Q&A with Jen Purbrook

We’ve been lucky enough to get to know you over the last eight months, can you tell our readers of the blog a bit about yourself?Jen 1

Hi I’m Jen, I’m 18 years old and I do an apprenticeship at Kevin Mayhew. I’ve been through high school and then I did one year of 6th form and then left and came here. I have an older brother who is really annoying. I also have 2 cats who are very fat and demanding.

 

You’ve been working at Kevin Mayhew since September tell us a bit about your role here?

I help out everywhere really. I answer the phones, place orders on our system, print and make CDs, manage the returns.

 

What has been your favourite moment at Kevin Mayhew?

My fav moment was when I got to go to the Music and Drama Education Expo in London in February. It was such an amazing opportunity for me and it was exciting to travel to London for 2 days. I learnt a lot about the selling side of things there and it has helped improve my confidence on the phones and in the shop when selling products and it also helped me with my customer service skills and talking to people.

 

Do you think apprenticeships are helpful to young people who are looking to get into work and why?

I think apprenticeships are great, to be honest. It has really helped me to understand the working environment and it has been a great booster to see what work is really like. I wouldn’t have expected it to be how it is and I think that doing an apprenticeship really helps you to get into the workplace. It would have been a huge shock to me if I finished 2 years of 6th form, then to uni and then into a full-time job. Getting in the experience of a 9-5 job at this age has been amazing.

 

You’ve dazzled us with your huge knowledge of music, tell us a bit about that and what you love about music?

I have been playing music ever since I can remember to be honest. I started with the piano and then went to cornet. I can now play those 2 and trumpet, french horn, drums, ukulele and any percussion instrument. I remember my first piano teacher used to give me a chocolate bar at the end of every lesson! I now play in 2 bands the Ipswich Hospital Band and I play in the Suffolk County Music Service in the orchestra and wind band there. I have been on tour to Spain with the Suffolk County Wind Band and that was an incredible experience, one that I will never forget. What I love about music is that there are only 12 notes but you can create anything with them. When artists bring out music, or when a composer writes a masterpiece, they are all using the same notes but yet they all sound so different. I love that ‘Auld Lang Syne’ has the same chord progression as songs by The Rolling Stones, Jessie J and The Script. But I think the thing I love the most about music is that it brings everyone together.Jen 2

 

What do you do when you’re not in the office? Are there any hobbies or sports that you do?

When I’m not in the office I spend my time playing music, playing football, with St John Ambulance or just generally relaxing.

 

Do you have any talents or special skills?

Annoying people
Music
Football

 

We all love to get away, where’s your favourite place to go on holiday?

When I was younger, as a family we used to go skiing every year and I think that has to be my favourite holiday, going skiing for a week.

 

We love a good musical at Kevin Mayhew, what’s your favourite?

My favourite musical? Either Grease, Hairspray, West Side Story or Miss Saigon.

 

Do you have a favourite quote?

Life is like a camera…
Focus on what’s important,
Capture the good times,
Develop from the negatives,
And if things don’t work out,
Take another shot!

 

What piece of advice would you give to other young people who are looking at doing an apprenticeship?

Jen 3If you don’t want to do 6th form or college, just go for it. It has been an amazing opportunity for me and I think they don’t get the right amount of respect. It has helped me grow so much as a person and you should definitely do it and get the experience.

 

 

 

A question of Blame

Currently, I am quite busy writing a book on fear and anxiety, called ‘Be not afraid’. In my head, it’s a sort of follow-up to my book on happiness, called Happy Talk. Whether the new book actually ever gets published will be up to others. I can but hope.

The intention is to look at general fears that are around in society at the moment, things like fear of violence, economic collapse, ecological disaster and those fears that particularly hit us as individuals like fear of a lack of worth, isolation and embarrassment, fear of growing old, illness and death. There’s also a chapter on fear in the Bible and the most frequent phrase ‘Be not afraid’.

One of the things that I’ve picked up on is the anxiety created by our society’s ‘blame culture’. I feel to me as though this has become toxically pervasive. Its roots appear to lie in the increasing individualism that we are experiencing that focuses so much attention on ‘me’ and ‘my’: my wants, my happiness, my rights, and the growing willingness to go to the law to claim compensation for someone’s mistakes.

Blame is a protection ploy – protecting me from getting the blame by pointing to someone else, usually, it’s actually the wrong person. Blaming someone else seeks to get us off the hook. The bad workman blames his tools, the employees blame the managers, the salesman blames the customer. It’s a contagious virus. In a company, someone starts blaming someone else for mistakes made and gradually others join in over totally unrelated matters until a whole culture of blame is established. It undermines trust, diminishes efficiency, breaks down a sense of teamwork, and stifles innovative creativity. If mistakes always end up with some form of retribution people fear making mistakes, don’t own up to them, blame others. But everyone makes mistakes, and everyone can learn from them. A learning and forgiving culture undermines a blame culture.

How easy it is even for congregations to harbour a blame culture. Church numbers are in decline – it must be the vicar’s fault, or the bishop’s, or the general assembly. Three children have stopped coming to Sunday school – it must be the new Sunday school teacher’s fault. The hall was left in a mess last week – let’s blame the youth club.

We need to distinguish between being blamed and being accountable. Taking responsibility for my actions, including my mistakes, is a willingness to be accountable. That’s very different from blame. I don’t find Jesus blaming people.  What the Gospel speaks about is learning and forgiveness and transformation. These are what should be found in a community of trust and love – a church.

I’ll have to make sure that if the book does not get published I don’t blame anyone else but me.

 

*Written by John Cox – April 2018*

THE LORD’S PRAYER

I find that increasingly I’m forgiven for being grumpy.  At my age it is almost as though people expect it of me. So I don’t disappoint them. One of my little ‘grumps’ is that people don’t trouble to remember things any more. They just get out their smart phone and look it up – addresses, phone numbers, where they live!  Like many youngsters of the time I was brought up to remember poems, passages from Shakespeare plays, history dates, prayers and verses from the Bible. It didn’t do me any harm.  It provided a little store of things treasured away in my memory to call on when needed. I remember Terry Waite said how much he valued having a store of remembered bible verses and prayers when it came to those terrible days of solitary imprisonment in Lebanon.

One prayer that people do still make an effort to remember is t1501546-cover_1he Lord’s Prayer. In many church schools children are still encouraged to learn it by heart. But that doesn’t always work as it should.

My grandfather who was headmaster of a small primary school in Kent used to tell the story of the time a visitor came to the school and stood at the back of the hall during assembly.  Afterwards, over a cup of tea he told my grandfather that when it had come to the Lord’s Prayer the children were saying; ‘Our Father, chart in heaven, hollering down the lane’. It was the best sense they could make of the words.

It still makes me smile and wonder what children have made of some of the things I have said in schools and churches. We all do our best to make sense of what we hear but don’t necessarily properly understand.

Could that happen with the Lord’s Prayer and adults?  You bet it could, you bet it does.  Knowing the Lords’ Prayer, even off by heart, isn’t the same as understanding it’s meaning.  We live in an age when its imagined that knowing something, a fact, is the same as understanding its meaning.  It isn’t.

Here is the most important prayer we could ever learn – a prayer taught us by Jesus himself. It doesn’t ramble on, it doesn’t use particularly difficult words. It is rich in meaning and spiritually important – it comforts and it challenges. But the very familiarity of the words means we so seldom stop to ask what they really mean – what they meant to Jesus, what they meant for his disciples, what they mean for us. Next time you use that prayer as part of your private prayer time don’t rattle it off.  Say it slowly. Think about each phrase, what it means for you, for this day. And if you want a bit of help why not take a look at a book just published by Kevin Mayhew: ‘The challenge of the Lords’ Prayer.’  It could make more sense than ‘hollering down the lane’.

A Prayer for Westminster.

Extremism

 

Lord God,

we pray today for our world,

haunted by the spectre of extremism.

 

We pray for our Intelligence services –

those in the front line of monitoring suspicious activity,

infiltrating terror cells,

tracking suspects,

thwarting plots,

often at great risk to themselves.

Wherever extremism rears its head,

may moderation and justice prevail.

 

We think of police,

ambulance crews,

fire services

and hospital staff –

those trained to deal with a terrorist incident,

potentially having to cope with mass casualties

in the event of an attack.

Wherever extremism rears its head,

may moderation and justice prevail.

 

We think of the victims of terrorism –

those who have been killed in atrocities;

those who have been maimed,

often suffering life-changing injuries;

those who have lost loved ones,

their lives never the same again;

those who have been traumatised by the sights and sounds

they’ve witnessed,

unable to get them out of their minds.

Wherever extremism rears its head,

may moderation and justice prevail.

 

We think of extremists themselves –

those who have lost sight of their common humanity;

who have allowed political and religious ideology

to poison their minds,

shutting out the true principles of their faith;

those who have turned what, at times,

are legitimate grievances

into wholly illegitimate and indiscriminate murder.

Help them to see that religion without love is no faith at all,

and that any movement based on hate can ultimately only

end up hateful

and hated.

Wherever extremism rears its head,

may moderation and justice prevail.

Amen.

Nick Fawcett 2017

©Kevin Mayhew

‘We can’t sing up there’

‘We can’t sing up there’ is a comment made after far too many church services. And it’s true: research shows that for various reasons the human singing voice has dropped over the last century.

I play for a service at a care home for the elderly where they really know their hymns (often by heart) and they complain that they can no longer sing along to Songs of Praise because the hymns are too high.

And after Christmas I met a large number of people who had been forced to drop out of the carols for the same reason.

Carols especially – think of Christians, awake! Hark, the herald-angels sing, Once in royal David’s city and even Silent night – have not just got very high notes but the tunes also hang around up there, which is even worse.

The problem is easily solved: tunes don’t have to be pitched so high and, as a working church musician, I play them in much lower keys and the congregation sings with enthusiasm and comfort.

Some organists can do this themselves as part of their training and the thing to do is to negotiate a comfortable pitch with your own organist.

Others need the music rewritten for them so that they can play lower and this is an area we have been looking at recently, to provide the material they need.

Our book Hymn Tunes in Lower Keys has the tunes for 314 hymns, while Hymns That Aren’t Too High has 400, including a good number of worship songs. These books are suitable for all denominations.

Letters from our customers confirm not only the usefulness of these books but also how much they have improved the singing. One organist wrote: ‘I play for a crematorium and this book is a godsend. Even the men at funerals now join in.’ Another wrote to say that he wished he had had the book from the beginning of his career as a church musician.

So congregations everywhere, keep complaining until your organist brings your hymns down to your level!

Kevin Mayhew

Kevin Mayhew

Taken at Nicholas King’s The Bible Launch

Q&A with Nicholas King

Nick King

If you didn’t catch Nicholas King’s talk on Bible translation at CRE, Sandown earlier this month, then you will have missed one of the highlights of the whole event; delivered with humour, humility and zest,  I was inspired to put on my theology hat for a bumper blog post! Below the respected New Testament scholar and Oxford University lecturer talks New Testament ‘freshness’, Hebrew, learning Zulu passed 40, ‘elderly gym antics’ and the ‘impossibly difficult task’ that is Bible translation!

At a recent talk given at CRE, Sandown you said you began by translating two Gospels simply ‘just to see what it was like’. You’ve also been quoted as saying that Bible translation happens because ‘the community has forgotten the language of the sacred texts’- do you think subconsciously you were feeling this when you chose to translate?

I don’t think that was what was going on inside me; I sat down to translate Mark and John because I had to give a summer school about the two of them, and there is no better way of getting a ‘feel’ for a document than to translate it. And it was certainly a great education.

Nicholas King
Nick signs copies of his latest book ‘The Prophets’

What age did you begin learning Hebrew, how long did it take you to master and also what advice would you give to someone wanting to learn the language?

I started learning Hebrew in my mid-20s; and my advice is that the brain works better the younger you are. I learnt Zulu when I was past 40, and that was really hard work. The only advice is that learning a language is very hard work, and you must never give up. Do a bit every single day; do new stuff in the morning, and familiar material last thing at night before you go to sleep.

Nick King - Book Signing

Presumably you’ve read the bible simply as a reader and believer in God as much as you’ve read it as a scholar…how much do you think personal beliefs inadvertently ‘cloud’ a translation…would having no belief in God take some of the feeling out of the text?

Many non-believers have worked on the biblical texts (though I sometimes wonder why); so it is certainly possible to work on them without believing in them. As for being clouded by ‘personal beliefs’,any translator is the person they are and not some other person, and what you do as a translator is greatly affected by the person you are.

Before you began each of your translations did you have an idea of what you didn’t want to produce…what you didn’t want it to sound like and also how you’d strike a balance between literal renderings and paraphrase; about pitch of discourse, style and format?

Before I started the translation, I thought translation was easy; I thought, for example, that every word in the source language would always be translated by the same word in the target-language, and that I could control the effect of what I was doing. I found in fact that the translation dictated itself, and that it was out of my hands. The one quality that I wanted the NT to have was that of ‘freshness’ which is there in the 27 documents that make up the original; and I am pleased to notice that several reviewers have used that word. Now I know that translation is an impossibly difficult task.

The Old Testament - Nicholas King

Did you find yourself seeing, in your minds eye, the various people in the Bible– was there enough there in the text to get that kind of clarity?

One always forms an impression of the people who are part of the narrative; how accurate the impression is, must be, of course, another matter.

You spoke of avoiding ‘puréed sludge’; translating the various voices in a way that they all retained their uniqueness rather than sounding like one and the same. Are you able to summarise in one or two words the personalities/character traits of say, Matthew, Mark and Paul?

Matthew: a school-teacher, with all that implies
Mark: young and vigorous
Paul: a great lover

The New Testament - MathewThe New Testament - Mark

Have there been many sleepless nights during the course of translating the Bible and has there been anything that was particularly difficult to translate?

The hardest bit was Romans; at times I found that the closer I looked the less I understood what Paul was saying.

Not that man - Nicholas King

Are there any parts that seemed ‘easier’ than others to translate and why do you think this was?

Perhaps Joshua to 2 Kings, the ‘Deuteronomic History’, because it is mainly narrative. Ruth, because it is a breath of fresh air after the appalling narratives with which the book of Judges ends.

Who or what kept you sane throughout…I read that you’re a big cricket fan so perhaps watching/playing?

Playing cricket and squash, as well as some running and downhill skiing, until osteo-arthritis brought retirement upon me. Now I content myself with elderly antics in the gym.

Did you check your translations with other readers?

For some reason I felt very private about the translations, preferring to wait and see how readers reacted. However I had an excellent copy- editor in Peter Dainty, who was incredibly vigilant, and a former student, Yolande Trainor, who read every word of the text with her Ladies’ Bible Study group in South Africa, and preserved me from many blunders.

With regards to the things left unspoken in the Bible, for instance in Mark 16:8…why do you think that some translators have felt the need to fill in the gaps- do you think it’s because they didn’t trust the reader to get the nuances in the text or simply because they wanted to put their own stamp on it?

It is probably a bit of both; biblical narrative operates by understatement, such, for example as the terrible story of the binding of Isaac in Genesis 22, which is simply crying out to fill in the gaps. And quite often later authors have been unable to resist the temptation to fill them in.

Strangest Gospel - Nicholas King

You have said “The Greek text of the New Testament is only a scholars’ guess, and what we have in our modern editions is not a manuscript that ever existed; all the manuscripts that we possess have mistakes in them, so we do not even know what the original text was”…does this conflict in any away with your belief that god’s voice is just below the surfacedo you believe that this voice will get harder to hear/find?

This is where the Church comes in; we get the Bible from the Christian community, and not the other way round. However (and this is really important) it is also true that the Church is subservient to the text, as well as being its source, and we all have to listen to that voice of God which is there “below the surface of the text”, whatever the quality of the translation, and whatever the state of the manuscripts.

Book

You mentioned the biblical narrative has ‘a certain fullness’ would you say that in distilling/ editing this ‘fullness’ in your own translations you’ve done away with poetics? Was there a chance that the translation would not only have been ineligible but twice the size if you’d left the ‘fullness’?

“A certain fullness”. I can’t quite remember saying this, nor what precisely what I might have meant by it! However I have tried to be faithful to the text, and where it was poetic I have tried to be poetic, and so I don’t think that I distilled it in a way that would have made my final text notably shorter than the original.

At CRE, you spoke of your affinity with Ronnie Knox (a theologian who amongst other things translated the Latin Vulgate Bible into English, using Hebrew and Greek sources)– remarking that you said a prayer at this grave in ‘allegiance’. Are there other people you admire/feel an allegiance to?

The list is too long, but those who taught me above all. In different places, Peter Hardwick (and he would be surprised by that), and Geza Vermes, both of whom have died this year; Robert Murray SJ, Professor Christopher Rowland – and many many others.

Father Ronald Knox
Father Ronald Knox d. 1957

Has translating the Bible changed your understanding of it in any significant way? And would you say it’s strengthened your faith?

One thing that it has taught me is how much I love the bible. And, yes, I think that my faith has gone deeper.

And finally, what advice would you give to someone wanting to translate the bible?

Think twice about it.

 

With special thanks to Nick for this interview!

Posted by Sarah

The books featured in this post are available from all good Christian bookshops or direct from Kevin Mayhew online: www.kevinmayhew.com/info/contributors/nicholas-king.html or by telephone: +44 (0)845 3881634

Music Education Expo 2013: Day One: The rumble over Music Hubs

Having pored over the Arts Council website today to top up my Hub knowledge, I was reminded of one teacher’s remark during the Q&A with MP Ed Vaizey on Wednesday about the provision of ‘meaningless one year’s tuition’. The overall success of a hub including the provision of pathways for continued support after a limited period of tuition seems to depend on the  bid winners’ (mostly music services) ability to develop a strong ‘hub vision’ and make innovative partnerships with organisations in their local authority. This undoubtedly doesn’t happen over night  but  there was much talk to suggest that it simply doesn’t  happen much at all, with schools and other organisations far from included, ‘pushed out by the music services’ were the exact words from one disgruntled music teacher. Other issues raised included the desire to see details of failed bids, and a concern that the consultation period for deciding on the winning bids was too short.

Arriving late but with an inspired vision for music hubs, Mr Vaizey did appear, at times, reluctant to claim responsibility for the practical details beyond such a vision. Ultimately satisfied that his desired goals had been implemented (and at speed) all other problems are simply down to the fact it’s early days  and hubs are still evolving– he could well have a point but what’s your opinion? Please feel free to comment and share your experiences (good, bad or inbetween) of music hubs.

MP Ed Vaizey

Post by Sarah

Why another recorder tutor?

Music Expo 2013 - Ready, Steady Recorder!

Music Education Expo 2013: KM’s Abbie Goldberg and Kevin Duncan with Martha Shrimpton

This week Sarah Watts talks a bit about her latest recorder tutor, Ready Steady Recorder, while we take a look at some of its offerings!

Red Hot Recorder has been immensely popular and much used- I hope it still will be, but eight years after its publication, I wanted to offer an alternative. Ready Steady Recorder is aimed at younger starters (ideally Year 2, but could be used for earlier years). It is colourful, has a larger font and moves a little slower– especially after G when many tutors speed up. The pieces (and the rhythm learning) are always reinforced by lyrics, and there is plenty of fun along the way with movement and humour. The book has the same ‘Feel good’ jazzy accompaniment, and the short pieces are repeated so they can be performed in a concert with singing, or just as recorder repertoire. There is a Grand Recorder March at the start of the book to inspire the student, and encourage them to move to the beat. An extravagant fanfare celebrates each new note learned, and everyone can ‘Take a bow’!

If that isn’t a good enough reason to purchase Ready Steady Recorder then here are 8 more!

It’s multi-purpose: from a song that will help children conquer any fear they might have of spiders, to a song that encourages exercise.

It comes with a good dose of magic: ‘Thoughts and dreams’, ‘Buttercups and butterflies’ and ‘Boating Lake Waltz’ are not only really magical, but have a really sophisticated sound that will make young players feel really grown up!

Includes lots of humour: It’s amazing how the note ‘A’ on a recorder fits the word ‘pong’ perfectly in the song ‘Smelly Cheese’.

I can’t imagine any young audience that wouldn’t want to dance to these songs as well…

…Equally I couldn’t imagine any adult/parent not wanting to give these tunes a go themselves. Especially those who played the recorder as a child. Trust me.

Even songs that use only one note manage to sound exciting!

It includes ‘Big band’ accompaniments: cue piano, xylophone, drums and cymbals adding extra ceremony and excitement to performance tracks to give star quality to young players !

My favourite ‘why not…?’ tip would have to be the one that suggests playing the recorder to your pet. I’m pleased to report that test subject ‘Buster’ (who’s been known to run from the hoover) was nonplussed (and I’m not nearly as capable a recorderist as those that will be using this super-duper book!)

Verdict

With her impressively catchy songs and equally catchy titles- Sarah’s got recorder tutors down to a fine art. Ever upping the fun-factor, Sarah has created songs that children will be eager to learn and will want to play again and again. Here are pieces that somehow manage to stay simple whilst sounding advanced throughout. This book is also parent and teacher friendly- containing nothing that won’t be a joy to teach or to listen to!

Book Cover

Ready Steady Recorder is available from all good music shops. A full range of tutors by Sarah Watts is available from all good Music Shops or direct from Kevin Mayhew by phone (+44 (0)845 3881634) or website www.kevinmayhew.com/ready-steady-recorder.html

Your KM Blogger is Sarah Sibley with fabulous support from Abbie Goldberg!

What are you giving up (or taking up!) for Lent?

Pick up and use Youth Work Resource for Church and SchoolThe Greatest Love Story Ever Told and then some by Rosie RushtonFeasts and Festivals by Claire Benton-Evans
Derek the ClericHiding in God by Annie HeppenstallThe Psalms - Translated by Nick King
Fruitfull by Suzi StockThe New Testament - Translated by Nicholas KingOur Earth, Our Home by Ellen Teague

A wise priest once told me, ‘Give vent to your creative bent this Lent’ – so this year, I’m going to start learning the ukulele! It will be the first musical instrument I’ve tried to learn since I gave up piano lessons at 15…it could be a long forty days and forty nights!
Claire Benton-Evans

I’m giving up the early morning cup of coffee, with a view to praying a bit more. And possibly abandoning alcohol…
Nicholas King

I like the idea of taking something up instead. I’m going to start a ‘thankful’ box. Basically each day I will try to write down a short thing I’m thankful for on a slip of paper and put it in a box or jar…. then at the end of the year I will read them through. I’ve heard of people who have done this and they say how positive and encouraging it is so I’m hoping I can keep it up!!
Suzi Stock

I’m going to make an effort to actually finish all the books I have on the go…that’s a biography, three poetry books and two novels at the moment!
Sarah Sibley (Copy Editor and Social Media Publicist)

I’m going to curb my sweet tooth- no more Humbugs, Skittles or Cola bottles!
Steven Gibbon (Website Manager)

Having stocked up on pancakes for yet another year I and my flock at St.Cliff’s are journeying through this season of Lent by abstaining from that firm favourite: chocolate.That my elevenses are invariably accompanied by a digestive biscuit covered with this now-forbidden treat makes this an even greater sacrifice for this humble clergyman. Between you and me, I had considered proposing that our discordant and cacophonous organist, Mrs Higginbottom, perhaps lay off ‘tinkling the ivories’ for this forty day fast but discretion got the better of me. Onward and upward.
Derek the Cleric

I’m going to try to give up crisps. It sounds like a small thing (and I know it is in the grand scheme of things) but I eat a lot of crisps! It will certainly make me think abut God most lunchtimes when I have my lunch.
Philip Eley

I’m giving up drinking tea!
Abbie Goldberg (Marketing Manager)

I’m going to try and give up fizzy drinks.
Kevin Duncan (Managing Director)

I’m ‘taking up’ rather than ‘giving up’, I want to re-awaken my musicality, which was always a real love of mine and also an important part of my prayer life, but it got a bit lost in recent years. I want to be able to replace ‘I used to play …’ with ‘I play’.
Annie Heppenstall

This Lent I will be attempting to reduce my use of my car by at least 50%, shopping more frequently from shops nearby to reduce wastage, and reading the Psalms cover to cover!
Rosie Rushton

I’m giving up having three sugars in my tea and sticking to two from now on!
Amanda Harker (Sales Coordinator)

I’m giving up junk food!
James Hare (Sales Coordinator)

I’ll be attending Pax Christi’s Ash Wednesday Vigil at the Ministry of Defence today to repent Britain’s Nuclear Weapons expenditure and nuclear threat. Throughout Lent I’ll support campaigns to stop more expenditure on Trident. Lent is a time for repentance and making peace.
Ellen Teague

Posted by Sarah 

New titles coming soon from Nicholas King, Annie Heppenstall and Claire Benton-Evans…watch this space! A range of ‘Derek the Cleric’ greetings cards are available from our trade site at trade.kevinmayhew.com/greetings-cards/derek-the-cleric.html. Books by all mentioned authors and more can be found on our website at: www.kevinmayhew.com.

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