Creative CasesWe use Yamaha recorders that are available in three colors. The students love the bright colors, and they have a nice tone quality. However, the plastic recorder cases are not very durable. Some students replace their torn cases with creative things ranging from socks to fabric or hand-knit cases.
After I warned my fourth graders this year about the need to be careful with the cases to help them last as long as possible, a few students decided to take a proactive role. I have seen creative cases this year, and some look more difficult than others to make. I spotted these duct tape reinforced cases in class this week, and thought they were an ingenious way to make the cases cute and durable.
Recorder RewardsWe use Artie Almeida's Recorder Express as the main source in our recorder curriculum, and belts (colored yarn) are awarded as students achieve new levels with recorders. We enhance the curriculum with music from Don Muro's Give Me Five, and Easy 8, as well as recorder songs found in Music K-8 issues. Check out B A Superhero (by M.C. Handel/arr. by Paul Jennings, Music K-8, Vol. 16, No. 1). This song is always a favorite with our beginning recorder players.
You may like to follow a set curriculum for rewards, such as Barb Philipak's Recorder Karate. However, don't be afraid to customize rewards to fit your students' needs. We select the songs for belts from Recorder Express, since the students have their own books at home to use for practice. The following is a chart of song choices we currently use for each reward level:
Check out my latest post for information about visuals
for these songs that have improved my students' progress:
I created a chart to keep up with recorder belt levels. You can download the Word document using the link below.
I hope your new year is off to a great start!