Recorder Karate Idea Bank

How To Practice/Introduce Recorder Songs

Submitted by Paula Scott, Adrian, Georgia

Idea posted 2003-01-13

Thought I would share my technique. This is on a poster in my room:

"Sign it"
"Say it"
"Sing it"
"Play it"

My high school chorale director taught me this technique. It is a tactile way to practice rhythm reading. THE KIDS LOVE IT!

QUARTER NOTES: Right hand on chest horizontally (like you are doing a high karate chop). For each quarter note, you extend outward until your arm is straight and you say "ta" or "long."
EIGHTH NOTES: Left hand palm out in front of you, right hand will "chop" two times (at a 45 degree angle) on your left hand for a pair of eighth notes. You can say "tt" or she says "Short, short."
HALF NOTES: These are fun. Take your right hand high above your head, paint an imaginary stem downward and follow through with the "ball part." As you are "painting" the stem and the ball, you say, "h-a-a-a-l-l-f-f," and when you complete the loop at the bass of the stem you close your fist and say "note." This way, you have two words to emphasize the 2-beat value of the note. The kids love this. And here's the best part:
HALF NOTE DOT: You do the same directions above and after you close your fist on the "note," then you add "dot" and you punch your fist right out in front of you! They love this.
WHOLE NOTE: You take your right hand and make a "c" with your fingers and thumb and you pulse in front of you while you say, "Hold that whole note."
So back to my practice directions:
1. You "sign" the rhythms first.
2. Then you sign it and say the letter names. (tricky, tricky, takes a while)
3. Then we sing it while we practice moving our fingers on our recorders. (over and over)
4. And then, we PLAY it. This really creates a successful attempt on the first or second try.

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