Mrs. Mellish's Music Class

Recorder Karate: 3rd, 4th, and 5th Grade

Program Description

The Recorder Karate program is a curriculum that is designed to teach students how to play the recorder. This method is a positive reward system in which students receive colored "karate belts" to hang from their recorders for each progressively more difficult tune they learn to play. Thank you to everyone who donated embroidery floss to make the karate belts and to those who sent in a monetary donation. Your support of music education is very much appreciated!

National Music Standards

The National Standards For Music Education that will be met throughout this program include:
1. Singing, alone and with others, a varied repertoire of music.
2. Performing on instruments, alone and with others, a varied repertoire of music.
3. Reading and notating music.
4. Listening to, analyzing, and describing music.
5. Evaluating music and music performances.
6. Understanding relationships between music and disciplines outside the arts.
7. Understanding music in relation to history and culture.
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Practice and Testing

Students are encouraged to practice their recorder every night for 10 minutes, they have a practice log in the back of their book that I will be checking. Students will be able to sign up to test for a Karate Belt each week. Their goal is to earn a belt for each song as they progress up to the last belt which is the "Black Belt". There are nine songs total.

Remembering Materials for Class

Part of the Recorder Karate Program is responsibility. Students will be responsible for remembering to bring their book and recorder to school on days they have music class. Points will be earned for each time they remember and a small prize will be given at the end for students with the most points. Students will have a self-monitoring chart in their book to help them track their own responsibility, I will be checking it periodically and awarding points. Please note your child's music schedule below and help them remember to bring their materials to school.

Wednesdays: Sanders and Swales

Thursdays: Swales and Brownfield

Fridays: Tallman, Allison, Sanders, and Brownfield

Online Testing

We have limited time each week in class, I may not be able to test everyone every week and some students may move through the songs faster than others. To make it more convenient for your child to test I am allowing students to video themselves to test for a song and email it to me.

If you would like to test for a belt please video yourself playing a song (I must be able to see you playing), and send the video to my email. In the subject line please put your first and last name and the song name. My email is:

A second option for submitting a video to me is to use Edmodo. Most students already have Edmodo accounts, if your child does not it is simple to create one. They just go to and create an account. For security purposes, I will be giving the students the group code to join in class and not on this site. Students can join my group named "Recorder Karate" and then turn in their videos to the designated area under assignments.

If students do not earn the belt, I encourage them to use the feedback I give them to keep practicing and improve until they can successfully play the song. If they earn the belt, I will issue it to them the next time they have music class.


If you have any questions regarding the Recorder Karate, please feel free to call or email me. I am very excited to start the program and the kids are too!

Sarah Mellish

Music Teacher

Dieck Elementary

First Song for White Belt is Hot Cross Buns

Please watch the video below for help playing Hot Cross Buns
How to Play "Hot Cross Buns" - Recorder Karate White Belt

Second Song for Yellow Belt is Gently Sleep

Please watch the video below for help playing Gently Sleep
How to Play "Gently Sleep" - Recorder Karate Yellow Belt

Third Song for Orange Belt is Merrily We Roll Along

Please watch the video below for help playing Merrily We Roll Along
How to Play "Merrily We Roll Along" - Recorder Karate Orange Belt

Fourth Song for Green Belt is It's Raining

Please watch the video below for help playing It's Raining
How to Play "It's Raining" - Recorder Karate Green Belt

Fifth Song for Purple Belt is Old MacDonald Had a Farm

Please watch the video below for help playing Old MacDonald Had a Farm
How to Play "Old MacDonald Had a Farm" - Purple Belt