Local kids in the Valley of a Thousand Hills

“Strange times…”, is probably a thought we have all had more than once these past months. The norm is no longer the norm, and when it comes to teaching, I suspect that many teachers, parents and learners around the world have had to get used to online teaching in some form or another. I say many, because there are also still teachers whose students don’t have access to the internet, where online teaching and learning is not an option yet.

So, what did you have to do to keep the teaching process going during lock down?

I have beginner recorder groups at a local school, whom I had only seen for maybe 7 lessons followed by an extended holiday, and when we went back to school… it was online.

So, how do you keep it simple enough for the students to be able to follow? How does the teacher introduce some fun to keep them motivated? And how do we get those pieces that they need to practise to them?

Planning over a cup of coffee

That is how this new project was born. Our daughter is in lockdown with us and is the computer expert we turn to when technology frustrates my husband and myself. The idea of filming the recorder lessons and putting them on YouTube appealed to her and got our creative juices flowing. When she had finished editing the first beginner recorder lesson and showed us the finished product I was impressed and excited. All those fun little details one can put in! In fact, filming a lesson opens up a whole lot of possibilities not available in the classroom. This was going to be fun, and as it turns out, also for our young viewers.

The new teaching assistants

It isn’t a perfect teaching system, and getting together with my recorder groups again when lock down rules allowed it, showed that the guidance of a teacher who is there in person cannot be completely replaced (fortunately!). But when schools have to close again lessons can continue, and…

these videos might even be helpful for home schooling moms interested in exposing their children to music. Maybe music teachers can use them as an introduction to a lesson or as a source for ideas. And,…maybe they can help promote Music and benefit children in schools which don’t have the facilities and the qualified music teachers.

If the teacher owns a laptop she can make use of these lessons. The recorder is an affordable instrument and can therefore also make a nice gift or donation. After all, isn’t music an essential part of our development and being? Also, as music teachers we are responsible for providing the world with future professional musicians and providing those future musicians with audiences, that is, people who appreciate music.

Maybe more people can benefit from the time we spent on creating these recorder lessons for young beginners during the Covid19 global lock down! I am curious to find out. I have included the link for the introductory recorder lesson below so that you can start watching and decide for yourself: HERE.

We have already completed and published 12 beginner recorder lessons. If you are interested in the concepts we have covered already you will find the other lessons HERE.

I will be going into more detail about each lesson in future blogs.

You will find free printable activities and recorder sheet music below each YouTube video.

Wow! Did we do this?

One purpose of this blog is that it makes interaction possible. I would love to hear from other experienced music teachers, parents and readers, so if you have something to share please leave a comment below, or send an email. Did you learn anything new during these past months? Did you get involved or start with a new project or business?

Hard times throw problems at us that we have to deal with, but God has given us the ability to come up with solutions and these solutions might be the beginning of something good and helpful. My wish is that our new little project here will be one of those good and helpful things coming out of the Covid19 crisis.

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