Charanga used Blown Away Recorder Books 1 and 2 for a workshop on choosing the right methods and resources for successful instrumental teaching. The wonderful Madeleine Casson, Education Director, led the session with about 60 participants playing the pieces on a screen in the Charanga format.
Madeleine invited Heather to speak about her enthusiasm for the recorder and why it’s the best instrument for children starting musical literacy, performance and composition.
The session finished with a mini-celebratory performance of ‘Grand Finale’ from Book 2.
Teachers came at the end to view and purchase the books. Some now on their way to Cairo and Moscow!
Here are comments from the Charanga website about the ‘fantastic’ recorder course, Blown Away!
Charanga Presents Choosing the Right Methods and Resources for Successful Instrumental Teaching at Music and Drama Expo
Choosing the right methods and resources for successful instrumental teaching
In this practical session we will explore, experience and discuss successful methods and resources to teach a musical instrument, in this case the recorder using the fantastic recorder course Blown Away by Heather Ward.
The Blown Away Books 1 and 2 are a great example of the how collaborations with highly respected musicians and teachers have brought a richness to the instrumental resources on the Charanga platform.
The Blown Away course provides a step-by-step pathway for descant recorder players enabling them to play performance pieces right from the beginning. The simple melodies are enhanced by the fantastic lively accompaniments and we’ll reflect on the impact this approach has on motivating and inspiring youngsters to learn to play an instrument.
For the teachers, some of whom may not be confident to teach music, we’ll see how the supportive lesson planning is provided on-screen in a fresh new book-like format to ensure they have all the help they need. Every activity is introduced and simply explained before the page is ‘turned’ to reveal the new piece. Where necessary further explanations for teachers are provided in the Blown Away Glossary.
As each note is introduced there is a song for this with child-friendly characters. The words of the songs give the rhythm of each piece, a method that aids learning through repetition and small steps. Is this a model we can use elsewhere in our teaching?
Placing the pupils at the centre of the learning process is essential and control over the speed of the music, the ability to view just notation and/or a animated instrument and whether to hear or mute the melody allows them to be in control and take the lead.
The printable PDFs encourage practice between lessons, if desired teachers can also use Charanga’s safe online pupil environment to share the interactive pieces. We’ll consider the impact that proper and regular practice has on progress and continuation. We’ll consider how there is a focus on both performance and reading music and the ways in which this provides pupils with transferable skills for extended musical learning.
In addition to these discussion we’ll play through many of these pieces and practically explore ways to use them successfully within a whole class or smaller group setting ensuring that every pupil is appropriately challenged.
The workshop will conclude with a mini celebratory performance!
Music & Drama Education Expo, Thursday March 7th 2019, 10:10 – 10:55, Workshop