The recorder is one of the oldest instruments in the world, dating back almost 40 000 years. In relatively recent years, it has garnered a reputation as a beginner’s instrument, and while this is not the only area in which the recorder excels, it certainly didn’t achieve this status without good reason.
After decades of use in Baroque orchestras, with recorder pieces written by composers like Bach, the widespread use of the recorder as an introduction to music was pioneered by Carl Orff (the composer responsible for ‘Oh Fortuna’).
But Why The Recorder?
To put it plainly, it’s easy. The recorder is a real instrument on which you can learn to play real music, and learn many aspects of music theory. But it delivers all of this in a package with incredibly simple mechanics. Memorize a few finger placements, and you’ve got it.
The other major bonus is its price. When jumping into learning to play music, cost is a big factor, especially when you don’t know how long you (or your child) will be playing music for. The recorder is one of the most affordable instruments available, meaning you’re not going to break the bank on a phase.
Benefits Outside of Music
Practice Skills – Learning songs on recorder requires reflection and thought that goes along with good practice. This skill, of course, has benefits widespread far beyond music.
Aural Skills – Playing recorder develops the ear in a different way and transfers the musical literacy they have in a new way.
Coordination – The fine motor control required by recorder playing is perfect for the development of coordination in children.
Sense Of Group/Ensemble – It’s also important to learn how to be in a group and work together to create something awesome.
Dip Your Toes In
So the real question may be “Why not play the recorder?” With the opportunity to open yourself or your child up to the world of playing music, at a non-committal entry point, there is no reason not to try.