Concerts With Recorder Players At Different Levels
Submitted by Tess Hoffman, Michigan
Idea posted 2002-05-28
On the topic of how to approach concerts with kids of differing recorder skills... I tell them that not everybody is expected to play every song in the concert. Naturally, they play like gangbusters on "Hot Cross Buns" and on slow versions of "Mary Had A Little Lamb." As things heat up and speed up, fewer kids feel confident enough to play along. Those who don't play realize that they are not alone - they just stand quietly, and the songs are so short, hardly anyone notices the ins and outs of who's playing. That takes me out of the business of telling children not to play.
Amazingly, the sound has been terrific this year, in spite of a particularly shrill instrument (won't make THAT mistake again!). The kids seem to weed themselves out - but by and large, they have worked pretty hard for me. Maybe I've just been lucky. Also, I do not give grades, so the desire has been pretty much intrinsic. Guess I should count my blessings.