Q debate: Should music teachers ditch recorders for ukuleles?

Thanks for the reasoned, well thought out reply. Your comment on breathing with the phrase is spot on. Still I believe that 10,000 recorders on the bottom of the ocean is a good start.

I am a reed player (primarily Clarinet), and started college wanting to teach instrumental music. I've since decided on general music, but that's a different story. I can agree that the recorder is nice for fine motor skill, but so are a lot of other things. Even though you teach breathing the phrase, the difference in how the breath is used on the recorder is completely opposite what you will use on a band type wind instrument. If you try to play a low C on the recorder and blow loud it is going to squeal like a pig. You try to blow light for a similar low note on clarinet or sax and nothing is going to come out. Honestly, I got more out of recorder after I played clarinet and sax for many years because the low tech, no frills aspect of recorder forces you to consider how fingerings change the air column, and alternate fingers improve the sound.

Speaking as a general music teacher I do not see my job as preparing students to play in band. I see my job as preparing students to be life long musicians. If they decide to be one of the 20% that join band, orchestra, or choir they will have the musical skills necessary. If they join the other 80% they will have the skills to form their own band, sing karaoke at the bar (and not suck), or just noodle at home because they enjoy it.

To summarize I'm firmly in the ukulele or piano skills camp. Both have a greater long term benefit to the majority of the populations musical life. A lot of the Beatles' tunes were conceived on the ukulele because it was easy to play riding around on a tour bus. Like wise much of the popular music people enjoy from commercial to folk songs can be played on ukulele or with basic guitar skills (the natural progression in my mind). Can the same be said of recorder?

/r/MusicEd Thread Link - cbc.ca