Recorder Karate Idea Bank

4th's and 5th's Learning Recorders - Mandatory or Optional?

Submitted by Stephanie Menefee, Tacoma, Washington

Idea posted 2003-10-29

Q: Is learning recorders optional or mandatory for all 4th and 5th graders?

A: I think that using the recorder as an integral part of our music program is one of the best things we can do for our students. It teaches note reading, rhythm reading, ensemble playing, solo playing, self-discipline skills... the list can go on and on. It also acts as "training wheels" for those students who go on to play any other instrument. Because of this, I use recorders as a part of my GRADED (emphasis) curriculum in my music classroom. I have enough school instruments for all of my students to use one, and I offer the option of purchasing an instrument to all students. It is up to them to decide whether or not to have their own. I don't require each student to have his/her own recorder, although an incentive is that they get their belts tied onto the bell of their instrument, if they have their own.

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