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Greenvale Third Graders Perform at Recorder Concert

Greenvale third graders play the recorder at a concertOn March 8, Greenvale's third-graders wowed family members with their musical skills, as they took center stage to participate in the spring recorder concert.


But while the youngsters eagerly made their way through a collection of songs including recorder staples like “Hot Cross Buns,” Greenvale music teacher Nicholas Natalie noted that something else was occurring; the students were breaking new ground in their musical education. 


Thursday’s performance was the first instrumental musical performance given by Greenvale’s third graders during their time in the Eastchester school district, explained Natalie. While students do hold concerts in grades K-2, those early performances are generally centered around singing.


Taking up the recorder represents the children’s next step in musical instruction, he said, and Thursday’s concert demonstrated just how much progress the third graders have made over the course of the last year.


“In second grade we start to play, we start to read notes on a staff, and learn how to put our fingers down on the recorder,” he said. “But this is the first opportunity for them to perform in a large ensemble; the entire third grade class is playing together and that’s a really cool experience for them.”


According to Natalie, the recorder typically provides a good entrance point to instrumental performance among younger students for a variety of factors including its physical dimensions, cost, and accessibility. 


The hope, he added, is to spark a passion for instrumental performance that may encourage a student to pursue music down the road.


It’s superlight, it’s super affordable and you can learn basic songs; if you learn three or four notes, you have access to a whole collection of folk songs and all kinds of different styles,” he said. “Playing the recorder allows the students to work on articulation, breath support and other things that will translate in chorus, orchestra, and band.”