Fun-Filled Music Education Through Recorder Karate

Published: 03rd May 2011
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The recorder is one of the first musical instruments that children are introduced to. It is also known as an "English Flute" and belongs to the woodwind family of instruments. One innovative and incentive-centred method of teaching children how to play it and how to read sheet music, is by implementing recorder karate in class.

Just like the disciplined martial art, karate, this way of learning how to play the recorder also has its introductory protocol. Students should observe silence when entering the classroom and come prepared with all the necessary items. They should bow to their teacher as well as to the other learners before being seated as well as at the end of the class.Students should sit cross-legged and only begin playing when instructed to do so. Playing out of turn may be viewed as being disrespectful.

Students are also graded by coloured belts in the following sequence: white, yellow, orange, green, purple, blue, red, brown and lastly, black. With each level progressed, students earn the next ranked colour belt. To make the experience even more exciting, some teachers add trinkets or special charms to the belts for good behaviour or extra effort.

Instead of the grading system being dependent on technical moves and physical duels, it is determined by songs which increase in musical difficulty as the student progresses through each level. The song which will earn a student a white belt is called, "Hot Cross Buns", and is a well known children's singing rhyme which includes the initial notes, B, A, and G. To earn the sought-after black belt at the end, learners must play, Beethoven's well known composition called, "Ode to Joy", which covers the notes, D, E, F#, G, A, B, and C.

Through the implementation of this method, some teachers have noticed definite advantages. Learners who usually lack enthusiasm, are more eager to participate in class. Some teachers have even encountered students practicing and assisting each other in their lunch breaks, Also, children become more open-minded to receiving instruction and are more willing to learn.

Much like every teaching method there have been noticeable cons too. Some learners may struggle to keep up with the pace of the class and become discouraged. There are also teachers who disagree with the competitive nature of recorder karate. Still others encourage competition and claim that it is assists students to reach their learning potential.

As with all methods of teaching, it is adapted by each instructor to suit the needs and concentration levels of their respective classes. Some prefer to spend entire lessons on it while others dedicate only ten to twenty minutes to learning the new songs. Some instructors even make use of different songs and increase the number of belts to be earned to other colours like gold and silver.

Instructional guides on how to implement recorder karate in music lessons are available both in hard-copy form as well as online. These can be used in class and most are reproducible if the entire kit is purchased, so learners do not necessarily have to have their own copies. These books contain worksheets constructed to aid with the practice and understanding of musical scales and lessons. As with every teaching method, there are noticeable pros and cons, and teachers differ in their opinions of it. Most however, have emerged as avid fans of it, claiming that it is effective and extremely useful for fun-filled and engaging learning.

Come to our website about Recorder Karate for more information.

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