recorders drive me nuts!

Discussion in 'Music Teachers' started by sk8enscars311, May 1, 2009.

  1. sk8enscars311

    sk8enscars311 Companion

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    May 1, 2009

    That's it... recorders are totally going on hold for at least a week. We just got them 2 weeks ago. The kids are still acting nuts with them. My head is pounding. I've tried dividing them into groups where I work with one group while the others do written work and then we switch. But the written work ones get sneaky on me and try to pull stuff so I spend most of my time correcting them. Grrr.... new plan.
     
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  3. cmw

    cmw Groupie

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    May 2, 2009

    I had some issues this year with students squeaking in people's ears & just blowing too hard in general(purposefully). Here are some things I do that have really helped me this year.

    1. Bead incentive for remembering their recorders. (I also have a basket for every day & keep them for students who think they'll have a hard time remembering them).
    2. Use the PT scoreboard and give points for 100% participation and when we really sound good.
    3. I also use our schoolwide buck system while they play as a group. I tell them I am looking for students with good posture & left hand on top.
    4. I use the Red Hot Recorder & Music Kto8 songs this year and they love them. I think that helps a lot with behavior b-c almost every song has a recording to go with it.
    5. Using drums & students helpers to get them to play recorders. I always have a few hold out tough boys who are TOO cool for recorders, but like to lead the class or play keyboard or drums. My rule is they have to do what I want them to do in order to do the things they want to do. If a boy raises his hand to play drums, but is not playing his recorder, I will say that I would love for him to play the drum but I need him to play his recorder too.
    6. Alternative assignments (writing assignments) for those students who disrupt class. The packet is just a couple pages about a composer or topic & then they answer questions.

    One thing I did was establish the rule that when I was speaking the recorder MUST be away from their mouth. Even an accidental blowing results in them putting it away & then they complete a alternative assignment the rest of class. Students that get too crazy automatically get the alt. assgn. also. That has worked better than I thought!!! I came about this idea one day with a class I have on Fridays that has 8-10 difficult students in it. One week it was soooo bad I let the students know that next week some students would be completing a packet instead of playing recorders(I listed their names out loud). As they entered the next week I handed packets & collected the recorders from those that were to do the packet. Only 1 student out of 10 gave me any guff about doing the task. (I would have put money on much more guff). The rest of the class played recorders & instruments & had fun while those 10 wrote. The class also gets beads when they remember their recorders, so the writers were not able to get those. As the 10 finished packets I checked them & gave them he opportunity to rejoin the classroom activities. Most did rejoin & even get to choose their bead!!!! I also gave the class extra points on their scoreboard for those students who took the consequence without fussing. I let them know I was impressed that they took responsibility for their actions. :D
     
  4. McKennaL

    McKennaL Groupie

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    Jul 3, 2009

    I do NOT do recorders!

    i probably mentioned that in my How do you teach paragraph...and it's because *I* can't stand them. I didn't notice a lessening in the abilites of my beginning band students..and that was my final straw.

    BUT.. I DO teach lummi sticks. (rhythm sticks in patterns of taps, flips, tosses) and those CAN become deafening.

    So here is what i do about them. The first day i hand them out..after we have worked with them for a bit and there are a few unwanted taps and looks of - "I didn't do it!"...i have them place the sticks together, on the floor, in front of them (lummi sticks are used by sitting cross-legged on the floor).
    And I say that we are going to do an experiment. IF we are lucky they are going to learn something SENSATIONAL (so they are excited to follow directions completely!).

    I tell them to LISTEN to the lummi sticks play on their own...listen carefully!...1-2....3 (listen). And here are kids of all ages really listening hard to these motionless sticks. "Did you hear them?"

    A brave student will say, "I didn't hear anything." You didn't? Huh...go figure! So what can we declare from this experiment? That Lummi Sticks DON"T make sounds on their own. What DOES cause sounds? People using them! ..... And when i am talking SHOULD people be using the lummi sticks?

    They laugh.... point UNDERSTOOD!
     
  5. scholarteacher

    scholarteacher Connoisseur

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    Jul 3, 2009

    Hang in there! I am a Kindergarten teacher, but have also been a music teacher. This summer I'm teaching free trial piano lessons to kids at a summer camp. Some of the ones who are doing the best are the ones who have had recorder experience in school. The musical knowledge they gain with recorder may really start something big!
     
  6. musicman

    musicman New Member

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    Jul 29, 2009

    And me too

    I'm not looking forward to using them. I would hope there is some way I can teach something esle to them, rather than learn note values through a recorder.

    I haven't played one in...a..maybe 30 years. :eek:
     
  7. bonneb

    bonneb Fanatic

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    Jul 30, 2009

    Why not teach notes and rhythm through song instead? With interactive kids' CDs etc? I will be teaching primary music for the first time, and the first time at my school. I will NEVER teach recorder. I have a tendency toward migraines so recorders are out.

    We will begin the year with lots of songs with movement. Better get going with my ordering huh??? I'm excited.

    Does anyone have, or would you share, what a lesson plan of yours actually looks like for a music class for primary? I am hung up on what my professor is expecting.
     
  8. singtolearn

    singtolearn New Member

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    Jul 30, 2009

    Hi, I hear what you're saying about recorders. Have you tried song flutes as a substitute? Conn makes a quality song flute that is a little easier for primary grade students. It will accept more airflow before overblowing or 'squeaking'. I'm an elementary school music teacher and I use them in grades K-4. While recorders would be just fine for grades 3 and up, I recommend the song flute for 2nd grade or younger.
     
  9. cmw

    cmw Groupie

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    Jul 31, 2009

    You can teach note pitches using keyboards, pianos, & bells. You can teach rhythms using those & percussion instruments (drums, castanets, sand blocks, rhythm sticks, triangles, woodblocks, etc...)

    One important thing about recorders is that they require the correct woodwind hand positions. The HARDEST thing for recorders, flutes, clarinets, etc... is getting the students to put their right hand on the bottom. Ohhhhh do they like to fight you on it because it is not comfortable & feels weird. ;) Playing recorder in 4th makes it easier for them to use the correct hand position. It also helps them learn how to cover the holes like you would on a clarinet. :)
     
  10. bonneb

    bonneb Fanatic

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    Jul 31, 2009

    You know it would sure make sense to bring the recorder in after 3rd or 4th grade, when the small motor skills are more developed. More success for the kids and less headache for the teachers!!
     
  11. blindteacher

    blindteacher Cohort

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    Jul 31, 2009

    I cannot stand the sounds of recorders. Recorders are not making their way anywhere near my classroom. No sir.

    This is why I teach high school and not elementary or middle school. :)
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2009
  12. cmw

    cmw Groupie

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    Awe, we need more recorder love on here! :D I think if taught correctly they are great! However if students are blowing too hard & acting crazy life will be miserable! :p My elementary music teacher really was great & I think that's why I love them sooo much! Music K to 8 has great easy music with CD recordings that I began using last year and I just love them!! They have jazz, rock, reggae, etc... Also You Tube has people playing recorder to pop songs & things the students will know. Here are some snippets below for you to enjoy...if you dare! :p

    Apologize by 1 Republic
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yt5BlUOEJMs&feature=related

    Flight of the Bumblebee
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8CcbI4y2MQE&feature=related

    Umbrella by Rihanna
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oh-iBTvtjRw&feature=related

    BAG Warm Ups (we played these every class!)
    http://www.recorderclassroom.com/store/alphadetail.php?product_group=2025
    :D
     
  13. TheMusicMan

    TheMusicMan New Member

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    Nov 17, 2009

    You should really just punish the students who are being disruptive and blowing too hard. Take the recorder away for the day and make them sit quietly. They'll see all of the other students having fun with them, and maybe they won't be as annoying with them the next time!

    TheMusicMan
     
  14. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    Nov 17, 2009

    Same here. We learned to play the recorder in my third grade class. We put on a show for the whole school. I remember having fun and my grandma got me a real fancy one so that I didn't have to keep using the cheap plastic one that the school got for us. :)
     
  15. mandagap06

    mandagap06 Devotee

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    Nov 18, 2009

    I never learned to play the recorder until I was in 6th grade. This was in band class. Any student who wanted to learn to play an instrament would have to learn the recorder 1st. I didn't like the sound they made. Granted band only lasted 2yrs for me until I gave up.
     
  16. sk8enscars311

    sk8enscars311 Companion

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    Nov 20, 2009

    I see some really old posts about what grade to teach in... this was 5th grade.

    I don't have this problem anymore though. I've switched to high school special education and so far I can't complain. Might go back to music when more jobs open up. But still, no more recorder! woohoo! *smiley*
     
  17. clarnet73

    clarnet73 Moderator

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    Nov 21, 2009

    I'm a clarinet player.

    I don't teach music class. I teach preschool.

    But my classroom is kitty-corner from the music room, and I hear recorder songs EVERY DAY for, I think, 3rd and up (and our school goes to 6th, so it's all the time).

    Since they're learning their Christmas program now, it's Jingle Bells and Silent Night on recorders.

    I wish it was silent DAY!!!

    I know they're important, but even with both doors closed, I think I still hear them in my sleep.
     
  18. cmw

    cmw Groupie

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    Your post made me laugh!! :lol: I bet the teachers that teach around me feel the same way! We have band 1st period & I have teachers trying to teach above & beside me. People always say they don't know how I do it. Things must not sound that good in the hall. ;) It doesn't bother me. I think it's because I'm immune to the noise. :p
     
  19. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Nov 22, 2009

    I am kitty-corner from the music room. Since all of our students from grade 5-8 play band instruments, there is instrumental "music" all day. Our music teacher is very dedicated and has band, sectional, or choir rehersals almost every recess. It is never quiet in my room.
     
  20. McKennaL

    McKennaL Groupie

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    Nov 25, 2009

    The other day, while doing report cards, I had one of the music channels on the tv. It was set for light classical. Well, any way... this song came on that was written for recorder. A professional was playing it (so i can't make an excuse that this was an amatuer.

    And from note one....well, if I were a dog i would have been howling. i can't STAND even the SOUND of one played well. No way. NEVER!
     
  21. kaitexas

    kaitexas New Member

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    Mar 4, 2010

    Recorder Karate

    I use Recorder Karate and the kids are very motivated to do well. They WANT to get to the black belt. If they accidentally (or purposefully) blow into their recorders, they have to put them down for 5 minutes while the rest of the class plays. They HATE that! It immediately makes the other kids NOT want to lose their privilege! If they are talking, I usually just sit and wait and tell them that they are wasting their playing time and if they don't want to pass their tests and get their belts, that's their choice (none of them want that!) - the peer pressure from the other kids works to your advantage. I test for their belts during class and do not allow the children who are not testing to blow into the recorders, but only practice their fingering. It runs very smoothly.
     
  22. McKennaL

    McKennaL Groupie

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    Apr 2, 2010

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