Thanks to a Great Group of Professional Teachers!
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New Jersey Music Educators Association
February 18-20 -East Brunswick Hilton & Towers
Outline of Session
Music will be provided appropriate for classroom use so that participants can play as an ensemble during the session and also with recorded Orff barred instrument sounds.
Quick Tips for Success
*Make a paper recorder as part of a class project and use it for practice of hand position and proper holding. Work on correct placement and pressure for fingers and hand position. “Chin” practice singing/chanting/fingering of notes.
*Mark your recorder with liquid paper for precise location of thumb rest and sections. Line up recorder sections for optimum hand placement and then paint over the joints. Draw a line over the painted sections as a resource should they get out of line.
*Instrument Maintenance. Clean and wash recorders with dishwater detergent. By cleaning the recorder with detergent and allowing it to dry, water will “bead” off the windway sides and not collect making the recorder clog up. A commercially available product “Duponol” is available that allows the beading effect. Cut absorbent strips of lint-free cloth, put them in the slotted end of the cleaning rod and have your students use them with their instruments.
*Tape over upper Left Hand holes of the recorder with duct tape so they will not leak. The lower notes then can be fingered and will sound correctly allowing practice on production of full sound and correct placement of fingers of the Right Hand.
*Use of a MIDI file with your synthesizer; develop an accompaniment tape or CD; or, obtain commercial products such as those made by Don Muro, to provide backgrounds for solo or classroom accompaniments.
PRACTICAL TIPS FOR TEACHING RECORDER
pinch movement of the left thumb. It is better to pinch the thumb back at the
first joint with the left top
exposing the hole than to move the whole thumb from the hole. The
pinch-technique will give you a reference point allowing the thumb movement to
be continuously precise. Examine the pressure put on the thumb, it should be
free to move with no tension. A larger aperture will aid intonation on high
notes. Trim you left thumb nail as it can damage the thumb hole, and the
space between nail and flesh provides a channel for air to leak which effects
players use Duponol (commercially available anti-clogging liquid--a form of
detergent) on windways to prevent clogging. I wash my plastic instruments with
"Dawn" or other dish detergent and let them dry and this seems to
work well at keeping them clog-free as well as sanitary. A thin piece of paper
slid into the windway of plastic instruments can dislodge dirt or food
particles if they do not come out while washing. Put a small piece of
lint-free cotton cloth in the slot of the plastic swab rod that comes with
every instrument and USE IT. Most students NEVER do and many teachers do not
require daily cleaning.
electronic tuner and allow your students to try and play in--tune pitches as
an intonation game. If you pair up students as teams (one to four players) and
have one play while others keep score, you will increase the number of
individuals involved as you provide interest, and a cooperative education
activity. This venture can provide good developmental awareness regarding
intonation problems plus immediate feedback with an opportunity for
correction. Such activity will also help with breath support needed to
maintain a steady sound and relatively pure quality sound on the instrument.
variation to a vocalization or singing activity, have half of your group play
Recorder and the other half sing as selections are performed. Reverse the
process! Divide the group further; sing/play triads, ostinatos, descants, or
do partner songs and rounds. Greene's research supports a childrens' voice
model as good for a pitch matching source. The recorder sound comes close to
this. Practice open-throat exercises by singing through the Recorder.
(Recorder will sounds fuzzy). Also have children sing and match pitch of note
or note patterns being played by other students in a call response game that
can aid in both pitch matching and tonal memory.
students who are physically handicapped, Aulos makes a Recorder that can be
adapted to fit handicapped hands, and also hands with missing digits. Marsha
Evans has written about using Recorder with Physically Challenged students and
this information may be found in The American Recorder, March, 1994.
three-piece recorder, when properly adjusted, will provide the right-hand with
a more relaxed hand position in addition to aiding in production of lower
tones. Have students play and adjust the instrument for several weeks without
taking it apart to find the most effective alignment of head- and foot-joint
in relation to the main body. Then apply "white out" or "liquid
paper" over the back joints to identify position of the body parts once
the optimum hand and finger position for playing ease is established. Draw a
narrow line on the dry white surface painted across the joints. If the
recorder is taken apart, simply line up the marks as the recorder is put back
together and you will always maintain proper alignment.
detachable thumb rests (approximately $1.00 for each rest) for your
three-piece recorders as they vastly improve both player comfort and establish
right-hand position for ease of note production. Use the "white out"
method to establish thumb rest position .
get students playing on the larger Recorders (tenor and bass) as soon as hand
size permits. The larger instruments permit playing of SATB music and allow
for ensemble playing. Larger instruments are also perceived as serious musical
instruments as sometimes the soprano is looked upon as a toy-- especially by
of March as "National Play the Recorder Month"--a good chance to
allow your children to participate in another activity in conjunction with
as Partners--many parents especially of European decent have had experience
with recorder. Encourage them to work with their children or perhaps play for
your class as part of a multicultural involvement.
hand position results in tense hands and most problems of low--note
production. The right hand fingers should be placed approximately at a right
angle to the holes and it is allowable for the fingers to extend a little OVER
the side of the recorder so the fingers do not play on the balls of the
fingers as is taught with clarinet playing. (This is why students have such
trouble obtaining low notes on the recorder--its a wonder that some of them or
their teachers, obtain any low notes at all!!) Instead of a "curve your
fingers" approach TRY the more FLAT FINGERED playing technique
yourself--hear and FEEL the difference it makes in your playing--then pass it
on to your students. As accidentals (C#, D# and Eb) utilizing double holes are
played, the right wrist is moved upward at the joint and the finger slides off
one of the double holes producing the note. Reversing the wrist movement
allows the finger to slide back over the hole. The finger slides off the hole
but does leave the location. Work for hand relaxation--almost to the place
where the instrument will fall out of the fingers. Practice focus of air and
diaphragm support for high tones.
tongue should be resting lightly on the top teeth and the tip should be on the
palate just above the front teeth. There is a misconception that the mouth
aides in resonance of the instrument and some state the student should think
of having an Apple in his/her mouth. Such an approach places the tongue in the
bottom of the mouth and it then has a greater distance to travel to reach the
palate thus slowing tonguing. You must produce a strong focused air flow.
Think of "whistling. "Aim the air so it flows down the front teeth
and is focused just out under the top lip. The syllables Ti and Di (stronger
and weaker attack) will raise the back of the tongue so the air flow is more
directed. The syllable Na works well for legato passages (called a soft
tongue) and Dit for staccato. To end the duration of a note put a
"d" on you syllable or inhale the air back into the instrument for a
more natural ending to the sound. Long tones are a must for developing pitch
should be relaxed and down near sides, not up near the mid-body as this
produces tension which will be reflected in the sound.
condensation is a problem that results as anxious students become so involved
with obtaining notes that they adrenalize, grip the instrument harder, tighten
the hand muscles, and usually move the fingers higher off the holes actually
slowing up the playing and continuing the salivating/anxiety cycle. A
suggested technique for teaching relaxation in playing is to take a piece of
paper, and form it into a tube and have the children finger their performances
on the tube (rest it on the chin) while singing the notes. The objective is
not to crush the paper as they finger and the relaxation effect should
permeate through the whole playing process as it effects the physiological and
psychological body temperament.
techniques for removing condensation from a wet horn: 1. Cover
"window" with finger to prevent instrument from sounding and blow
out. 2. Suck back on instrument to remove water from windway and also from
recorder between your lips (formed as a kiss). The chin is not pointed as with
clarinet playing The recorder angle should be almost 90 degrees from the chin
and angled slightly (approximately 20 degrees to the right) with the teeth
slightly parted so the air flow is direct into the mouthpiece. You can use a
lot of air in playing the recorder and underpitched lesser quality tone is a
result from those who do not. Most people UNDERBLOW perceiving the instrument sound as being delicate and all they produce is a wimpy out-of
an Alto (Treble) recorder yourself and start working on classical literature
from the easier movements of the Handel Sonatas, to those of Marcello, Porpora,
Bach and others. The great music for the recorder is for the Alto and you will
have a superb solo instrument that is impressive in recital. Have some of your
students especially those in middle school and secondary levels purchase an
Alto and develop a repertoire of works that may be presented in a school
Recorder Home Page developed by Nicholas Lander is the most through and complete source of online information in the world.
Visit this page and discover the myriad possibilities for resources needed for
Visit this page and discover the myriad possibilities for resources needed for the classroom.