Students can learn flute or recorder at The Music Playground from a young age. Deciding which instrument on which to start depends on the individual, however we generally suggest that young children start on recorder for a variety of reasons.
The recorder is a wonderful, versatile instrument with a simple, beautiful tone. It is an ideal instrument for a beginner. The sound is produced using the breath similar to speaking and singing, making it very responsive and expressive. There is a whole family of different sized recorders to play, so it is a fantastic solo and ensemble instrument to learn.
The recorder is a woodwind instrument particularly suited to very young children. As it is small, light, and held straight out in front, it exerts very little strain on the body. This makes practising more enjoyable and less tiring. It is a great starting point for those wishing to learn the flute but need to be just a bit bigger and older.
Being historically closely related, the transition from recorder to flute is an easy one. They have many note fingerings in common and much of the classical repertoire can be played on either instrument. Starting out on the recorder will develop many of the skills and techniques needed for playing the flute or any other instrument in the woodwind family. For recorder enthusiasts, continuing down the path of recorder playing can be a very rewarding and enjoyable one.
Recorder lessons cover all of the fundamental aspects of playing. Students learn to hold the recorder with the correct posture and hand positions and develop good breath control. Right from the start the focus is to aim for low notes that are stable and beautiful before progressing further. And of course they will learn about pitch, rhythm, dynamics, phrasing, the structure of music, and how to listen well.
Please clear your mind of any memories you may have of those school recorder lessons and loud squeaks. In Europe, the recorder is well established as an instrument of great beauty going back hundreds of years, and still widely used in compositions and performance today.
Have a listen to some of these amazing performances on YouTube: