People sometimes think I am crazy when I say that I love teaching recorders to children. Sometimes the classroom teachers (if they are new to having me as their music teacher) roll their eyes and cover their ears when they hear that their class is starting to play the recorder. I’m sure many of you can relate.
I found that there are a few things with the recorder that have made my life much easier and I am going to share some of the tips with you. If you have ideas to share, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll be glad to post them. Or you can comment to post.
Tips for staying sane with recorder: NO TOOTING OUT OF TURN!
You must INSIST on no playing out of turn. You must insist. I repeat again-INSIST, INSIST, INSIST! Not only is this important when the students are older members of ensembles but it develops a sense of self-awareness and helps the children exercise self-control.
I put TOOT on the board (tooting out of turn). Every time someone “toots” out of turn I erase a letter. When all letters are erased we put the recorders away. You HAVE to have a back-up lesson plan with this. I tend to make the back-up plan not quite as “fun” to make sure that they see the recorder as a privilege. (This idea was given to me by my mentor teacher in Fairfax County, VA, Dee Piechu).
You should see how empowered the students are when they can say, “We didn’t have to erase any letters off the board!”
Do you do something similar with your classes? What classroom management tips do you have to share?