FARALLONE VIEW ELEMENTARY SCHOOL: Recorder and Flutophone Karate
Recorders and Flutophones are invaluable instruments for improving all aspects of musicality and are excellent pre-band instruments. The recorder has been around for centuries. The Flutophone is a modern instrument specifically designed for children.
Recorder and Flutophone Karate is a highly motivational method for young players. At the heart of this method is a positive reward system in which students receive colored "karate belts" to hang from their recorders or Flutophones for each progressively more difficult tune. Just like in the martial arts, there are 10 belts in Flutophone Karate and 10 belts in Recorder Karate. Black Belts in Flutophone Karate are promoted to Recorder Karate and earn 10 more belts with 10 more difficult tunes. All of it is fun and a great way to begin reading the notes in the treble clef.
Parents please encourage your student to play at least four times a week at home. Take a look at their
music, ask them questions and be sure to congratulate them when they improve, earn a new karate belt or play a
tune for you. If you play an instrument, play along or sing along with them. Make a family band at home even if your
primary contribution is clapping the beat and applauding at the end!
All 1st and 2nd graders are playing Flutophones. These are perfect wind instruments for small fingers and
younger players. The body of the Flutophone is white with a red mouthpiece. It's a bit shorter than a standard
soprano recorder and the finger holes have raised edges. That makes it easier for little fingers to find and cover the
holes completely. That means fewer squeaks which parents really appreciate.
Flutophones can play a full chromatic scale of one octave with middle C/middle DO as the lowest note. The fingering is compatible with the soprano recorder which has a much higher range. All woodwinds have very similar fingering so recorder players find the transition to flute, clarinet and saxophone quite easy.
All 3rd graders are playing the soprano recorder. A recorder is an end-blown tubular flute and belongs to the woodwind family. During the Renaissance it was the most popular type of flute in Europe and much of the music for recorder was written during this time. In the twentieth century the recorder became popular again. Many people think of it as a children’s toy, but it’s not. It’s a legitimate woodwind instrument with virtuoso players of early and modern music, and even jazz.
Owning an instrument is a big responsibility. All students purchase one Flutophone or one Soprano Recorder (depending on their grade level) to keep at home so they can practice and improve their playing skills. The cost is $4 per instrument. Scholarship funds are available through the PTO if your family cannot afford to purchase an instrument. The in-class instruments are provided by the PTO.
The recorders come in a variety of colors
and students pick their favorite. The at-home
recorders have a matching carry bag and the
in-school instruments come with a carry bag
and a neck strap.