Like many, my very first instrument was a school descant recorder. The black and white Aulos so familiar to us all is a fond memory to me, but also still manages to invoke the fear of screechy recorder club caused by many children blowing very hard. Nevertheless, importantly they are all enjoying making as much noise as possible!
This, such as it is, was my introduction to music, and thank you to Mrs Bell who nurtured us and taught me to read music in my infant school. I loved it and we played in recorder club every Monday lunchtime. If you practised you were promoted to Senior Recorder Club and then you were allowed to play in assemblies as well as school concerts. Showing some talent for music, I was soon asked if I would like to have violin lessons and I was delighted!
Now there is no recording of my recorder playing, even though I continued to play and even did my one of my GCSE performances on the descant, playing a lovely grade 6 baroque piece accompanied by the harpsichord.
The vast majority of Primary Schools have recorders and it is viewed as an introduction to music. I was very lucky that this introduction led me to play with an early music consort in secondary school. We entered and won many competitions, but most of all I really enjoyed playing and still do.
If you run a recorder club in your school and have tamed the children enough to make sweet music you may like to record them so they can also feature on your school CD. I would really like to be able to listen to the music I once played. Unfortunately, I never had the opportunity to record our repertoire.
Thank you for introducing the next generation to making music. I hope they continue to enjoy it all their lives as much as I have.
About the Author – Shelly Richman is a Production Assistant for Recordings 4 Schools and often assists us on location with Primary Schools.