I wrote Book 1 and Book 2 with the following in mind about teachers:
- Teachers are busy. No teacher seems to have enough time to search out and find all of the materials needed in the classroom. While I’ve used Enjoy Your Recorder as a supplement to Book 1 and Book 2, there are plenty of materials in my own two books to guide students to a level of mastery in both music theory and recorder performance.
- Teachers are creative. Musicians love hearing something fresh and new from their students. While both books are designed for the teacher who wishes to begin at page 1 and proceed as far as the students will allow, the materials in them also are designed and organized to be combined in creative ways and creative orders.
- Teachers want to learn. The professional teacher walks into the classroom each day in order to learn. Our students are expert teachers for us in their confusions, in their questions, in their insights, in their delight and their displeasure. The books are organized to encourage everyone, including the teacher, to explore musical ideas creatively and deeply.
I had this in mind about students when I wrote the books:
- Students learn best by doing-analyzing-doing. As students enrich their own, concrete, direct musical experiences, they are better able to discuss and understand theoretical abstractions such as meter and harmony. They then can take those understandings back to performances of the same music and also apply them to new pieces.
- Students enjoy making music together. While some students enjoy playing solos, the experience of being all together and working on a musical and artistic problem is enjoyable and motivating for students. As every music teacher knows, the materials we use in our classes need to be at an appropriate level of challenge and interest for our students.
- Students need their teachers to be musical. Students are inspired to investigate musical materials and ideas as their teacher models curiosity, insists on performance standards, and embodies the je ne sais quoi we call musical artistry.
These assumptions drove the creation of both books.