School holiday project

I want to start teaching the Miss Sevens a little music. Miss Ten already plays a bit of recorder music, but she could do with learning some more in a structured fashion. So, we need recorders. We have several at home already, one sopranino, two descant, or maybe three, one alto and one tenor, some of which I play, after a fashion. I thought that it would be easiest if we had one descant recorder each, so I went into the local music store to buy a couple more.

And I found these gorgeous instruments.


Aren’t they beautiful? I thought that any child who saw them would want to play, and in the interests of fairness, I got them one pretty recorder each.

It worked (so far). The girls seized them with delight, allocated colours, and pleaded to start straight away. But I’ve been stuck with the boring old brown one that I’ve had for about 35 years now.

The project may or may not be successful; I suspect that there are even chances of the girls learning a little music, and me collapsing in a quivering heap, worn out by trying, trying, trying to be patient with the screeches, squeaks and squeals. At least the recorders are pretty.


7 comments on “School holiday project

  1. mimbles says:

    You’re a brave woman 🙂

    My recorder, of similar age to your brown one, has been in two pieces for years. Every so often I will spot one or the other half of it in amongst the jumble of toys and think “I must find the other half” and then I get distracted and lose track of it again. I found one of my old learn to play books recently….but I can’t remember where now!

  2. Carol says:

    They are indeed beautiful. My Mr Ten has the same one (the red one) and is inordinately proud of it. If you need a good tutor book I can recommend the series by Roger and Carol Buckton – it has nice tunes. Just wait till the whole family can play Tallis’s Canon!
    I also like the book as it gets to grips with proper musical notation smartly, which not all beginner books do.

  3. kate says:

    As kids we had my uncle’s wooden tenor recorder. I don’t know why we got it – he has four kids of his own – but I always preferred it to the placcy ones from school. It felt like a real instrument.

    Course, our placcy ones weren’t red or green or blue.

  4. M-H says:

    Oh, memories. my kids used to play the recorder (descant). They bought me an alto one for Christmas one year, and we used to play together, or I would accompany them on the piano. One son has been ‘in a band’ most of his adult life and gets great pleasure from music. The other one has a great singing voice but won’t use it. My daughter… is not musical in the least. But they all experienced the joy of playing together while they were young.

  5. Nick says:

    They are a such a great way to learn how to read music, but no-one much gives them credit as serious instruments.

    In 1978, when I was listlessly squawking away at the ABBA tunes my music teacher thought would make recorder cool, Mum brought home a second-hand LP of Early Music played by a recorder consort. Even though I was 12, I was enraptured (I don’t think Mum had bought the LP intentionally; I think it was just part of a job-lot of cheap Public Library cast-offs). The next year I joined a recorder consort and learnt to play soprano, alto and tenor (never quite mastered bass).

    The sound of a well-played recorder still makes me go weak at the knees.

  6. Carol says:

    I agree, Nick. I’m a fan of music actually written for the recorder too. Abba – eeek!
    With the best will in the world, I cannot describe my boy as particularly musical, but it is very sweet to see him tootling his way through tunes and learning the basics of how to read music. I think just about all kids can get something out of learning the recorder, even if they don’t take it much further. There’s a lot to be said for ensemble instruments too – I often wish I’d learned something else in addition to the piano.

  7. George D says:

    The following is no slight against the recorder, which can indeed be a source of great beauty and grace.

    I think that the recorder destroyed my attempts to learn music for at least 15 years. I, and many others, just don’t have the breath control and coordination to get anything other than screeches out of a recorder. You strum a guitar, and while you don’t automatically get a note, it sounds ok. Positive, rather than negative reinforcement.

    Which is to say, if they fail, let them try other instruments, ones that allow even the untalented to enjoy themselves.

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