At Desmares, students participate in a program known as
Each student will be given a recorder and a recorder folder. During class, students learn the skills necessary to read the notes of the treble clef as well as rhythmic patterns and breathing techniques. Students also work to develop a good tone on the recorder.
Students in 3rd grade learn the pitches: G, A, B, low E, and low D
Students in 4th grade add the pitches: high C, high D, and F#
Students will learn and rehearse songs in class before performing playing tests. Each playing test assesses the student's ability to play on pitch with rhythmic accuracy and good tone. The students will be given a copy of the music that is required to play for their belts. Once the student has shown, through a playing test, that he/she is capable of playing the assigned song, the student is awarded a "belt" (similar to that awarded for passing a Karate test). The student then ties the belt onto his/her recorder.
The Recorder Karate Belts are as followed:
3rd Grade: White, Yellow, Green, Purple
4th Grade: Blue, Red, Brown, Black, Rainbow (optional)
In order to excel at recorder playing, students will need to spend extra time practicing at home to reinforce the skills and concepts they have learned in the classroom. When our recorder unit begins, each student will receive a "Practice Chart" on which they will log the days they practice and the amount of time they spend practicing. Parents should sign the practice chart each day the student practices as evidence that they completed the requirement. Students will hand in their practice chart at the end of each month, but may be asked to show the practice chart to the teacher throughout the month. Students will be asked to practice for a minimum of 5 minutes a day, 5 times per week. Additional practice is certainly encouraged.
Below are some practice tips:
1) Encourage your child to set a time and place to practice and be sure that your child follows through with it.
2) As much as possible, have your child practice when you are home. Practicing 5-10 minutes a day will make a huge difference in the amount of success that they will experience for the year.
3) Ideally, spend some time sitting and listening to your child practice and ask questions or make positive comments. Praise goes a long way toward sparking interest in your young musician.
4) Before they finish practicing, have your child play a one-minute recital for you or a family member! This is effective in building performance responsibilities. Plus, every instrumentalist enjoys the opportunity to display his or her talents.
5) Help your child remember to bring their recorder and folder to school on the day they have music class. Without the recorder and the music, it will be difficult for students to master the new material.
6) Have your child visit some of the music websites listed on my page to access games and worksheets that will help students practice their note reading skills!
7) If your child needs extra help, have them arrange a time to meet with me one-on-one during their recess or before or after school. I am more than happy to give extra assistance and provide additional material for practicing at home.Click here for a chart that shows how to play each pitch on the recorder: http://www.squeakysrecorderplayhouse.com/fingeringchart.htm