Gift of the Gab (G-A-B) (Recorder Music)

(i) Overture
(ii) Barcarolle

What a good idea to start with an overture!
Explain to the student the purpose of an overture, introducing associated terms such as prelude and introduction, then listen to some examples.
Carmen by Bizet
William Tell by Rossini
The Magic Flute by Mozart
West Side Story by Bernstein

Get the students to clap the rhythm of the Overture along with you, then along with the piano accompaniment before playing the GAB motif on their recorders. If there are tuned and untuned percussion instruments available, use these in preparation and, if desired, as additional accompaniment.

In the overture there are two ideas for the recorder to play, and the form need not be fixed as written. Get the students used to responding to the word ‘change!’ when swapping from one idea to the other, and call this out as you take them on an extended, exhilarating improvisation around the material.
Let the students take turns directing the changes. This should raise issues of irregular phrases, and can lead to an exploration of four and eight bar phrases.

As an additional extension, you can divide the class into two groups to achieve an antiphonal effect by getting one side to lead and the other to echo or answer, then letting them swap roles so that the other group leads. This can be even more effective if the groups are divided along recorder/percussion lines.

Before learning the Barcarolle explain that this is derived from the song of the Venetian gondolier. Encourage the students to aspire to a song-like tone in their playing. This can be encouraged by some extravagant movement and mime!

Musical concepts to be discussed are fast and slow, as well as staccato and legato.