Sounds of the Recorder

  • Downhome Magazine
  • Posted: Nov 30, -0001 12:00 AM
Friday, September 23, 2011

Grade three has with it many great joys. Like his brother before him, yesterday, Drew received his Grade 3 musical recorder. His face is beaming as he delicately removes his chocolate-coloured musical instrument from its cloth bag.

He delightfully explains that as he progresses through each song in his book he will receive a coloured ribbon to tie to his recorder; symbolizing each level of accomplishment he has made. "Mom, I can't wait to get home and practice!"

Back in the day, it was at this time I too, received my first recorder. Then in Grade 5, I began my adventure as a flautist. Music was and continues to be a big part of my life. More and more I see trickles of what musical talents I have, begin to shine through in the kids.

The recorder is a member of a category of wind instruments known as internal duct flutes. Like the flute, the recorder has a mouthpiece that acts as a plug creating a shaped windway. However, what makes the recorder special, is the seven finger holes and single thumb hole, which is known as the octave vent. Traditionally made of wood, today we are most familiar with ever-popular plastic recorders.

Known as a simple, and elegant instrument, I believe as a parent I am safe in saying, that while the recorder can produce sounds of beauty and tranquility by a well-versed musician; it can also be the source of blood-curdling sounds crippling all within ear shot when at the hands of a child (of any age).

Back home Drew has pieced together his instrument and begins the process of practicing his recorder. Like all great musicians, we all must start somewhere. (Actually, I think handing a bunch of eight-year-olds a recorder might be a cruel trick by musical educators around the globe.) The shrill beginnings of "Mary had a Little Lamb" began to resonate throughout the house.

As if beckoned by a higher power, his siblings not only ask what he is doing. No. They join the parade! Noah has dug out his own recorder decorated with colourful ribbons and Grace has managed to resurrect my old recorder.

I would like to tell you that here they paraded around the house, tooting sweet melodies in sweet harmony...however, I cannot. The blaring sounds of air forced through this pastic weapon were painful and relentless. "That's great guys! Maybe we can take it downstairs?" I pleasantly beg.

"At least their practicing right? We all have to start somewhere." But does that somewhere have to be in the same room as me at this given moment? Then, as if a gift from the powers that be, I glance to the calendar where I am reminded of my manicure appointment at 7:15 p.m. Only 40 minutes from now! The door opens as my husband returns home, "Wow, what's going on here?" he asks.

"It's a musical symphony of recorders Dear! It'll make your ears bleed with delight!" Minutes later as I'm walking to my car I can still hear the honks of their recorders resonating outside the walls of the house. With a sigh and a small chuckle, I drive away with a little smirk on my face...Daddy will survive.

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About Me...Mommy Jingles
I have a wonderful husband, three adorable children, drive a mini-van (what else are we all fitting into), love a good chick-flick and live on an awesome street. I am not a morning person nor will I ever be. I love being a night owl, yet strongly regret it in the morning when the pitter-patter of little feet stampede through the hall. Repeatedly! The fact my kids make it to school on time still amazes me. Hence, an outlet, refuge and sanctuary had to be found...Mommy Jingles is born. Thoughts, rantings, trials and successes from a mother, wife, friend, and an occasionally "I'm gonna loose it" woman!