Why play the recorder?

Ready, Steady Recorder! by Sarah Watts

Composer Sarah Watts has extended her repertoire of creative recorder tutors with her biggest tutor to date and to celebrate its Spring launch we thought we’d gather together some very good reasons to take up the recorder!

It’s arguably the most affordable instrument to take up (though some are available for upwards of a thousand pounds!). It’s good value for money too- lots of ‘bang for the buck’ as one music teacher put it.

Paul McCartney, Jimi Hendrix and Bruce Springsteen are just a few musicians who can play the recorder.

The descant recorder is a good stepping stone to playing other members of the recorder family (bass, tenor, treble (alto) and sopranino recorders) and it teaches skills that can be transferred to other wind instruments such as knowing how to cover holes and control your breathing.

It is small and light weight, which means it’s also easy to transport.

The recorder is an excellent starter instrument for all ages– very easy to make a sound on and a perfect instrument for teaching basic music theory.

The recorder’s simplistic design and readily available instruction books make it a perfect instrument for the masses.

In a school environment it is perhaps the only introduction to playing a musical instrument for a large group of children who would never otherwise get the opportunity.

The recorder is the instrument where most people start to foster their love of playing music.

It teaches coordination skills: When you play the recorder you’re breathing with your lungs, reading music with your eyes, playing notes and songs by moving your fingers all while sitting/standing up straight.

It improves social skills through group playing.

Lastly, it provides a source of joy, self-esteem and self-expression, to every single player…regardless of ability!

Posted by Sarah

Ready, Steady Recorder! is available for pre-order from the Kevin Mayhew website at: www.kevinmayhew.com/ready-steady-recorder.html

For teachers- download a free sample pack here: www.kevinmayhew.com/ready-steady-recorder

How is ‘Fit for Purpose’ fit for purpose?

Fit for Purpose by Ed Hone

 Fit for purpose is a seven week Lent Course primarily but not exclusively for groups. The absence of frills and props means there’s a smooth transition between using it in either capacity and there are chapters at the start of the book on using it whichever way too.

The tone is searching and impassioned- from the ‘restless creativity of God’ to what unbalanced ‘spiritual diets’ would look like, and there’s a real pick and mix of lively writing with the author dipping in to everything from the first moon landing to budget air travel in order to get the reader thinking. The ‘Spiritual fitness quiz’ will let you know if you need a ‘spiritual ambulance’ or are ‘the picture of rosy spiritual health’; light hearted and fun but there’s perhaps a limited option of answers for some questions!

The suggested hymns are optional if working through this book alone, as I did, and it didn’t seem odd or distracting to be reading ‘leader’ parts without there being one. I did find the weekly ‘Catching up’ part repetitive but it is aimed more at groups and would be apt for breaking the ice and also for forming real connections with others.

Lastly, it’s fairly short at 107 pages but for £8.99 you definitely won’t be feeling short changed!

Reviewed by Sarah

Available from all good Christian Bookshops or direct from KM online and by phone (www.kevinmayhew.com/fit-for-purpose.html) +44 (0)845 3881634

Ed Hone is a member of the Redemptorist missionary order. He specialises in mission development, preaching and creative liturgy, working chiefly in Britain and Ireland. Ed is currently parish priest of the English-speaking Catholic parish in Luxembourg.