Mrs. Nancy Fothergill
Windham Center School
“I have been teaching music education for the Windham School District for thirty years. During this time, I have taught General Music to students in kindergarten through grade five. My mission is to motivate my students to develop a lifelong appreciation for music and to provide opportunities for them to learn how to read music at an early age. To accomplish this, every third and fourth grade student in my school learns how to play the recorder. Each grade level consists of approximately 230 students. Thanks to the Macie Publishing recorder curriculum, my students acquire skills that build from year to year.
"Integrating the recorders into my curriculum has taught my students skills that prepare them for playing band instruments in the future. The recorders are consistently incorporated into the general music classroom all year long. Goals such as posture, hand position, articulation and breath management are reinforced every week. My students earn badges that they display proudly on their straps each time they learn a new song.
"Every year since I have been teaching, my students perform on their recorders in both winter and spring concerts. This provides my students with an opportunity to demonstrate their recorder skills for the community. My fourth graders perform a recorder song in their winter concert and my third graders perform in the spring.
"Integrating music with what students are learning about in the classroom is very important to me; therefore, every year my third graders perform western songs on their recorder in order to support their unit on western expansion. African drums and Orff instruments are used to accompany the Native American songs in the Be A Recorder Star Method Book. Orff instruments and boomwhackers are also used to accompany songs and serve to keep my students motivated and excited about playing the recorder. My fourth graders love to take turns leading an Orff ensemble as they play two and three note patterns on their recorder while the class echoes them.
"I am excited about utilizing the new interactive method book in my classroom this year in my new music room. I know that my students will be highly motivated when they use this new technology. Finally, at least one hundred students sign up to play a band instrument each year in grade four due to the positive experience they had playing their recorder in grade three. This fact reassures me of the importance of having an effective recorder program in my school."