The value of music programs and the important role of recorder have been highlighted by the events of this past school year. Recorder instruction was greatly missed and left a void. We have been contacted by many California music educators who have expressed their great disappointment at having to eliminate or greatly curtail their recorder instruction. Thankfully, it looks like the California Schools will be returning in person in the fall.
STATE SUPPORT FOR THE ARTS
In an April 2020 letter to Governor Newsom, the President of the CMEA, Armalyn D La O, notes that, “Music education and arts education contributes to the development of students’ creativity and capacities preparing them to enter and contribute to California’s creative economy. During these difficult times it is important that this development continues uninterrupted. Engaging in learning and making music also plays an important role in supporting students’ mental health as they confront the current challenges of fears over the pandemic, distance learning, and related impact on their lives. A standards-based music education assists students in learning how to cope with anxiety through developing skills such as self-awareness and self-management. Students, now more than ever, need strong coping skills to adjust to the new reality that will extend through the end of the school year and possibly beyond.”
MACIE’S LONG TRADITION OF SERVICE TO EDUCATORS
Given the inability to teach recorder this past year, many teachers will be starting recorder in more than one grade. Macie Publishing Company is here to help meet that challenge by supplying recorders, sequential, student-friendly curriculum materials and teacher support in bringing recorder programs back to full strength! It has been our honor and privilege to serve California Music Educators for over 40 years.
RECORDER- AN AID IN INCLUSIVITY
Music is the universal subject that touches and reaches students in a way that no other subject can. In California, as well as across the United States, there is a trend to be more inclusive in bringing students into the classroom with varying abilities. The difference in abilities makes it more important than ever to use sequential recorder curriculum materials that progress in a gentle and systematic way. We believe that if recorder materials are presented to students in the right way, they will be able to achieve their maximum potential.
THE BENEFIT OF IN-PERSON AND BLENDED LEARNING
While it appears that we will definitely be returning to school in person in the fall, this year has taught us that things can change dramatically in an instant. The Be A Recorder Star Curriculum is effective both in person and remotely and will enable recorder instruction to continue regardless of the circumstances. Even if students are in class but playing is limited or prohibited, content may be learned and reviewed and playing may be done at home. In fact, the online version of the curriculum was developed well before the pandemic in part in an effort to get students to practice at home.
Blended Learning may be defined as “an education program, formal or informal, which combines online digital media with traditional classroom methods.” Variations or synonyms include: “hybrid learning,” “technology-mediated instruction” and “web-enhanced instruction” as well as many others. These terms, many times are used interchangeably.
Music is like math, language arts, science or any other subject. If students are going to retain what they are learning in class, they need to review and absorb the material at home. We are not unrealistic and don’t expect students to practice for long periods of time but how much better will your students learn if they practice a few minutes one or two times in between classes? It can be as easy as assigning two or three songs. In order to encourage that home practice, the online version of Be A Recorder Star has 50 Play Along Accompaniments with tempo controls. Students have fun playing along and love the background support! The accompaniments also help instill a sense of time and pitch.