Recorder Karate Idea Bank

What To Do In Consecutive Years

Submitted by Karen Stafford, Washington, Missouri

Idea posted 2003-02-17

I've adapted the Recorder Karate method for two years now, and my kids just love it! I saw Barb in action at the Missouri MEA, and purchased the packet to see how I could better improve my own methods, and decided on this:

I'm going to use her method and Denise Gagne's first recorder book for grades 3 and 4. For grades 5 and 6, they do have to start over, but with more difficult songs (basically from K-8). Kids who earned black belts in previous years will still be eligible to play alto, tenor, or bass the next years, depending on their grade level. (I go up to grade 6 in my schools.)

I think using different music will help keep the interest level for the sixth graders, who seem to fizzle right now. But, since I've only been doing this a couple of years, I think as the kids who started Recorder Karate get to the sixth grade level, the interest will improve. It's my dream to have my own little recorder consort!

I've just now started using beads to work with Barb's Black Belt degrees. Before, I've allowed students with yellow or better to act as "tooter tutors" with kids who need help, but I like the idea of having black belt kids act as teachers to help grade for belts. I do separate testing for a regular grade, but kids are allowed to do their belt songs for a test if they like.

It's amazing, though - the interest level. I had one mom today tell me her third grader was sick with the flu for 2-3 days, yet kept insisting on taking his recorder out and practicing because he wanted those belts!!!

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