We usually start to teach soprano recorders to third-grade pupils
in primary school. First and second-grade pupils learn how to play
the pianica (harmonica with key board). Sometimes fifth and sixth-grade
pupils are taught alto recorders but mostly altos are taught in
junior high school. In some senior high schools, students practice
from soprano to bass recorders and perform ensemble.
The music colleges where they teach the recorder in the Early Music
Department are Tohogakuen University and Uenogakuen University in
Tokyo, Osaka Music College and Soaigakuen University in Osaka. As
for ordinary colleges, besides the three where I teach now, which
are Yokohama National University, Tsuru Cultural University, and
Shizuoka University, there are very few that have professional recorder
teachers in their music education course.
Many music teachers at school are forced to teach the recorder without
having enough knowledge and experience of performing the recorder.
They often use my NHK educational TV program "The Recorder Sings"
1986-1987 in the classroom.
The recorder contest has been held by the All Japan Recorder Association
once a year for these 25 years. The contestants are all am ateurs
from children to adults. In some colleges they have recorder ensembles
and early music clubs. We also have several early music festivals
and one of them, Tsuru Early Music Festival, will have been going
for 13 years this summer.
There are quite a few amateur recorder players in Japan and most
of them play in groups. I will introduce my
recorder courses now.