CEDAR LAKE | The 4th grade students at Jane Ball Elementary School presented a Recorder Karate Concert on Tuesday, March 19 in the Jane Ball gym. Over 200 parents were treated to a number of popular songs. Mrs. April Severs is the music teacher at Jane Ball. She spent numerous hours preparing the students on this introductory band instrument. Students were taught fingering skills, embouchure (mouth muscle) development, breath support, articulation skills, development of the inner ear, discipline in practicing, and the responsibility of having an instrument and taking care of it.
The recorder is a woodwind instrument. Recorders were used as early as the 12th century though they became more popular in Baroque music. Composers such as Handel and Bach used them in a lot of their compositions. Recorders were replaced by flutes in the 18th century simply because they had a bigger dynamic (volume) range and could be heard better in the orchestras of the day. Recorders came to America with some of the first settlers. There are as many as 26 recorders listed in the inventories of various plantations in the 1600s. There are many different types of recorders. The students played the soprano recorder, which is the second smallest recorder, for the concert. There are more than 3.5 million plastic recorders manufactured per year.
Students earned belts, much like they do in karate, for learning the various levels of the recorder. These are the songs required at each level:
- White Belt – Hot Cross Buns
- Yellow Belt – Gently Sleep
- Orange Belt – Merrily We Roll Along
- Green Belt - It’s Raining
- Purple Belt – Old MacDonald Had a Farm
- Blue Belt – When the Saints Go Marching In
- Red Belt – Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star
- Brown Belt – Amazing Grace
- Black Belt – Ode to Joy
Students who earned all ten belts were presented with a special certificate. Everyone enjoyed the concert!