by Sara Glenie
After being inspired by Michael Chandler and Julie Scott’s sessions at Vision 2020, I adapted Michael’s idea using the American capital cities to the bird names. These ideas can be explored over a series of lessons with beginner recorder players, starting with the notes C and then A.
- Show students the rhythms and get them to say and clap.
- The class choose 4 patterns (4 bars) and decide which order to say them in. This becomes the A section of the Rondo– for example- “blackbird blackbird, honeyeater honeyeater, kingfisher kingfisher, seagull cockatoo”
- Working in small groups each group choose 4 patterns of their own. They must decide on body percussion and gestures for each pattern. In one of my classes I was amused with one group, who made up gestures for King Fisher – they mimed a crown on their heads and then pretended to be fishing.
- Perform patterns to each other. Everyone recites the A Section in between each groups’ performance.
- Class revise all the rhythms with a ‘dooh’ sound. Play rhythms on recorder playing C and then an A and then a mixture of both notes.
- Accompany on tenor recorder or bass xylophone playing a simple bordun pattern using F and C.
- In the same small groups, practise playing your chosen pattern on recorder, using just the note C and then A and finally a combination of C’s and A’s.
- In each group one or two students play recorder, one or two play an accompanying part on percussion, and some students perform movements.
- Perform the piece as a rondo. Everyone chanting the whole class A Section and then each group one at a time performing their arrangements.
There are lots of fabulous ideas in Michael’s book: Everyday Recorder, Recorder Everyday! By Michael Chandler (Sweet Pipes)