Lend a hand (mirror)

Did you know that hand mirrors are an EASY fix for some of your most common recorder problems?  This inexpensive household item can be a handy tool for your students as they develop their musicianship while learning to play the recorder.

Problem #1: Blowing too hard.

To fix this common problem I like to tell the students to breathe “warm air” as if you were “fogging up a window.”  To some of us, that makes sense. To most of my students that makes no sense.  There isn’t that background knowledge piece.  I pulled out my compact mirror and “fogged it up” to demonstrate.  I let the students “fog up” the mirror by breathing on it and all of the overblowing has stopped! (Except for the jokers who just want to play around “fogging up the mirror” ) :-). 

Problem #2: Not covering the WHOLE hole

To fix this problem I put the students in groups and have the hold the mirror so that the other student can see if they are covering the WHOLE hole.  I used to just let the students tell each other which wasn’t covered but then I realized that they were relying on students to fix the problem for then rather than fixing it themselves.  Also, by practicing with a mirror in class I know that they know how to practice with a mirror at home.

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