Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Something Easy

Yesterday, I wrote about the importance of doing Something New and how, over time, we become reluctant to take on anything that requires deep learning of something truly new to us.  After writing, I wandered into town and stopped at the Music Store where, not long ago, Iris had purchased a recorder (a wooden instrument that's a cross between a flute and a clarinet).

Iris learned to play recorder along with the rest of her second grade class. She loved it and for years talked about getting a "good" recorder. (For the most part "good" meant one made of wood, not plastic.) A couple of weeks ago, Iris walked into the Music Store and asked Claudia if she could see some "good" recorders. Within minutes she found one that was right for her and bought it.

Talking to people, I found that many were introduced to the recorder in second or third grade. It would appear that the recorder is considered a gateway instrument (an introductory instrument that will pave the way for harder instruments like flute or clarinet or trumpet) and that many school systems introduce it to second-graders as a way to prime their interests in playing music.

As Iris told people about her purchase, almost everyone said that they too had played recorder.  Further, almost everyone saw the recorder as a child's instrument or a toy, something inexpensive that you don't have to worry about breaking.

Turns out that I missed the whole recorder-gateway experience. So yesterday, with all this banging around in my head along with the idea of doing something new, I decided to buy a recorder, you know, to learn something new. I walked into the music store and bought an alto recorder (one that plays in a different range than the one Iris purchased) so that Iris and I could play duets.

Since then, I've been pausing from work every so often that I can learn to play it. So far, I've been amazed that, if you really pay attention, you can make it sound pretty darn good, not like a toy, but like a "real" musical instrument. This morning I wondered if there were any really good recorder players. A bit of googling and YouTubing and voila: there are!  Like, they're really, really good.

Then it occurred to me. Wow, recorder would be a great way for anyone to break-out into something new. It's inexpensive. It's easy (second graders do it). You can learn it along with your kids. It has no limits in terms of what you can play.

Here are some links to some of the YouTube recordings I found.

Jazz Wave (a bass guitar and recorder duet)
Green Dolphin Street
Funk/Jazz Jam
Some Skunk Funk

Happy Tuesday,
Teflon




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