Recorder Karate Idea Bank

Successful Recorder Activities

Submitted by Gretchen Taylor, Illinois

Idea posted 2002-04-02

Just wanted to share my success... I tried two new recorder activities with my 6ths and 7ths today, and they worked beautifully. The kids seemed to really like them too.

Round Robin

After practicing our test song as a whole group, I divided the kids into four groups by rows (they didn't move, just stayed in their seats). I assigned the first two measures to group one, next two to group two, etc. Although group one would be the first group to begin playing the song, all others were to finger along and be ready for their entrance. We repeated the song four times but rotated which two measure phrases the groups would play, so everybody eventually got to play each phrase. After all the rotations, we played the song as a whole and it was nearly perfect.


This was for learning a new song. I again divided the kids by rows into eight groups with three rows front to back like so.

4- - - 8- - -

3- - - 7- - -

2- - - 6- - -

1- - - 5- - -

1 2 3 1 2 3

I explained that all those in rows one would be actually playing the song. Rows two would be fingering the notes, and rows three would be patting the rhythm. We would do this all at the same time after I set the pulse. Now, I told the kids to arrange themselves within their three chair groups so that the more confident player was in the first chair, next confident in chair two, and least confident in chair three. They did very well accepting who should go where.

Then, we played the piece with everyone doing their assigned task. After going through it without stopping, everyone rotated. Those who were in chair one moved to chair three with the others moving up a number. Then we did it again. After three rotations, everyone performed in each chair. Yes, when the weaker players got to the first chair, they struggled some, but I could actually tell who was struggling, they couldn't hide. It was great.

Anyway, the kids seemed to love these activities. And it kept everyone focused on the music with very few disruptions, and kept them focused on its rhythm, fingering, and notes. I'm going to make this a regular activity in class for sure.

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