I love the recorder!
I’ve talked with hundreds of music educators over the years and not one has made this statement. Instead, teaching the recorder is something that is just done. It can help in teaching nomenclature and a bit about pitch, but it’s difficult to claim that recorder is actually a substantial building block for future musical endeavors. It fits the budget, especially if parents pay for it. It goes home with the student, where it usually sits in the toy box until it meets the landfill.
Maybe I’m being too hard on the poor recorder. There have been few alternatives for elementary school music since the recorder was introduced. The recorder has been a staple in music education classroom for over sixty years! Really? Is the recorder the best we can do to actively engage today's active students in instrumental music?
For many teachers around the world, the pBuzz has provided a better experience for both them and their students.
- pBuzz provides a learning experience for the basic music skills an elementary student needs to learn: how a tone is produced, how to adjust for and maintain pitch, and how to move air (breath support).
- pBuzz provides for six notes (on one partial) and it’s easy for the teacher to lead a group and monitor individual performance at the same time. Call and response is a great way to encourage listening skills.
- pBuzz can be taught through remote learning as well as in group classroom.
- pBuzz is intrinsically more exciting for active students.
The pBuzz experience can motivate a student to further musical pursuits, including brass, woodwind, string, voice and even percussion. Here’s how:
- First, students learn that they CAN play a real instrument – that translates to any instrument.
- Next, learning the concepts of how a tone is produced is much easier when it’s external, like with a mouthpiece, and can even promote better understanding of how the voice box works for singing.
- Gross motor skills like slide movement translate easily to bow movement and percussion movement. Learning to move air gives every wind and voice student a much larger palette of sound.
For real-life examples of incorporating pBuzz into your classroom, visit our Teaching with pInstruments page on our website.
pBuzz is Affordable
How do you provide recorders? Do you charge a student fee and send them home every year? Whether the school provides the recorder or parents purchase them, pBuzz is usually as cost-effective, or more. Why? Priced from $4 to $15, you can buy six very cheap recorders for the price of one pBuzz - perhaps three recorders that are of decent classroom quality. However, one pBuzz should last several years and serve several students in one year, while providing a better, more motivating experience for all.
pBuzz is Safe
Every pBuzz includes a special mouthpiece made with Biomaster technology, which resists bacteria and nanoviruses like COVID. Cleaning is always recommended but COVID virus has been shown to have only a 24 hour lifespan on ABS plastic. For more, see our previous blog.