Recorder Information

All children in Grades 3 and 4 in the Smithfield Public Schools participate in the Recorder Program as part of their general music education. Learning to play the recorder (a small, plastic, inexpensive instrument) is a great introduction into the world of instrumental music. Playing the recorder can help children develop their sense of pitch and rhythm, as well as developing listening skills and coordination. In addition, children learn to read music and discover how fun it can be to make music as part of a group.

Grade 3 Recorder Program
In grade 3, children are introduced to beginning recorder playing. Time is spent developing a good tone, correct hand positions, and proper posture. The main focus for the year is to develop skills reading the notes on the staff, specifically notes B, A, and G.

Below are some links to help beginner recorder players:

*This link will bring you to Carnegie Hall's tips and tricks for learning to play recorder, including how to hold the recorder, how to breathe while playing recorder, and how to play your first notes.

Grade 4 Recorder Program
In grade 4, children participate in the Recorder Karate program. In this program, children earn Recorder Karate "belts" for each piece of music they can perform accurately. There are 9 pieces of music in the program that help children learn to read increasingly challenging music. By the time children earn the 9th belt, they are fluently reading notes B, A, G, low D, low E, low F#, C, and D on the music staff. This program prepares children to play a band instrument in 5th grade.

Below are some links for 4th grade Recorder Karate students:

*This link will bring you to the Recorder Karate dojo which contains audio streaming of Recorder Karate music, as well as recorder playing tips and an interactive fingering chart. (Please ask me for the password for streaming audio on the dojo.)