Fourth grade music
Fourth grade is a great year in music class because we already know so much! We will take our previous knowledge and add to it, but we've already learned so much about reading rhythms and pitches, form, and our other elements that we are ready to learn a new instrument together as a class. We will start playing the recorder in January! Please give us a little time to get settled and review our musical knowledge together and then I'll send out lots of information so you'll know all the details.
The recorder is a great starter instrument that students will be successful playing very quickly. It's a small instrument made for small hands, it is easy to create a sound immediately, and is very inexpensive. The students will play a note the very first day! By the second day we'll be playing simple songs. It's the perfect "starter" instrument that is age and size appropriate that still sounds beautiful and musical.
Why play recorder at all?
When we play the recorder we use our musical knowledge together with the skill of coordinating our fingers and air to make music. It's a whole new skill! Thankfully, the children are quickly successful. Once we understand the process of playing an instrument, it makes learning a new instrument even easier! In 5th grade our students have the opportunity to join band and orchestra. While they don't need any experience to join, this recorder experience helps the students learn so much faster.
What about next year?
With the end of our school year being so different, please take the time to listen and search videos about the instruments of the band and orchestra. In 5th grade, you can join band, which means you could play flute, clarinet, saxophone, trumpet, trombone, baritone (a small tuba) and percussion (called bell kit because you start on bells/xylophone). You could also join orchestra, which means you could play violin, viola, cello, or bass. Many people ask how to pick an instrument and my advice is this: pick one that sounds interesting to you. Do you like the higher sounds? Lower sounds? String sounds? All instruments have hard and easy parts and they end up about the same. Just pick one that sounds interesting to you!