24/60 Using “this” to teach “that”

I’m currently teaching a whole class year 3 classical guitar group.

Kids playing guitar. Licensed through creative commons.


That’s 30 children, sitting on chairs in three rows in the school hall, each encumbered by what looks like a guitar the size of a baby whale balanced on their lap (why haven’t we been allocated half-size guitars?).

Image result for child with huge cuddly toy

The question is, what funky music can I offer them while they are in the early stages of going “ping, ping, ping” on the high “E” string, or on the next “B” string?

Cue my “Red Hot” treble recorder tutor book with lively backing tracks! Once I had taught a rhythm by rote, we “pinged” away merrily, and with increasing skill and unity, to the first track on the CD. I was overjoyed to see some enthusiasm, and hear cries of “again, again”.

Next, the perennially favourite, brilliant “Glory B”, first track from my “Red Hot” descant tutor book. Superb for teaching “walking fingers” – the instrumental part is just “B B B B sh sh sh sh” repeated eight times. I’ve used this track for recorders (obviously), keyboards, and now guitars. “again, again” – music to my ears. The whole bar rest is just enough time to call “girls” or “boys” or “front row” to add variety and challenge.   Capuchin plays the recorder

More and more, I am using the tutor for one instrument to teach another – have you tried using the “Recorder Magic” interactive DVD (my “go-to” all-time favourite whole-class recorder teaching resource) to teach keyboards, pitch notation on boom-whackers, or ocarinas? Oh, you should!


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