Are you looking to try something fun and different with your child? Something that offers a hidden therapeutic benefit? Consider the recorder.
It’s a very basic musical instrument that offers many hidden benefits. Explore insights from a developmental musician and a speech language pathologist to discover just how this little plastic instrument can pack a powerful punch chock full of therapeutic benefits.
Orly Zalel, developmental musician, music teacher, and the creator of the Musical Baby Bonding, shares, “Choosing a musical instrument for our children is a very exciting time. Selecting an instrument can be discussed from various perspectives. Consider the tendencies of the child, his or her character, the style of parenting, the age of the child and, more importantly, his or her developmental stage.”
Benefits of the Recorder
Zalel continues, “One instrument that is often considered as a perfect starter instrument is the recorder. There are a number of advantages to learning to play such as:
It is the ultimate first musical experience.
It is the first extension of the human body to produce music which evolved from singing. Hence, it is the most natural, simple and challenging musical instrument for children of all ages.
It is enjoyable and is incredibly enriching. Starting with a recorder plays an important role in building the foundations of a child’s musical future.
It stimulates the brain in unique ways which builds cognitive skills, and like other aspects in music education, promotes good mental health.
It helps to regulate good, healthy breathing.
Explore More >> Use Wind Chimes to Soothe Your Child
It supports fine motor skill and the development of coordination.
It develops good communication skills and will enable the child to engage fully with a stimulating, creative and expressive world.
It offers oral sensory motor exercise and teaches non-speech motor movements.”
Explore More >> Handwriting & Music: The Strong Correlation
When to Initiate Play
Zalel states, “From the age of five years old, children can start to get familiar with the recorder. At that age they can already perform several of the significant skills required, such as the ability to:
- blow into the recorder to produce basic sounds
- articulate those sounds to make their own little tunes
- discover how covering the holes with their fingers makes music
“Children aged nine years or older who feel they need some initial instruction can watch and learn through ‘How to Play the Recorder.’ This video clip includes information regarding the first steps in playing the instrument, as well as practical advice such as What kind of recorder to buy? and How to maintain a recorder?”
Social Impacts of Playing an Instrument
Zalel believes, “Advanced abilities of playing the recorder have a positive impact on children’s social skills and social life. Nevertheless, encouraging children to take formal recorder lessons should be done only after the child shows some interest or asks for it.”
Explore More >> Music as a Non Verbal Form of Communication
Visit the second part of this series, Creative Ideas for Using a Recorder during Speech Therapy, to explore the therapeutic benefits of playing through the eyes of Karen Head, MS, CCC-SLP, a speech language pathologist.