After we talk about fingerings, I then do a couple of simple activities on the note G.
I just use some of my flash cards or other lessons that have rhythmic patterns and I have them play G using familiar rhythm patterns. Some of them might look like this:
While we’re playing these simple rhythms I’m also teaching them about their breathing and finger positions.
I’ve found that if I just do one note at a time-they can get the big picture easier.
That’s a lot for one lesson-don’t you think?
Then we’ll move on to A and B. I’ve found that teaching G first get’s all of the fingers in the right places and then lifting for A and B seems to be easier.
BUILD SKILLS SLOWLY:
I continue with rhythm patterns. After they can play all three notes then I have them do two parts. One group will play the rhythm card and the other group might hold on the same note or make harmony. Group 1 will play Rhythm on “G” and Group 2 plays a whole note on “B”. They really like this. Going slowly and taking baby steps helps them to build the skills they’ll need to play songs and more notes. Once we have conquered individual note activities I move on to simple songs. One fun thing that the kids love is to play along with Rhythm tracks. I combine rhythm patterns into eight bar sections and have them play the rhythms we learned to the Rhythm tracks. I will use an ABC Pattern like this:Rhythm pattern-Rhythm Pattern
Whole Note-Whole Note
Rhythm Pattern-Rhythm Pattern
Here are a couple of Free Backing and Rhythm Track Websites (I have not received any remuneration for recommending them.)
DIVERSE TEACHING STRATEGIES:
Everyone learns a bit differently. Think about your five senses and this will help you reach all learners. Seeing, Touching, Hearing, Smelling, Tasting. You’re probably wondering how smelling and tasting can help students play the recorder. Well, maybe not exacting smelling and tasting…but here’s a couple of ideas.
“Hot Cross Buns” is about food. Why not give students a “sense” of what they really are/were and maybe the flavor too? How about bringing in a tray of hot buns or even talking about toast will help students connect to the song.
What about relating note rhythms to pizza? Won’t that engage smell and taste?
This is a free lesson called “Pizza Man”, perfect for students learning to read notes.
Here are some things I do to help all students in my classroom.
Try clapping the rhythms and asking students to play it back on one notes.
Try playing the rhythm on your recorder and students echo.
Try writing the pattern on sheet music and asking students to work in small groups.
Try students working cooperatively in two’s or three’s versus larger groups.
Try projecting the patterns on a board or smart board.
Try playing games where students draw a flash card and have to play what they see.
Try drawing notes on the staff and asking students on one team to play the note.
A great song to work on once students have Five Notes learned is “Ode to Joy”. I changed the lyrics to “Ode to Recorders”. You can find this fun Recorder song with teaching printables in my store: “ODE TO RECORDER”
If you’re interested in teaching beginning IMPROVISATION, you’ll find some great tips at OFORTUNAORFF
There are also many Free Lessons at Teacherspayteachers.com
This is a wonderful article on the history, use and some fun teaching ideas:
There are many different ways to learn recorders. Have fun “tooting”!
Cute graphics by: