Wednesday, December 27, 2017

How to Keep Kids Motivated to Play Recorders

About a year and a half ago, I wrote a post about teaching recorders by starting on E. It totally changed my beginning recorder program and truly made a difference in the tone of my beginning students. Two years later, I am still sold!

 My students cannot get enough of these squeaky little instruments. I am asked DAILY "when are we gonna play for belts?" It took me a while to figure out how to carve out time for individual testing for new belts BUT... this is my current strategy.

On the first week of the month, I set aside MOST of the class time to work on belt songs. I pair students up according to what song they are working on. For the kids who are several belts behind most of the class, they get to choose another student who has mastered a few more belts than they have and get "tutored"! THEY LOVE THIS - both parties, the tutor and the "tutee"!

All the kids are playing at once or taking turns with their partner. Yes! it is quite a cacophony BUT the kids are SO motivated to practice! When a student feels prepared to play for a belt, s/he walks up to me to perform. I usually have a waiting line. In addition to listening, I am always scanning the room to ensure that everyone is on task!

I LOVE the motivation this first week of the month generates and I want to keep it going. So I open my room up twice a week for a half hour before school to let individuals play for belts too.

How do you work recorders into your curriculum? I'd love to hear!

Happy Honking! Ellen

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 ...   Men and Women of American Idol

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