Fort Street Public School

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Extracurricular Activities

Extracurricular Activities

Recorder Ensemble

Different sizes of recorders

As part of Fort Street’s extensive music program, students in Years 3-6 are given the opportunity to join our recorder ensemble conducted by our Music & Drama Teacher, Ms Scaysbrook.

The recorder is perfect for playing together in large or small groups, and there is a wide variety of music written specially for the instrument.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is the recorder a good instrument for children to start on?

1.      It’s fun.

2.      It’s easier to learn than most instruments.

3.      It’s inexpensive.

4.      It’s small and light and easy to carry.

5.      It teaches music skills that can be transferred to other instruments in the future.

6.     It teaches fine motor skills and finger differentiation.

Why is a recorder called a recorder?

In the 14th century, a flute-like instrument called a “recorder” was used to help teach pet birds to sing popular tunes. The instrument’s name came about because it helped the birds to “record” the tunes to memory.

How many different kinds of recorder are there?

There are lots of different types of recorder, including the tiny sopranissimo that sounds like a mouse, sopranino, soprano/descant, alto, tenor, bass, all the way to the massive sub contra bass, which is higher than the ceiling!

What kind of music can you play on the recorder?

The recorder is 40,000 year-old instrument, that you can use to play any style of music you like – classical, jazz, pop, folk… or even rock! Groups of different-sized instruments can play multi-part arrangements for a really rich sound.

Isn’t it just a plastic tube with holes in it?

The recorder may look simple, but it has a deceptively complex design, with a cleverly designed windway at the head, precisely angled holes and wider and narrower sections through the central bore that all combine to produce different sound waves, resonance and pitch.

Where can I buy one?

The school office sells good quality Yamaha Soprano/Descant baroque recorders for $10.00 each. We can label them so they won’t get lost! Similar recorders can be purchased from retail stores, but don’t buy one for just $1 or $2, because the quality isn’t likely to be good enough for learning.

How much should I practice?

10 minutes per day is plenty. Short practice sessions on a regular basis are much better than longer sessions that happen rarely.

When does the Recorder Ensemble meet?

The Recorder Ensemble meets at afternoon recess on Mondays and Tuesdays in the Jacaranda Music Room.