Recorder Purchase Information
Third grade is a big year in General Music class as students begin to learn how to read music in its universal format on a music staff. As students learn how to build their musical skills, towards the end of Jan/Feb students will begin to transfer the information of reading pitches and notes on the music staff onto a musical instrument called the Soprano Baroque Recorder. The recorder is a musical instrument, which will be used in various ways throughout the school year to enhance the students’ musical skills and knowledge. Recorder playing will aid children in learning how to read music and to create their own melodies by learning how to manipulate the fingerings to play each pitch on the treble clef music staff. The recorder is a part of the music curriculum for Fairfax County Public Schools and is a part of your child’s music grade. Recorder instruction begins in 3rd grade and continues through 6th grade. Third grade students begin recorder instruction in late January, when they learn how to apply music literacy skills to the instrument.
Expectations: Students are expected to… • Take good care of the instrument and replace it if lost or stolen. Recorders are made of plastic, so dropping, tapping, etc., can cause the plastic to break or crack which ultimately impacts the sound being produced. • Practice the assigned lesson and participate in class. Music teachers will demonstrate the proper steps when learning how to read a musical map and ensure students follow each step to successfully play a piece of music. • Bring the recorder to every music class, along with a folder, labeled with their first and last name. We teach many other skills besides recorder, but when a lesson can be enhanced by the recorder, we need the instrument to be available.
The recorder program, as well as the complete music program, is devoted to the enrichment of your child’s life and education. With your assistance in helping your child with the expectations, we will be sure to have a successful year.
Care: Periodically wash the recorder and mouthpiece in hot soapy water and dry before bringing to school. Use a brush or pipe cleaner to clean the mouthpiece. If joints get hard to move use a touch of Vaseline on the joint. Do NOT place plastic recorders in a hot dishwasher, they are plastic and will melt and ruin the dishwasher. When dry, place recorders in a labeled zip lock bag.
ALL RECORDERS SHOULD BE MADE BY YAMAHA and have B written above the thumb hole. Recorders should have the letter B written above the thumb hole to indicate Soprano Baroque recorder fingerings which are the standard fingerings taught in FCPS schools. (If they have a different letter over the thumb hole, it just means they will have an alternate fingering position when they go to play that pitch. Not a big deal…just something to keep in mind. Keep the fingering chart that comes with the instrument.)
Recorders can be purchased locally from Alexandria Music (in the Belle View shopping center next to Dunkin.) If you order from an online company…make sure to read the specifications and that the recorder has Baroque fingering.