The adventures of a fourth grade teacher in East Central Illinois.

Let the Wild Rumpus Begin!

It is standard practice among fourth grade classes in Illinois, and probably all of the United States, for students to be introduced to playing musical instruments by learning to play the recorder. I remember learning to play the recorder when I was in fourth grade, but I sadly remember very little, beyond having a concert at the end of the year. Somewhere in my parents’ house is a picture of me and my friend Adam, dressed in slacks, white shirts, and ties, proudly holding our trusty brown recorders before the concert. I have no idea if anyone thought to capture the concert on film, though.

Fast forward 19 years, when I am now teaching fourth grade. My students are now beginning to learn how to play the recorder. They are really excited to be playing these instruments. I stopped by the music room yesterday to see if I could capture an audio recording of their playing, but they were putting the instruments away and lining up when I arrived. So I came in the middle of music this afternoon and did it then. So even though the recording isn’t actually from Day One or learning the recorder, I think it is close enough.

I was going to share the file on here, but, apparently, I have to have a paid account to upload mp3 files from a computer. This makes me very sad, but I just don’t see a point in paying an annual fee for a blog that is primarily an outlet for me to reflect upon the positive things that happen in my classroom each day and then share those thoughts with the 30 or so people who seem to regularly read.

However, I can tell you that the audio recording is exactly what I imagine a wild rumpus would sound like. The recording device was not particularly great, so the sound is a bit mechanical, but it is clear that the performers are all beginners who are willing to play with gusto! It is quite fun walking down the hall as my students are doing their best to master this instrument. Other teachers and staff members in the building hear it and see me and just smile. For them, it is an annual event that they are used to; for me, this is my first class on their first day of their first instruments. The sounds coming from those instruments may not be the sweet melodies of a professional musician, but, you know what? It is still music, and it music being created by my kids! I wish I could share the recording with everyone; maybe I’ll figure out a way around it. For now, though, I’ll just have to be satisfied with having it stored on my computer and on my phone. Anyone who wants to hear it is welcome to stop by the classroom or catch me wherever I may be!

Have a great weekend!

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