From the Preface to the Revised Edition of Introducing the Recorder and Music Theory
With Introducing the Recorder and Music Theory students learn in classroom settings to play an actual musical instrument, the soprano recorder, and discover basics of music theory at the same time, seamlessly, logically, and easily. The text has been field tested and has proven to produce students who are musically literate and who also are fluent sight-readers on the recorder. Students first learn to play by ear folk tunes and to improvise their own tunes; and then they learn to relate these skills to sight-reading printed music. While some books that emphasize the recorder utilize only the key of G Major so long as to offend the sensibilities of the musician-teacher, in this book students learn after only 3 pages to begin transposing and playing in new keys. Ensemble performance is emphasized from the beginning.
While the text is written in language that sixth or seventh grade students can understand, older students also will find the materials stimulating and challenging. Socratic and discovery questions and exercises are liberally sprinkled throughout the text, prompting students to understand the materials in depth as they read.
Students explore and perform all musical elements in this first text: pitch, harmony and texture, rhythm (from whole notes through sixteenths), meter (including eighth, quarter, and half-note pulses), phrase and form, articulation, tempo, and dynamics. The book is organized around scales: students first learn to be proficient with a fragment of the pentatonic scale, then with complete pentatonic scales, with five-note diatonic scales in major and minor modes, and finally with the complete major and minor scales. Recorder technique exercises and tips also are included.
The text includes over 65 songs and pieces presented in over 80 different ways, all of which are either real folk tunes or melodies written by master composers such as Praetorius, Handel, and Beethoven. No “teaching pieces” are used in this text. In addition, music theory worksheets appear on nearly 80 pages of the text. Designed to help students master music theory and notation, they are seamlessly integrated into the text.
The Revised Edition includes indexes for the songs and poetry, the music theory worksheets, and recorder technique exercises on pages 149 and 150.
Ensemble suggestions and pieces give teachers opportunities to be creative in their use of the materials. Ensemble pieces from Unit 2 on are suitable for concert performance for beginning music students. Included are six pieces with piano accompaniment.
The Teacher’s Supplement in the teacher’s edition of the book provides 20 pages of suggestions and practical guidance for teaching the seven skills explored in the book. Answers to the crossword puzzles also are included.