Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Flute versus Recorder

Okay, here it is the flute versus recorder dilemma! I have been very torn on whether to have the kids learn to play pentatonic flute, diatonic flute, or soprano recorder. There are different schools of thought on each one and I wanted to find the one that would meet our children's needs best. Our Oak Meadow curriculum calls for soprano recorder and has wonderful instructions laid out for me. The cons are they call for a plastic Yamaha recorder,while a real instrument, it is made out of plastic. Plastic can be toxic and the sound is chilling and screechy. Not exactly, what we are looking for in musical instruments! While, I could choose to go with a wooden recorder that has more life to it than plastic, I have not. The finger spacing on a wooden, or plastic recorder for that matter, is spaced to meet the needs of an older child and would be a struggle for my little ones to fully spread their fingers to cover the holes to get the note to sound in its proper tone. I, am then, left with pentatonic or diatonic flute. The diatonic has the same notes as the recorder and would be a great substitute. However, I have chosen to go with the pentatonic flute. The pentatonic flute is traditionally started in Waldorf classrooms in the 1st grade and then towards the end of third grade the child moves on to the diatonic flute. The pentatonic flute has 6 finger holes and notes to coincide with each that make it easier for a small child's fingers to easily cover. The pentatonic has a harmonious, light hovering sound that make each different note sound beautiful when played. I ordered each child and myself one today and feel happy that my task in deciding which one to use is over! Although, Elysa and Nick may be on the younger side to learn them and should probably use the interval flutes first. I bought them each one as they will want to mirror Alec and I playing them.

No comments: