Early instrumental lessons on the recorder in combination with Orff instruments in small groups The purpose of these lessons is to teach the children playfully in small groups how to play the recorder.
Through painting, clapping, singing, colouring in, rhythmical exercises, breathing and finger exercises the lessons are structured to ensure that the children have fun.
The playful learning process boosts the children’s ability to accurately perceive and render information, as well as their concentration, gross and fine motor skills etc. All these skills will also be useful when the children start school.
This way the children are introduced step by step to the beautiful world of music, where they are not just passive listeners but active participants.
Development of rhythmical skills Just as in early music education, instrumental lessons also use exercises with a rhythmic emphasis to develop a feeling for rhythm. The simple physical movements involved in different actions such as walking, running, clapping, galloping etc. are particularly suited to overcome rhythmical problems during the initial recorder exercises. Rhythmical exercises taught in a playful way allow the children to play music together early on, which not only the children but also the teachers enjoy.
Development of technical skills The correct body posture and positioning of the recorder are important prerequisites for playing the recorder. An unrestricted and comfortable posture allows for natural, unrestricted breathing as well as the correct motor coordination of arm and finger movements, irrespective of whether the child sits or stands. Using systematic educational games for gross and fine motor skills helps to achieve the correct posture of body, hands and fingers. Technical skills are also developed further through finger coordination games. Dancing roundelays and singing combines music and movement. The natural desire to move while singing can also be used for recorder lessons. Playing the recorder while taking a few simple steps in a room leads to musical and rhythmical interaction and to lively recorder playing even without movement.
Most children subconsciously have a natural breathing technique, which is transformed into a conscious breathing technique by means of systematic educational games such as soap bubble games. This conscious breathing technique plays an important role in blowing correctly and in the formation of musical movements.
Fantasy games in recorder lessons
Children develop their own imaginary world at a very young age. Recorder lessons also make systematic use of fantasy games. Different sounds such as locomotives, owls, cats, fire engines, are imitated on the recorder. The children love to transform themselves into those creatures of their imagination. The fantastic world of animals also helps them to quickly learn the names of the notes, e.g. Dolphin—Do, Tiger —Ti. This way the children learn very quickly to read notes, allowing them to then transfer these notes to the recorder.
theory In order to intentionally make music later on, children must playfully learn basic music theory at an early age. This starts with music education games such as high-low tones, train games, echo games. The children learn terms such as ”on“, ”high-low“, ”spaces“, ”loud-soft“. By drawing in music books with wide lines the children playfully learn different musical terms and the names of notes. Pre-printed musical scores contain large notes on wide lines to allow for visual perception at a level appropriate for children.
Making music together
Just like crafts and games children also enjoy making music together with other children. Once all the children in the group are familiar with what was taught beforehand, short melodies in unison are first played by individuals. The other children in the group “check” whether everything was done “correctly“. After that all children will take it in turn to play this melody. This way melodies in two, three or four voices are created with the children taking it in turn to play the recorder or Orff instruments.