We will learn how to read music, from learning the steady beat and rhythm to the way our voices move up and down in lower grades; how to read music symbols, and, beginning in 1st grade, the notes on the staff.  Third through fifth graders are playing recorders and learning how to play songs to get Recorder Karate belts.

Here is the link to practice the March from the Nutcracker Suite.

Check out our sound station on the playground.  We will be adding to it, so keep an ear out for new sounds from the playground!

For many teachers, January is when the students in Grade 3, 4, or 5 start learning to play the recorder. While the recorder may seem like a simple instrument, there are many skills needed to be successful. Trying to do this many tasks at the same time is very challenging and makes our brains work very hard.  If we can play music, test taking is often easier for many students.  This is one reason music is important to have in our schools.

Students must be able to:

* tell which is their left and right hands

* hold the recorder with the left hand at the top, right hand at the bottom

* cover tiny holes with finger pads - not finger tips

* start the note with the tongue

* continue the air stream between notes to create a legato sound

* breathe in appropriate places

* demonstrate correct fingerings for notes

* read the names of the notes

* read and perform rhythms

* understand meter

* follow a conductor

* demonstrate appropriate rehearsal skills

* articulate: slur in some places, tongue in others

* develop good intonation

* develop a beautiful sound

This list is daunting for an adult!  It takes quite a while for students to get some, most, or all of this right...sometimes we don't get to all of this list in 2 or 3 years of music class.