As children become more acquainted with the notes on the stave as well as the value of different notes and rests, it becomes more vital that they have a practical outlet to apply their knowledge. They should realise that the reason they are learning to read the ‘dots on the lines and spaces’ is that it is part of being a ‘musician’. Last term Year 3 were fantastic with their keyboard skills. This term, they are learning to play the recorder. For many of them it is their first experience with a wind instrument and they are enjoying the extra challenge it provides for them.
As a way of making their recorder practise motivational and fun, children are currently taking part in a ‘recorder karate’ programme, in which they are given different coloured belts as a reward for playing pieces of music successfully. Through this method, lessons can be differentiated according to the attainment level of each child. Children can take ownership of their own progress and set themselves individual targets. They absolutely love receiving their belts and they can see the real value of hard work. (It’s not a secret that the more you practice the better you will be.)
Belts range from white belt all the way up to black belt. It’s just like real karate, only without the bruises!
By Henry Charlesworth