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Teaching Recorder in New Jersey 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 New Jersey Schools.  We fully agree with the State of New Jersey Department of Education’s statement on arts programs in general which are equally applicable to music and recorder programs.  “A well-designed sequential arts program promotes responsible decision making, enhances self-awareness, builds self-esteem and self-management skills, and helps students build relationship and collaboration skills; all of which are essential to prepare New Jersey students for post secondary success.”  2020 New Jersey Student Learning Standards-Visual and Performing Arts-Introduction

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 Jersey music educators who have expressed their great disappointment at having to eliminate or greatly curtail their recorder instruction.  Thankfully, New Jersey schools have been cleared to resume in-person arts instruction in the fall with “no prohibition of activities.”

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

red recorder 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 New Jersey Music Educators for over 40 years.  Macie is a family business based in New Jersey founded by Ed Sueta who taught in Florham Park, NJ for over 30 years.  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 exhibiting at the NJMEA Conference, presenting professional development sessions and workshops at the conference each year and throughout the state and most importantly, developing long standing relationships with New Jersey 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 Jersey, 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.  In that instance, the Be A Recorder Star Curriculum offers both barred instrument and handheld instrument accompaniments that will enable the broadest, most inclusive participation possible.

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

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 get 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 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 New Jersey Student Learning Standards for Visual and Performing 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 recorder 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 Jersey 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 work with the curriculum over the rest of the summer.  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