Recorder Karate Idea Bank

Dojo, The

Submitted by Dan Leopold, Riverdale, New York

Idea posted 2002-10-30

I have taken Recorder Karate and put a new spin on it.

I have eight-nine kids in a class (all of who are into these trading card/tournament games). I call two kids to the middle of the room - "THE DOJO," and I stand in the middle as the referee as they face each other. I tell the two students to bow to the referee (myself - real fun ego kick there), and then they bow to each other, and then they bow to the paras in the room. This is the protocol that is found in actual Tae Kwon Doe sparring tournaments. I then ask the student on the left to play a single note, and he/she has to play it correctly. Then the one on the right gets a chance. If one plays it right and the other plays it wrong, the one who plays it right, gets a check next to his/her name and stays in the middle of the room. Another student comes up to challenge and the next match begins. With each check, the tasks get harder - play a pattern of two notes, play a pattern of three notes, play a pattern of four notes. After they achieve four checks, they move up a belt color and also receive five token music dollars that go into their account for when they shop at the music store. I also give every student five music dollars automatically for good sportsmanship.

The kids are LOVING IT. Now so far, only a few students have received yellow belts, but every student is more motivated than ever and their learning skill rate is increasing. I know I am not following the official program, but then again, I figure what I am doing works really well and the kids are going at a rate that is good for them. I figure from yellow to green belt I will include reading notation on the board in increasing difficulty. From there, I feel the students will be ready to go to learning songs that increase in difficulty from belt to belt.

So basically, white belt is usually just imitation pitches given by the referee with correct fingering. Each match includes one more pitch than the last to imitate ending in imitating four pitches in a row. Yellow belt is reading music off the board - each match includes one more note than the last. Green belt is reading varied rhythms with pitches - each match gets increasingly difficult rhythms. That is as far as I have come up with in terms of working with my students.

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