Recorder

Playing the Recorder

The recorder is an easy instrument to learn and very inexpensive. I understand (from some music-expert friends) that learning the recorder is one of the best ways to help your children benefit from the brain-developing aspects of music study. It is also very satisfying for children who can start playing "real" songs rather quickly.

Nine-Note Recorder Method: Easy Duets for Beginners

Book cover: 'Nine-Note Recorder Method: Easy Duets for Beginners'
Author(s): 
Penny Gardner
Copyright: 
2002
Publisher: 
Penny Gardner
Number of pages: 
87 pages
Subject(s): 
Grade / Age level: 
Review: 

Whether you are an accomplished musician or a complete novice, this simple, inexpensive book will have you playing beautiful music in less than an hour. (I have children in both categories, and have been unable to pick up the book to review it for almost three months since it's been in constant use!) By learning the nine easiest notes to play, and then playing music in parts, learners at all levels are immediately successful.

The book begins with an explanation of how to read music (notes, rhythm, etc.), and directs those to whom those concepts are new to Penny Gardner's website for more information. Correct recorder technique is then covered. By page 4, you are playing music, by page 5 you are working on a duet! Over 70 arrangements include folk songs (Shoo Fly, Michael Row Your Boat Ashore) and Christmas Songs (O Come All Ye Faithful, Ding-Dong Merrily on High), as well as classic melodies by Mozart and Bach and popular fiddle tunes such as The Irish Washerwoman and Old Joe Clark. The variety lends itself to lessons and/or performances. Several of the pieces include a third part for use by a trio.

In her introduction, Penny Gardner reminds us that a recorder often proves to be a springboard to further music study. Armed with the knowledge in this one book, your child(ren) will have a great start in both music theory and technique.

Review Date: 
12-17-03
Reviewed by: 

Easy Christmas Duets

Book cover: 'Easy Christmas Duets: A Nine-Note Recorder Book'
Author(s): 
Penny Gardner
Copyright: 
2002
Publisher: 
Penny Gardner
Series: 
A Nine-Note Recorder Book
Binding: 
Spiralbound
Number of pages: 
44 pages
Subject(s): 
Grade / Age level: 
Review: 

Bravo for another treasure from Penny Gardner! The 40 plus songs in this book provide plenty of material for Christmas programs or supplemental lesson work. Organized according to ease of playing, these pieces presume some prior recorder experience. (For those brand new to the instrument, I highly recommend the original Nine-Note Recorder Method text which includes instruction and 30 familiar Christmas songs.)

The duet and trio arrangements in Easy Duets for Christmas allow for creative use of any two or more "C" instruments; imagine "O Come, O Come Emmanuel" or "Lo, How a Rose E'er Blooming" on combined recorder, violin and piano. Our seven year old is reading some of the easiest pieces ("Jolly Old Saint Nicholas" and "We Three Kings"), and a little augmentation from siblings - easy with the duets in this book - makes his efforts sound very polished.

If you are looking for some new music to add to your Christmas repertoire, this book would be a wonderful, affordable choice.

Review Date: 
12-18-03
Reviewed by: 

Easy Duets For Catholics

Book cover: 'Easy Duets For Catholics: A Nine-Note Recorder Book'
Author(s): 
Penny Gardner
Copyright: 
2002
Publisher: 
Penny Gardner
Series: 
A Nine-Note Recorder Book
Binding: 
Spiralbound
Number of pages: 
46 pages
Subject(s): 
Review: 

This book is a special companion to Penny Gardner's original Nine-Note Recorder Method text. Containing almost 50 traditional Catholic hymns, it offers arrangements suitable for Mass as well as lesson work. Prior recorder experience is assumed.

As with the other books in this series, the duets and trios in Easy Duets for Catholics can be played on any combination of "C" instruments. While the creative possibilities are seemingly endless, perhaps my family's favorite part of this particular book is that the lyrics are included, allowing us to be steeped in the truths of our faith while making beautiful music!

Titles include: "Immaculate Mary", "O saving Victim" and "Come, Holy Ghost, Creator Blest

Review Date: 
12-17-03
Reviewed by: