Thirty-two Barringer Road fourth grade students earn their black belt, not in martial arts, in Recorder Karate.
The Recorder Karate Black Belt is earned by working through nine different songs from a text called Recorder Karate. Each song has another element of music reading skills and new note(s) that the student needs to master in order to move on to the next belt/level. All students are given this opportunity in fourth grade music class, but only those who are determined and continually practice outside of class will make it through each level.
It is not an easy task to read another language – MUSIC! It requires many hours of practice and the development of good eye hand coordination; along with combining all the music skills learned throughout their music classes since kindergarten. This would include proficiency in rhythm reading, note identification on the treble staff and instrument fingerings.
Black belt recipients have reached the level of master player and are given multiple opportunities to perform during spring semester concert season. Practice sessions are held after school to prepare for the performances. On Friday, Apr. 24 the Black Belt Recorder Karate students performed When the Saints Go Marching In over the public address system to show off their musical talents. (A video of the performance can be watched below.)
“The fourth grade students who achieved the master player level have worked very hard this year to achieve their black belt in Recorder Karate,” according to Barringer Road music teacher Lorraine Burney.
“They have put forth significant effort to show themselves true musicians. They prove great dedication to their musicianship and I take my hat off to them, they are amazing!”
Recorder Master Player group members
Dominick Aceto, Hudson Albrecht, Alyssa Baerman, Azure Bowers, Michael Brien, Leah Comes, Dole Dowling, Kaelin Fournier, Kayla Gleim, Camden Hall, Giada Hannigan, Samantha Helmer, Sierra Howard, Jenna Johnson, Claire Lally, Grace Lozo, Paige Luke, Payton Lynch, Lacey May, Samuel Malinowski, Janessa Moss, Mackenzie Murphy, Jayde Nelms, Ryan Parks, Om Patel, Marcella Pronti, Jake Rudwall, Madison Shepherd , Hailey Sipes, Morgan Szeflinski, Mirabella Vitale, Blaze Whiting