Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Adaptive Recorders with 3D printers!

Adaptive Recorders!  Have you, like me, ever had a student had great difficulty with playing recorder due to physical limitations such as missing digits or small hands?  I wish this product had been available for them but luckily, it will be for us now!

I met Valerie at the  AOSA (American Orff Schulwerk Association) National Conference in New Jersey a few months ago.   Several years ago a friend of hers added keys to adapt a soprano recorder for her to play. 
 She was so inspired by how this helped her to play the full range of the instrument that she and design engineers at Makers4Good began to tinker with innovative key designs. 
 Now here’s the fun part- they will be cost-effective and help students with missing or partial fingers,
inadequate finger strength, or small hands.  They are testing prototypes with 3D printers and hope to make their project files available to the public. 
How cool!!! I love technology, and I love that there is a company ready to adapt and customize parts for ALL students to be able to play recorders!  Thank you, Makers4Good!  Their site is and can also be seen on

Friday, February 10, 2017

Will You Be My Valentine?

These are a couple of favorite "Valentine" activities to use in the music classroom. 

1.  Tweet Hearts

This is a lesson from Thom Borden. 
Click here for the lesson.  He uses laminated hearts but I found these lovely foam hearts at Dollar Tree a couple years ago. Here is the book information, from

2.  A Tisket a Tasket

My third graders have a big jazz unit that coordinates with their study on Southern States; our high school jazz band comes to talk about the evolution of jazz and we enjoy several activities in the music classroom singing African-American songs like "Head and Shoulders, Baby 1, 2, 3" and learning to scat!  They love it, and we learn about Ella, Duke, and Satchmo.  I love playing the song, "A Tisket a Tasket" with Ella Fitzgerald singing and showing the book of the same title.
Available here from Amazon. 
Once we read/sing the book, we play the game:
Slight lyric change:  A tisket, a tasket, a green and yellow basket. I wrote a letter to my FRIEND...
Players sit in a circle on floor. Inside circle place a number of instruments; Orff instruments set up in pentatonic, or unpitched percussion, etc. One player walks around outside of circle holding letters (envelopes with a four beat rhythm inside although you could have a solfege pattern written on each one or any concept you are currently working on that students need to demonstrate). At end of song the player drops one letter behind another player in the circle and is chased by the player who has the letter back to their place in circle.  Player opens letter and plays the rhythm pattern on one ofthe instruments inside circle. Play continues, letters all in instrument players hands as they walk around the circle to drop a letter to a new friend..

3.  Other posts:

Click here to see previous posts on Valentines ideas: