Playing made easy for recorder

Brandman’s Playing Made Easy for Recorder series consists of two books – Method Book and Tune Book.
The Playing Made Easy for Recorder Method Book (also released in the USA as ‘How to Play the Recorder”) is based on the author’s belief that one can develop a speed-reading approach by focusing on the interval movement rather than the traditional note-naming system. (Those of us that play transposing instruments, such as clarinet, would agree with this, as it is a recognised approach to transposition.)

The book starts with care of the recorder, breathing and breath marks (a good idea so early on), and tonguing (using the head joint) before tackling notation and theory. It introduces theoretical concepts with a practical approach, using aural, visual and tactile methods to teach notation. Both American and British naming is used (e.g. quarter-note and crotchet) – I find American terminology very helpful in explaining time signatures and relative note values. Questions are interspersed to reinforce learning. I feel it is a brilliantly thorough and inspired book, very visual and practical, with an excellent index.

Margaret McMurtry – Australian Society for Music Education
• Margaret Brandman’s teaching concepts – connecting the aural, visual and tactile aspects of music
• Catherine Weaver’s practical instrumental teaching expertise and melodic phrasing concepts.
• Accelerated learning techniques including color, for thorough understanding of rhythm, pitch, keys and chords.
• A variety of songs, duets and rounds
• An easy and fun approach so that students quickly become proficient in playing the recorder, while at the same time building solid musical understanding.

The older child or adult will find this tutor very good, especially someone with little or no music theory background. It takes the player to a competent level – approximately Grade 2-3.
Playing Made Easy for Recorder Tune Book: The “Tune Book” is very varied, and has solos, duets and trios in a variety of styles (from Bach to Lionel Bart). It also extends the theoretical concepts in the “Method Book”, covering syncopation, semiquavers, and the higher register. It includes popular (Australian!) tunes for ensemble use. A very useful book for solo or group tuition.”

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