Saturday, August 16, 2014

"Ricky Recorder"

As I was starting to set up my classroom for the new school year, I came across one of the cutest things I've ever made!  I couldn't believe that I COMPLETELY forgot to bring this out last year!  I think what happens to me is that my brain can only hold so much the memory in a computer.  Mine lately truly feels the need for an update.   Anyway, here "he" is....I present to you..."Ricky Recorder!!!!"  (Said like "Ricky Ricardo" from "I Love Lucy," of course.)  heehee.

To help my students learn about the responsibility of having their own instrument, I like to have them think of their recorder as their own personal "Musical Pet."  Then I ask them things they need to do with a "regular" pet.....and they say, "Take care of it" - Ok.  Soooo, how do you take care of it?  They usually list things like "Play with it, clean it, watch it."  And I say, well, the same idea for your recorder.  As your musical pet, you'll need to do some things.
1)  Play with it!  It LOVES to be played with.  Well, how?  PLAY IT!  How often does your dog like to played with?  Every day.  Or as I recently started to say, "only on the days you eat."  ha!
2)  Watch over it.  Know where your recorder is.  Give it a "home."  It should "Live" in your backpack.    Like a dog house.  When you're done "playing with it" put it back in your backpack.  This truly has helped my students to remember to bring them to school.
3)  Clean it.  Yes, even needs to "take a bath!"  Especially if you're sick.
4)  Let it rest.  What?  Well, like your pet needs to sleep, so does your recorder.  If you're too frustrated with a song, take a break, let your recorder take a nap and go back to try again later.

The first time I used the "Musical Pet" analogy the next day, the cutest thing happened.  One of my students came in with googly eyes on their recorder.  And she named it.  And put a "leash" on it.  It was the cutest thing ever.  And so, "Ricky Recorder" was invented and the phenomenon of very clever recorder pets invaded my school.  I loved seeing my students use their imaginations.  And honestly, it connected them so much more to their instrument.  Less children "forgot" to bring them to music because they were so excited about it being their OWN.

So - I made the cute little "Ricky Recorder" character out of foam and googly eyes, put him on the poster board, wrote down his reminders (Left hand on top, etc.) added a piece of dry erase board (I cut it like a speech bubble) and each day when 4th grade came to music, I'd write a little "note" from Ricky about their goal for the day, or what to practice, etc.

Well - "Ricky" Recorder will be coming to music again this year.  I'm so glad I found him and hope you've enjoyed this cute little idea to help your kids with the responsibility of having an instrument.  :)  Do your students have their own or do you have to clean them and keep them in your music room?  Do you have any great "recorder" tricks you'd like to share?  I'd love to hear about them!  Feel free to comment below!

Sing-ya Later!