me about my general teaching strategies, etc, etc. No surprises, all good. Then, she informed me that I would need to teach recorders:
Do I have any experience with recorders? Yes, I absolutely do! (Ummm … you mean that class you took in Grade 3?) I, in fact, LOVE the recorder! (No you don’t). I actually started a recorder band with some friends, as I have been playing the recorder since grade 3. (Not since grade 3, just that one time IN grade 3). I would love to start a recorder band here at this school! (Whoa, whoa, whoa, easy does it now – you don’t even play recorder!)
Fast forward one week and I received a phone call saying I got the job! I was thrilled (briefly) and then terrified. What had I done!
No problem, I would simply learn the recorder and learn how to teach the recorder over the weekend. Gulp. Turns out it was completely manageable.
Let me tell you friends, from my experience, teaching children to play the recorder is not nearly as intimidating as it seems.
Now, of course, I am home with my own little ones and we are using the Oak Meadow Curriculum. In this curriculum is THE RECORDER. So I wanted to share with you what I learned during my weekend, self-taught crash course on how to teach the recorder.
First of all, I want to assure you that it is in fact very, very easy. The Oak Meadow book called Beginning Recorder is a great resource which walks you through the process nicely.
Here are the steps I took when teaching my little guys to play the recorder.
First of all, help them learn to sit up nice and tall. Sit on the edge of a chair with your spine nice and straight and your feet on the floor.
Next, teach them to take nice, big breaths and let it go softly. A great way to do this is to hold a kleenex in front of them and have them blow gently enough so the kleenex just moves slightly.
After that, it’s time for the “doo” part. When you are playing notes on the recorder, you want children to make the sound, “doo” to help articulate the notes. Try singing a familiar song just with this one sound. Hot cross buns is a great one to start with.
Now that the foundation has been laid, it is time for the recorder!
I have found that it is best to teach children three notes first. B, A, and G. There is a handy fingering chart in the Oak Meadow book to help with this, but basically, B is your first finger on the first hole, A adds the second finger to the second hole, and G adds the third finger to the third hole. All of these notes also have the thumb covering the thumb hole on the back of the recorder.
To begin, have your child hold one note as long as they can – blowing softly. Then, see if they can switch between notes using the “doo” sound.
Finally, start with a song! There are tons and tons of songs that use only these 3 notes. They are called BAG songs typically. I also find it helpful to start with a song that your child is very familiar with. If you know the tune and the rhythm it is much easier to play on the recorder.
And that is all that there is to it! At least in the beginning. Kids love learning to play the recorder and it really is such a nice and simple one to begin with.
You can take it from me, I was, after all, in a recorder band.
I want to thank Oak Meadow for partnering with me in this post. If you are interested in learning more about Oak Meadow you can visit their website right here.
Oak Meadow has generously offered us 3 Beginning Recorder Books to GIVEAWAY! To enter this giveaway, please leave a comment below. Winner will be selected Sunday night!
Thank you for reading friends,