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Teaching Recorder in the New York Schools Post Covid

The recorder is a powerful instrument in the general music classroom and one of the most effective ways to teach music reading skills to young students.  Recorder is an integral part of most district music programs in the North Carolina schools.  We fully agree with the New York State School Music Association’s statement about the far reaching benefits of music education which reads in part:

“The benefits conveyed by music education can be grouped in four categories:

* Success in society

* Success in school

* Success in developing intelligence

* Success in life

When presented with the many and manifest benefits of music education, officials at all levels should universally support a full, balanced, sequential course of music instruction taught by qualified teachers. And every student will have an education in the arts.

Benefit One: Success in Society

Perhaps the basic reason that every child must have an education in music is that music is a part of the fabric of our society. The intrinsic value of music for each individual is widely recognized in the many cultures that make up American life; indeed, every human culture uses music to carry forward its ideas and ideals. The importance of music to our economy is without doubt. And the value of music in shaping individual abilities and character are attested in a number of places…”

The value of music programs and the important role of recorder have been highlighted by the events of this past school year. In many cases, recorder instruction was greatly missed and left a void.  We have been contacted by many New York music educators who have expressed their great disappointment at having to eliminate or greatly curtail their classroom instruction.   Hopefully, New York schools will have in-person arts instruction in the fall without restrictions but recorder has a place regardless of how schools resume operations.

Macie’s Long Tradition of Service to Music Teachers in New York

Many districts either suspended or limited their recorder programs as a result of the pandemic. Many teachers will be fully resuming their recorder programs and even 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 New York Music Educators for over 40 years.  Macie is a family business founded by Ed Sueta who taught recorder and band for over 30 years and received his M.A. from Columbia University.  He dedicated his life to developing curriculum materials to ensure the success of his students and helping teachers enhance the success of their music programs.  We have greatly enjoyed  presenting professional development sessions and workshops  and most importantly, developing long standing relationships with New York Music Educators who we value not only as our customers but as our friends.

Music is the universal subject that touches and reaches students in a way that no other subject can.  In New York, 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.

While the vast majority of students are able to play the recorder, some students, due to learning or physical challenges, may be unable to do so.  The Be A Recorder Star Curriculum offers both barred instrument and handheld instrument accompaniments that will enable the broadest, most inclusive participation possible.  We are seeking to further expand the inclusivity of our curriculum by working on a Spanish translation which will be included as part of the online version at no additional cost.

The Benefit of Having Both an In-Person and Online Recorder Curriculum  

online musical recorder instruction The past 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 becomes limited, 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 encourage students to practice at home.  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.

Be A Recorder Star focuses on the development of music reading skills which are foundational for students’ continued musical involvement.  If students develop strong music reading skills, their potential is limitless!  The Play Along Accompaniments, “Follow the Bouncing Star” Rhythm Charts, diverse repertoire and Music Theory Pages all contribute to making students great young musicians.  These features also lend themselves nicely to compliance with the New York State Learning Standards for the Arts as well as national and school district standards.

A Superior Recorder For the Best Results

In addition to excellent curriculum materials, students must have a superior instrument to achieve the best results.  Macie manufactures Kingsley Recorders with their own proprietary mold.  Kingsleys have a gentle, soft tone quality and are manufactured with ABS plastic so they are guaranteed against breakage.  The fingering holes for Kingsleys are slightly closer together than most recorders so that students may more easily finger notes which results in less squeaks and squawks.  Kingsleys are also resistant to overblowing.

If you are a New York music teacher or music supervisor looking to establish or enhance your recorder program, Macie is here to partner with you.   We encourage you to either fill out a Contact Form  or better yet call us at 888 697-1333.  We will send you a complimentary Kingsley Recorder and trial code for the online version of Be A Recorder Star which will enable you to review and try the curriculum.  We are happy to work with your budget and generate multiple quotes so that you can see how affordable and valuable Be A Recorder Star will be for you and your students.  We are always here to help you in any way we can.  We hope you will use us as a resource!

Macie Publishing Company
Macie Publishing Company