I’m teaching a year 3 /4 class the ocarina this coming term. What could go wrong? Here’s the excellent tutor book that came with the ocarinas;
which I have used with great success all last year. Ah, now you may be getting to my problem: these children have already done the early part of the book. I doubt the year 3s will remember much from last year – but the year 4s will probably not want to revisit Frere Jacques so soon after last time.
Then I had a brainwave – B A and G are the first notes on a recorder, and are actually very easy to learn on the ocarina; B is just the LH first finger, A is both first fingers, G is left-hand first and second finger. How about using a recorder method?
My all-time favourite recorder method is still “Recorder Magic”. I bought the interactive CD-ROM many years ago, and I really enjoy teaching from it. The children also enjoy learning from it, which is a bonus. I used it for teaching with boomwhackers, and djembe rhythms as well – how’s that for versatility?
I will be able to un-select the recorder from the display which is a big plus. The pieces come with all sorts of ideas for duets and ostinato accompaniments, and “switcheroo” type things to click on. They children will also be learning pitch notation, rather than ocarina notation from the start.
Oh, by the way, it is worth double checking the orientation of any ocarina charts you acquire. Mostly, the first finger holes are at the bottom of the circle or square, but sometimes they are at the top… And sometimes they assume the bottom note is C, and sometimes they assume it is D.