The South Island School in Hong Kong has adopted an innovative and inspiring approach to music education for Grade 7’s.
Head of Music Debra Jones is an accomplished woodwind musician and feels that all children in her classes should at least have the opportunity to try an orchestral instrument. She devised the idea that it would be good to take an instrument such as the Clarinet or Flute and teach the whole class the rudiments of tone production, posture, fingering and rhythm with the ultimate goal of playing simple tunes as an ensemble. She also hopes to inspire the children to take up the instruments more seriously with extra-curricular lessons.
With 30 children in the class it was an interesting challenge to find suitable instruments that would be practical and not eat up too much of her precious budget. Then she discovered Nuvo.
First she adopted the Nuvo Clarinéo which is a lightweight, durable and inexpensive clarinet in the key of C. She purchased 30 instruments and with the help of a colleague created a tray which neatly holds 30 Clarinéos so they are ready when the children come to class. The mouthpieces and plastic reeds are kept in buckets so that they can be easily sterilized between classes.
The Clarinéo’s require no assembly so within minutes of arrival the children are ready with their instruments. If a Clarinéo accidentally gets dropped or knocked over, it’s no problem as the instruments are extremely durable. The children all learn woodwind techniques with a reed as well as fingering and sight reading. The process of playing together as an ensemble inspires the children and with this good foundation in woodwind many of them will go on to take up the clarinet, saxophone or other woodwind.
In June of this year Debra became aware of the Nuvo flute and decided to set up a similar class concept with the flute. She now has 60 instruments in total all of which are used up to 3 times a day. The flute bodies are kept assembled and stored in a box while the head joints are kept separately so they can be cleaned with sterilized wipes and rinsed with water in between classes. From time to time the whole instrument is washed with warm soapy water to keep them hygienic. The coloured key caps have been positioned so as to help with class instruction: They guide the children’s fingers to the correct keys. In the early days it was useful for Debra to be able to say to the class, “Now press the blue key…that’s a B.“
At the end of the class the children return the instruments to the box and the head joints are quickly sterilized, ready for the next class.
This practical use of Nuvo instruments is exactly what they were designed for. We thank Debra for her vision and ideas and we look forward to seeing some inspired musicians graduating from the South Island School in years to come.
If you are a music teacher and would like to know more about how Nuvo instruments could be used in your school, please feel free to contact me by e-mail… firstname.lastname@example.org