Recorder Karate Idea Bank

Recorder Rainbows

Submitted by Margaret A. Foster, Vermont

Idea posted 2002-10-30

I use the basic premise of Recorder Karate but have changed A LOT of things.

  1. I call it 'Recorder Rainbows' instead of karate, always have. I had REAL problems with the first thought that comes to mind of most kids when they think of karate - high kicks, fighting moves, etc. The kids are aiming at having a rainbow of floss tied to the end of their recorder at the end of the year, instead of karate levels.
  2. I teach multi-age classes - it is ALL at your own pace, with different songs at each level for the two different grades in the classroom. It actually works very well.
  3. I have MANY more levels. The songs progress much slower. The students also choose what song they will use to pass each level - I have a WIDE variety of recorder books that I have cut up and set into notebooks. The students have a check list of CONCEPTS - notes, repeats, etc. - and each level tells them which of those they need to master and which songs would have that concept, and they choose what song(s) to use to pass.

The start of class we sing, then review some concept of recorders. They practice during part of class time all over the room, with or without a partner (I am there to facilitate). The last 15 minutes of class they can 'test' - they come up to me and they play whatever level they are on, and I use a rubric to determine whether they have 'passed' it or not. If they did, I record it on their sheet and give them a floss corresponding to that level. Once a month I check everyone's checklist so I can keep everyone moving, if I need to.

At the end of the year, their final recorder project is to write a song that shows what they have learned. We do a recorder recital that parents are invited to (we make a big deal of it - tea, juice, cookies, dress up, etc.). This has JUMP-started my recorders.

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