My older students (4th and 5th) have been training to become Recorder Senseis and Recorder Doctors.
The duties of the Recorder Sensei are:
1. Play musical patterns or exercise for classmates to copy.
2. Demonstrate tasks on the recorder.
3. Lead the class or group in learning recorder music.
4. Keep the group or class on task.
5. Let the teacher know when the group is ready to perform or when the group has a problem.
To "train" for becoming the Recorder Sensei, students have been:
1. Playing examples for the class - both rehearsed and sight-reading.
2. Leading the class in rhythm repeats (the Sensei comes up with a 4-beat rhythm and the class copies)
When students split up into individual practice groups, these students will be "in charge".
The duties of the Recorder Doctor are simple - basically, they "diagnose" any problems and "fix" the mistake
1. The Recorder Doctor must “diagnose” any recorder problems their class or group is having.
2. If you can’t diagnose the problem, find the teacher. (Sometimes I have to intervene)
The doctor also has a list of common recorder problems:
· Too much air
· Too little air
· Not using tongue
· Incorrect hand placement (LEFT HAND ON TOP)
· Incorrect finger placement (air is escaping, wrong holes are covered)Not reading the music correctly
Students have been training for Recorder Doctor by:
1. Listening to the teacher model and explain correct recorder playing (first few weeks)
2. Diagnosing problems that the teacher creates on purpose
3. Listening to classmates play and diagnosing any problems they have (this is essential - take the time to let your students perform soloistically - and insist on undivided attention from the listeners - both can learn from this activity - plus this training limits students from bothering you - they already know what's wrong and how to fix it)
To make the jobs more "special", I created name-tags for the students to wear. New students are selected each class.
You can download the name-tags here: Recorder Group Jobs