Archive for August, 2010

Going back to school tips – no. 1

Saturday, August 28th, 2010

As always, the summer is just about to be over and my time for searching new techniques and ideas to use with my students is ending with it. Soon the “madness” of my daily schedule is gonna start again.

I’ve spent a lot of time this summer talking to colleagues and friends about different ways to start a new year, and I thought I’d share it with you guys. If you have more ideas, please share them also with me!

I do wish to emphasize that some of the ideas I will bring are not originally my own, but came to me from friends and colleagues, namely Mrs. Ori Golan, and Ms. Nurit Blum, which happen to be both…

How to start a first lesson with first year beginners –

What I like to do, and of course it requires some preparation, is to start the lesson with a story. Of course, the story has to be interesting and funny, and should vary depending on the age and number of the student in your class. However, the more important thing I like to add is a soundtrack to the story. Meaning, in several strategic places in the story I start playing short little tunes which have some connection to the story. For instance, if I speak about battles, I play a typical trumpet fanfare, if I come to talk about dancing, I would start playing a baroque dance and very soon turn to play some typical children’s dance everybody would know. Even less obvious thing could have little tunes attached to them. For instance, when talking about the wind blowing against the reeds and making noise, I just play a short, soft and calm tune (a possibility could be the famous morning song from the “Peer Gynt” suite by Grieg).

The idea, in any case, is first of all to play something and let them hear and see how the instrument sounds and works. In addition, and also important, is already to attach different musical themes to different emotions and ideas, and let them hear how it could all be done with the recorder.

Though very important also, for me the historical knowledge gained from this exercise is only a bonus and not the main issue.

Have fun and let me know what you think!