For those of you who have not read my bio or are newer to my blog, I was a music therapist and teacher before I ever took on the title of blogger. I currently teach music lessons part time during the week and although all of my students have continued lessons over the summer, there have been breaks here and there as they have taken family vacations or gone to summer camp.
I had the opportunity to review two ocarina summer enrichment kits from STL Ocarina with two of my students, ages 7 and 9. I had the 7-year-old explore the 6-hole ocarina, which is easier for smaller hands to grasp and has a more limited range, making it easier to learn, and it was sweet seeing the determination in her eyes as she learned to properly curve and cover the holes of the instrument. This is the hardest technique for the children to learn, particularly if they are already reading music for other instruments, but it is more ergonomically friendly than a recorder for hands, and a lot more unique!
The 12-hole ocarina will require slightly larger hands and all fingers, so is more suited for an older elementary, middle school, HS or adult. Again, the curving of the fingers was the hardest step for the 9-year-old to grasp in the beginning, but it is definitely a confidence booster for children to have the opportunity to grasp an instrument over just a few weeks or months. Learning an instrument like the ocarina can be a supplement to other music education opportunities, or a great option for those who may otherwise write themselves off as not being musically inclined.
The lesson books made it easy for both the student and teacher to follow, and although some musical knowledge may be helpful for a parent to try and help teach the materials, the books are detailed enough that it would not be essential. Another option is to approach your current music instructor, musical friend or school and request lessons for your child on the ocarina. Definitely check out STL Ocarina as well as the guest article below on the benefit of music education over the summer. It will keep young brains churning, without feeling like work!
STL Ocarina has a large range of ocarina instruments and instruction available for all levels from beginner to professional. Visit http://www.stlocarina.com/ for more information.